Where to look for experienced gambling company managers?
The legalization of new markets, the development of gambling products, and the digitization of land-based businesses during the pandemic have inevitably led to the growth of new iGaming projects.
And with it, the need for managers in different areas, namely top managers, is also growing. Over the summer of 2021 alone, we have seen the following statistics on the number of vacancies for top positions in the industry:
The most in-demand top positions for online operators:
Operation Director, Social / Regional Director, Head of Support, Head of Sportsbook, Head of Payment, Head of CRM, Casino manager.
The most demanded top positions from B2B providers:
Product Director, PMO, Lead Game Producer, Lead Game Designer, Head of Sales, CTO, CMO.
Positions such as CFO, CMO, HRD, Head of Legal, Head of Compliance are in demand for both types of companies.
Companies are offering more and more high-paying offers and options for top managers, as well as more and more flexible working terms (remote working, easy to apply for, etc.). Gambling has begun to attract candidates from related industries. Still, at the same time, vacancies remain "open," and business owners and HR specialists note the difficulty of closing top jobs and the lack of qualifications of applicants for managerial positions. Having monitored C-level management vacancies for over a year now, we note the following trends:
- The problem of niche professionals - there are strong experts in marketing, finance, compliance in the market, but few leaders and experienced managers.
- There is no severe emphasis on training in the art of management. Gambling is a fast-growing industry. If you miss the trend, you are left behind.
- Professionals prefer to study the subject area, ignoring the development of managerial skills, remaining narrow experts. They cannot sell themselves as a manager who is willing to take responsibility, look strategically at the development of a function, and do not develop the ability to negotiate and find common ground (both with owners and their teams).
- Most candidates are 'formatted' by the current company: their expertise may be irrelevant to the new business. Most managers grew up with the company and are geared towards a specific project, process, or company. Their knowledge is not always applicable to new or simply different areas.
- There is no experience or skill in scaling processes: what was suitable for a small company will not work for an actively growing business. Top management lacks corporate governance skills (building processes, optimising them, introducing reporting elements, delegating).
- Non-self-sufficiency syndrome: many gambling projects are under the sole hand control of the owner, and he sets the entire management style. Top managers are not always empowered to make decisions themselves; often the owner does it himself. Decision-making and responsibility shifting manifest in further work when moving on to a new project.
Problems of recruiting top managers
- HR in-house has limited resources: it is not always possible to actively publish vacancies, the search is often confidential (for example, if we talk about replacing an existing specialist), partnerships do not allow to poach employees from each other.
- There is no established practice of hiring top managers, so standard processes are used to search: multi-level interviews, searching among one's own and "vetted" people, making difficult decisions. Sometimes we even encounter the presence of test assignments.
- Top managers, as a rule, are on good terms with investors, and changing jobs for many is impossible for personal reasons.
- The market is narrow: most of the top people in the industry know each other, companies do not compete but create a friendly atmosphere within their community. This also affects the hunt: no one wants to spoil the partnership.
- Finding a replicant: this happens when a business owner sets out to find a specialist with identical values, management style, and in general, a specialist who is as similar as possible.
How to solve the problem of a management deficit?
- Relocate candidates from other countries. Many specialists are open to new projects, who like project tasks and therefore will willingly agree to develop a new geo-field or project;
- Establish talent pool programs (assess potential, develop training, coaching programs); apply best practices from other industries;
- Invest in the training and retention of their staff;
- Develop a list of specialists who are potentially interesting and keep track of their careers;
- Cross-functional recruiting (attract candidates from related industries);
- Taking part in industry and management events, presenting your company as an expert, and raising interest in your project;
Independent recruiting at industry events;
- Direct recruiting by the company owner - even if a candidate you are interested in is not interested in new projects, a simple "call me when you are open to new proposals" can work wonders;
- Engaging specialist services: recruitment agencies. Important: The provider should specialize in executive search or experience in a particular industry. Such companies have a portfolio of specialists; they often have information on candidates, conduct confidential searches, know many companies and businesses to attract a specialist.
The lack of qualified managerial staff has existed for a long time and is typical for the iGaming-industry. The demand for a good manager is always great.
To find your specialist begin to prepare in advance: follow the projects you are interested in and the people in them. Make as many valuable contacts in your industry as you can. Today's up-and-coming professional could be tomorrow's rising star. You must always be in the know so you can attract the best of the best to your team.
Don't ignore the development and retention of your staff. By investing in your team's education and practical experience, you're not only building a solid foundation for your business, but you're also building quality, long-term business relationships, and a positive perception of your company in the marketplace.
If you're facing the challenge of finding the right talent for your business, write to us.
Talentgrator is a highly skilled European recruitment service for companies, including the iGaming niche. We help build a team you can rely on and people you can trust!
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