The Experience Paradox: Is “iGaming Experience Essential” Really Justified?

21 July 2020 By Laurence Howell

The Experience Paradox Is I Gaming Experience Essential” Really Justified   Pic Resize

by Laurence Howell, Pentasia

​It’s a familiar sight: “must have iGaming industry experience” features on 1000’s of job adverts. For talented candidates looking to transition, it’s a frustrating ‘catch-22’. And for employers, it’s a phrase that risks alienating potential star hires.

Perhaps this is a problem that speaks to you as a job seeker? Ever had that feeling when it’s a role you are currently in, an industry you want to join, but your lack of *direct* experience blocks that pathway?

Or maybe, as an employer, you’ve experienced underwhelming responses for specialist job openings, and are considering what might lie beyond the industry walls?

Let’s challenge the “iGaming experience essential” paradox! Perhaps there’s a better way…

Getting Into iGaming

The iGaming industry has huge appeal for professionals from right across the skill spectrum. It’s a major consumer industry worldwide. In a hotspot like Malta, the industry makes up an incredible 12% of national GDP.

So the appeal is there, but how do you get in? Entry-level roles, including graduate schemes, offer a great initial pathway. But many look to enter the sector from a similar role in related industries. And that’s where access becomes more limited.

Take the example of a professional working in the banking sector, handling customers with a focus on AML/Fraud/Verification perspective. Whilst they may feel a strong desire to enter the iGaming industry, the presence of “iGaming experience mandatory” may feel wholly off-putting.

Bold candidates can pass the hurdle, finding a company that will look past a lack of gaming experience and proceed to interview. When in interview, it’s then a case of addressing head on the question of “why do you want to enter iGaming?”.It’s all about focusing on what you have done to date that will make you an asset in this role. Candidates who can achieve that, demonstrating confidence and belief in their strengths, may well get the role.

That said, couldn’t the ‘off-putting’ nature of an “iGaming experience mandatory” line in the advert have been avoided all along?

Accepting Applicants From Beyond iGaming

Employers who are prepared to look beyond the requirement for direct industry experience open themselves to a far greater talent pool. Ultimately, the best candidate is not necessarily in the industry, and the enthusiasm they’ve shown in transitioning sector could even be a winning trait.

In Malta, A recent MGA study found 730 positions remain open as reported by gaming companies on the island with an astonishing 68 per cent of those in operational level positions meaning middle managers and their teams[1]”. There is a shortage and more professionals need to be trained into the industry.

A Brand Manager for a Games software company discusses his journey, sharing that previous, out-of-industry experience “earned me great transferable skills that could get me access to a variety of industries. The gaming and sports betting sector seemed the perfect fit[2]”.

It can be that simple. Transferring over to the industry can just involve learning a new product – certainly not cause to remove a candidate from shortlist. When industry experience truly is essential – such as in the realms of compliance, product management or sales – employers would often do well to consider *training* the applicants who demonstrate best *potential*.

iGaming Academy, among others, provides foundational iGaming industry training, including courses designed to ensure new recruits understand the industry and their role within it.

Look Beyond The Paradox

Open-mindedness is key. If you’re a candidate, consider whether “iGaming experience essential” really disqualifies you for the role, or could be a condition you could commit to overcoming? For employers, taking the decision to widen your search out-of-industry can have a transformational effect on recruitment success.

I hope reading this article has given you pause for thought. Perhaps we can soon start to break down the industry’s most confusing paradox.


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