Talent Market Update: Asia Pacific Gaming, Q3 2019

02 October 2019 By Alastair Cleland

1844 Original
Asia pacific recruitment insights from Q3 2019 - including the effects of China’s anti-gambling rhetoric, our highest demand jobs and why $100k+ salaries are still prevalent - as provided by Pentasia’s Head of Asia Pacific, Simon King.

China’s clear anti-gambling overtones have placed added pressure on iGaming markets across the Asia Pacific region over recent months. In an already complex and regulatory-varied market, this has further increased the value of experienced talent – those able to find opportunities in even hostile market conditions.

Quick-fixes are often sought, but unfortunately this has led to short-termist – and largely ineffective – approaches to talent acquisition. Hiring timeframes tend to be compressed, salaries often come in significantly lower than candidates’ expectations and lowball offers regularly derail processes. The result, sadly, is often under-performance and high staff turnover.

Key challenges to recruitment in Asia Pacific’s gaming market centre around lack of supply, which has pushed up salary expectations and made it more difficult to find top talent. Senior executives regularly expect in excess of $100,000, with managers looking for $50,000+.

Whilst less experienced candidates come in cheaper, even those with 2+ years’ iGaming experience, particularly any specialist territory knowledge, can expect their value to increase dramatically. Employers have been slow to come to terms with these market conditions.

The industry would do well to broader their talent acquisition to accept applications from those out of sector. Whilst knowledge of iGaming is highly prized, it is often transferrable skills like territory knowledge, online product management, affiliate programmes and relationship building which will bring most value.

Our Q3 Asia Pacific iGaming talent trends in brief:

  • Highest talent demand is in B2B, with experienced sales and account managers often the #01 hiring priority for many employers.

  • In B2C, the priority is affiliate and acquisition management – particularly those who are perceived could provide access to new geographic markets or segments.

  • Language skills and knowledge of key territories such as those in South East Asia are highly prized, but clients would do well to see these hires as ‘long term’ rather than a ‘quick-fix’ way to access new customers.

  • Significant regulatory shifts in the Philippine market will certainly affect the local talent market – limiting new opportunities as the licence restrictions come in – but could increase the supply of talent overall.

  • As with the gaming market itself, the talent market is in a continual state of change, but the value of candidates – particularly their network – remains consistently high.

Simon King is Pentasia's Head of Asia Pacific | simon.king@pentasia.com