A Fresh Approach: Our Blueprint For Successful iGaming Talent Strategy in 2020

02 October 2019

1846 Original
Our 3-point strategic ‘blueprint’ for ambitious iGaming employers to follow if they want to build excellent teams - despite a global talent shortage. 

The igaming industry today is fast-paced and full of opportunity. With the speed of tech innovation accelerating, substantial VC and M&A activity and the growth of new markets (not to mention US sportsbook opening up post PASPA), there’s huge potential for established players and start-ups alike to make their mark.

But many businesses are facing a growing challenge: hiring the right talent to drive business forward in these competitive times. This challenge is particularly acute in tech roles - where the number of job openings far exceeds qualified candidates – but is challenging many other departments too.

Plus, the igaming sector is increasingly competing for tech talent with other industries such as fintech, ecommerce or enterprise software.

With that in mind, we’ve devised a strategic ‘blueprint’ for ambitious companies to follow if they want to build excellent teams - despite a global talent shortage.​

Our 3 Strategic Priorities

Here are the 3 key principles we recommend our clients follow to ensure successful talent strategy in 2020 and beyond.

Priority 1 Expand global horizons

The igaming industry is increasingly global, meaning that employers don’t need to be restricted to just one location when hiring candidates. Take the UK as an example, where 30% of staff working in igaming aren’t British. Many European igaming firms are looking to countries outside the EU for tech talent, from places such as Brazil, India or Africa. Not only does this widen the potential pool, but salary expectations are often lower too. This process is becoming easier thanks to streamlined visa processes in key locations; Malta’s KEI initiative, or Ireland’s Critical Skills Employment permits were both created to remove barriers to global talent attraction.

Aside from relocating talent from other global locations, companies can also consider allowing candidates to work remotely. It could increase your staff satisfaction too: in our 2019 Ambitions Survey, 24% of respondents said that remote working was the most important factor in choosing a role. High-speed connectivity, cloud computing, and collaboration tools have made global teams a possibility for companies that are scaling fast, and so long as the right processes are put in place to ensure remote staff can work and collaborate effectively, it can be a great solution to local talent shortages. Companies might also consider opening up positions to current employees in other locations; giving them the chance to develop their career as well as filling the role.

Priority 2 Hire for skills over experience

The igaming industry is niche, which means that sometimes it’s difficult for companies to hire talent with the requisite technical skills as well as industry experience. A pragmatic solution to this is to focus more on skillset and raw talent over industry experience, and then train new starters in the particulars of the igaming industry. Not only does this significantly widen the candidate pool, but it can also be valuable in bringing fresh perspective and experience that igaming veterans haven’t been exposed to.

Since Pentasia’s acquisition of Headcount, we’ve found that many of our igaming clients have significantly benefited from our network of talented candidates in the fintech and payments space.

Priority 3 Map the path upwards

Hiring external talent is invaluable in bringing an outside perspective, fresh blood, or - more commonly - where specialist skillsets are required sooner than existing staff can upskill. However, blending a focus on internal training/upskilling, and a proactive approach to talent pipeline planning complimented by external hiring to fill the gaps is the best strategy. By investing in staff and giving them a structured progression plan, you can improve staff loyalty and retention to boot. It’s no wonder that a lack of progression is one of the main reasons why people leave their jobs.

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Hiring now, or planning ahead for expansion in 2020 and beyond? Contact Us today to discuss your plans and learn more about our global recruitment services.