What Valve Looks for When it Hires

In my first post, I promised I’d discuss in detail what Valve looks for in people when it hires. Fortunately, I don’t have to, because there’s a great description of that and more in the Valve handbook. I strongly recommend reading it before applying for a job at Valve; it will help you figure out whether Valve would be a great place for you, and whether you’d be a great fit at Valve. Check it out – it’s beautifully written, and worth it for the entertainment value alone.

4 Responses to What Valve Looks for When it Hires

  1. Vic says:

    I swear I’m not crying because I’ll never work at Valve. It’s just… spring… dust. I swear.

  2. Guido Kimble says:

    I actually read the manual last week (I found it posted somewhere else online). It’s a fascinating look into Valve’s belief that they will be more successful if they can break free of the red tape that constrains creative innovation at other, more traditional, companies.

    It reminds me of Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Valve wants different results than the norm, so they don’t want to operate the same way other companies do.

    One of my favorite lines… “We’ve heard that other companies have people allocate a
    percentage of their time to self-directed projects. At Valve, that percentage is 100.”

  3. Brimmk says:

    After clicking on the link to download the hand-book, I wasn’t completely sure of what to expect.

    A corporate style manual with completely practical knowledge on how to fill out invoices and explain who owns your soul after being hired?

    A wacky, goofy, TF2-esque manual with instructions on how to most easily show your manliness or when lacking, how to raise your manliness level to that of Saxton Hale, with a page to make your own custom origami hat?

    An informative piece on how to get used to your new pherapod-sensing cybernetic implant in your nose that gives you detailed instructions on what to do when GabeN throws or squeezes his own personal one to give off specific scents?

    A guide on how to ensure that you become a special infected when the inevitable zombie apocalypse comes (e.g. getting surgery to insert a high-dose steroid pack in your chest cavity that would activate a few hours post-mortem ensuring your undead future as a tank)?

    Nope. I was wrong on all of those guesses. Instead Valve didn’t disappoint in (re-re-re-re-re)reenforcing how awesome it would be to work for the coolest company in gaming and how much I still need to work to even come within anywhere close to the awesomeness of Valve if I ever want to fulfill my dream of ever working as a part of Valve*.

    *footnote: I almost wrote “of ever working for Valve” but then I realized that that’s either an incomplete sentence (e.g. “working for the continual progression and betterment of Valve as a company and as a unit”) or just plain wrong in the concept of working for someone higher up than myself, because everyone is part of a giant, non-hierarchical team.

  4. David Tanzer says:

    I have already read the handbook a week ago (or so), it sounds like an awesome place to work! Unfortunately it is on the opposite end of the world (as seen from here), and relocating is not an option for me right now. Anyway, I think what you (and some, but not many other companies) do here is the future of work – keep going! I hope your example spreads!