Ian Goodall

Name: Ian Goodall 

Job title: Managing Director

About me: I wear a lot of hats, I’m a Salesman, a Recruiter and I’ve learned that I’m definitely an Entrepreneur. As the owner of Aardvark Swift Recruitment – I manage a growing team of recruiters. As the founder of Grads In Games and Catalyst, I help to pipeline young talent into the UK games, animation and VFX industries.

Locally, I work as an Enterprise Advisor with my local comprehensive school and chair the Rotherham Business Growth Board, helping to develop local businesses across all sectors. I’m an investor and founding member of Dotforge – a tech accelerator that encourages the tech community in the North to grow and thrive.

I’m pretty busy! Any spare time is absorbed by being dad to my two beautiful young daughters, and occasionally seeing my wife. I find some ‘me’ time by running, cycling and competing in triathlons. Phew!

What I do: Multi tasking! Day to day, I focus on our Grads In Games initiative and manage a small team of Recruiters who fill commercial roles for the Toys, Games and Licensing industries. I manage the senior team and lead efforts across Marketing, Sales, Finance, HR, IT – my role is hugely varied and it’s hard to find an area I don’t have an involvement in.

Favourite game: Of all time? Target Renegade on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. In recent years I love hunting Pokemon with my eldest.
Favourite TV series: Phoenix Nights – simply peerless. At the moment however, I’m hooked on The Walking Dead…and Vikings!

Favourite movie: One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest

Favourite book: I like a Harlan Coben thriller


Aardvark Spotlight: Ian Goodall

As Managing Director Ian is ultimately responsible for everything. But as Co-Director Simon now runs the recruitment team, Ian particularly focuses on other areas like Marketing, Events, HR, Finance, and driving the Gradsingames/Search for a Star graduate talent initiatives Aardvark run for the games industry. Plus he keeps one eye on the team running his old recruitment desk…

What’s a typical day in the life for you?

Typically, I’m in early to get a jump on the day. Lots of emails to plough through, then it’s usually a series of meetings with different people to move along projects.  I’ve got a great team here so I like to think I can sneak off early these days and put some miles in on my bike or see my kids!

Did you get any training?

Plenty of Recruitment specific training along the way for me, Sales, Headhunting, Digital Sourcing, Copywriting, along with Leadership/Management training as my role’s evolved.

What did you do before working here?

I worked as an Area Sales Manager in Recruitment – Engineering sector

What do you love most about your job?

I love my team! We typically hire inexperienced people and work hard with them to create great Recruiters. We’ve developed some really great Consultants over the years. Many of which are either still with us or plying their trade elsewhere in video games. This makes me really proud. My other main passion is our Graduate Recruitment initiative – Gradsingames.com. We founded this 10 years ago to help bridge the gap between industry and academia and to help more people make the leap from student to games developer. I’m proud to say that with our “Get in the Game” Careers talk tour and “Search for a Star” talent comp – we’ve helped many hundreds of graduates find their first job in the UK games industry.

Perks of being in the Aardvark Swift team?

I think it’s a very good place to work, but I’m biased! If I was on the staff, I’d value the flex around gym lunch breaks, social (boozy) nights out and the best year end do’s ever.

How would you describe your Aardvark Swift journey?

For me it’s been literally life changing. Joined as a Recruitment Consultant in 2000, fell in love with the games industry, built a successful desk serving the Games Publishing sector. Then bought Aardvark Swift from my boss 6 years later.  We’ve since evolved and changed the working methods enormously to meet the demands of the modern games industry. And all whilst building an initiative that actively works to solve the talent crisis in the UK Games industry…Now I’m starting to pass the baton on to others. Hopefully I’ll be around for many more years to see the company evolve and remain successful!

What made you chose to go into recruitment?

Stumbled in when a friend left a job and recommended me to his boss…I thought as a graduate it was a good route into HR management. Then I realized I enjoyed it and I was a pretty good Recruiter!

What do you get out of your role?

Most of the time I have a lot of fun. Helping manage enthusiastic sales and marketing people as we all strive to a common goal.

Favorite memory?

Couple of things I’m really proud of. Watching Simon Hope make the journey all the way from Graduate hire to Company Director. Standing up on stage at Develop with one of our young superstars – Sharan Bassi – presenting the Search for a Star awards – before being called back up a few minutes later to collect the Best Recruiter Award!

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