date 26 June 2024 reading time 9 min views 135 views

Investing in HR development is crucial for fostering a skilled and motivated workforce that drives organisational growth. The iGaming sector is quite narrow and specific, which is reflected in the hiring policies of industry companies. In her latest article, Daria Fot, HR Director at EvenBet Gaming, shares her experience in hiring and retaining talent and offers practical advice that has helped our company build an effective team.

Challenges in iGaming Employment

The iGaming sector faces many issues that are common to other IT-related industries, but it also has some unique challenges. Let’s briefly look at the main ones.

1. Talent Shortage

Due to various issues, including demographics, the labour market in developed countries is in crisis. The IT sector itself is experiencing a significant shortage of highly qualified employees, and the iGaming industry, being even narrower, feels this problem particularly acutely.

As a result, in the iGaming labour market, there is noticeable competition among employers for workers, leading to increased budgets for attracting candidates to vacancies.

As with other IT sub-sectors, it is relatively easy to find employees for “non-technical” departments such as HR or marketing. The hardest part is finding technical specialists.

2. Perception and Industry Stigma

Despite its growth, the iGaming industry still faces stigma and misconceptions. Potential candidates may have reservations about working in a sector associated with gambling, worrying about the social and ethical implications. Many religions also view gambling negatively or outright forbid it. This perception can deter top talent from considering opportunities within the industry.

3. Globalisation

International human resource management can be challenging. While remote work has become more prevalent, the global nature of the iGaming industry introduces challenges in coordinating across time zones, managing remote teams, and ensuring effective communication. Hiring internationally can also involve complex visa processes and relocation issues, further complicating the recruitment process.

Challenges in iGaming and online casino HR management

These problems are global and can only be solved through cooperation between market participants, regulatory organisations, and intergovernmental collaboration. However, individual companies can take steps to mitigate negative effects and gain a competitive advantage in the labour market. Implementing strategic human resource management can significantly enhance organisational effectiveness and drive long-term business success.

Develop an HR Brand

Branding, in general, is the engine of successful business, allowing companies to stand out among competitors and build an emotional connection with the audience. Special attention should be given to the HR brand, which represents the company’s image as an employer.

The HR brand should reflect the company’s values and each employee’s place within those values.

It may be necessary to establish separate communication channels to convey the HR brand if the primary target audience does not overlap significantly with the potential employees. However, many companies find that recruiting employees from among their own customers can be an excellent idea. In this case, there is likely no need to adapt the identity and the communication style, or even create separate social media accounts.

Nonetheless, it is essential to provide brand materials specifically intended for employees, such as exclusive corporate merchandise for the team.

HR brand for iGaming

Create Attractive Job Offers in iGaming

The most obvious yet effective way to increase your competitiveness in the job market is to offer higher salaries. Additionally, various benefits like compensation for paid medical services or educational courses are highly valued. In the iGaming sector, this can help mitigate the effects of industry stigma.

However, it’s important to recognise that a high salary alone won’t entirely solve the problem of prejudice against the gambling industry. A candidate might accept your generous offer to meet critical financial needs, but if the job strongly conflicts with their beliefs, especially religious ones, they won’t be happy working for you and are likely to burn out and leave soon.

Engage in Charity Work

If an employee has some internal negativity towards gambling, a high salary might convince them to accept the offer. However, the feeling that they are doing something unworthy might persist. This can be countered with good deeds.

At EvenBet Gaming, we actively participate in charitable projects, collaborate with various foundations, and engage in environmental activism. For example, we participate in greening park areas, sponsor schools in remote areas with underdeveloped infrastructure, and donate to foundations that help elderly people in difficult situations.

Recently, we sponsored a charity poker tournament, where half of the prize pool was donated to an organisation fighting human trafficking in Southeast Asia.

HOT100 gathered top-management of the gaming industry in Asia. EvenBet Gaming sponsored a charity poker tournament during the event.

It’s important that employees don’t just passively learn that their employer has donated money to charity. We strive to involve our employees in this process: most of the initiatives and suggestions for which projects to support come from them.

Engaging in charity work is beneficial in itself. But it also allows employees to feel that they are on the side of good while working for the company.

Expand Your Search Area

One current HR management trend is reaching out to ‘hidden workers.’ In a time of talent shortages, employers are paying closer attention to candidates who were previously overlooked for formal reasons. ‘Hidden workers’ include people without formal specialised education, caregivers, individuals with significant employment gaps, people with disabilities, refugees, migrants, and others.

Additionally, it’s not necessary to focus solely on candidates with direct experience in iGaming. While such experience can be an additional advantage, the priority should be on their hard and soft skills.

Don’t hesitate to hire people from other fields. Our experience shows that talented employees can quickly grasp the specifics of the industry. For example, some of our top business development managers and even C-level managers had no prior experience in iGaming before joining us.

Searching candidates for iGaming job

Adapt Processes for Remote Work

At first glance, the iGaming sector, given the current technological advancements, seems perfect for remote work. This is true for almost any online project. According to the US Career Institute, 56% of employees at least know people who would quit if they were required to return to the office. 

The pandemic forced businesses worldwide to shift employees to remote work. Nearly all studies conducted after 2020 indicate that the vast majority of employees had a positive experience and want to continue working from home. Nevertheless, there is some resistance from employers.

We believe there are two main reasons for employers’ desire to return to on-site work:

  1. Irrational Fear: Many managers simply fear losing control over their subordinates, and this fear intensifies when they cannot see employees working directly. It gives them peace of mind to observe employees at their desks.
  2. Unadapted Processes: Many companies indeed noticed a drop in team productivity when switching to remote work. This happens because transitioning to remote work requires a reorganisation of work processes, which evidently did not occur in these companies.

The key principle for adapting to remote work is shifting the focus from controlling work processes to controlling results. Additionally, changes should be made to the hiring process. Specifically, interviews should include questions about self-organisation and self-discipline. It’s beneficial if the candidate already has successful remote work experience.

For EvenBet Gaming, like many others, the mass transition of employees to remote work was forced by the pandemic in 2020. However, we immediately saw more opportunities than problems in this. Once we fine-tuned all processes, we realised we could hire people from anywhere in the world. In 2020, we had employees from 4 countries; now, our team members live in 16 countries worldwide.

The key to business success is a cohesive team of highly qualified specialists. However, current trends in the IT labour market suggest that it’s often the candidates who choose the company, not the other way around. Therefore, companies need to become more attractive as employers, more flexible, and take into account the specifics of working in iGaming.

Daria Fot

Article by Daria

Daria Fot

HRD at EvenBet Gaming