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You’ll never build a solid product and quality service without a close-knit team. You should carefully find specialists, recruit them and give as many reasons to stay as possible. Darya Fot, Head of HR at EvenBet Gaming, advises HRs and business owners on how to recruit and retain employees in iGaming projects.
At EvenBet Gaming, we regularly research our team’s loyalty and engagement. One of the most important indicators is eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score) which shows loyalty and engagement. If eNPS is higher than 50% it is supposed to be quite a good result. Last year we reached 69%. The early staff turnover (when an employee quits in the first year) is less than 7%. And now we’d like to share our experience.
Ethical Aspect Working for Gambling
Many people consider poker, rummy or betting as gambling and treat them with prejudice. As well as online gaming jobs. At EvenBet Gaming, we do not organise gambling events, we just develop the software. However, we sometimes face refusals to work for us because of the “ethical reasons”.
You’ll hardly convince a candidate that iGaming is okay. Although you definitely should discuss it during the interview. Ask the candidate to think over the issue and decide if they are absolutely sure to work in the industry. You, in turn, should be totally honest and tell about your activity as it is. It would be really bad if the employee suddenly figures out that they are ashamed to work for you after the successful onboarding.
Luckily, there are still a lot of people looking for iGaming careers. However, you should be prepared that many of them expect higher salaries.
Office vs. Remote Job
Remote and hybrid job types became popular. Business found it very effective and has been using it much after the pandemic. The GALLUP study says that only 2 in 10 remote-capable employees in the US worked on-site in 2022. It was 60% in 2019 in comparison. IT and IT-related industries are quite convenient for remote work. Online gaming jobs from home are relevant too.
There is a common misconception that managing a team of remote employees is easy and cheap. At first sight, it seems to be correct because you don’t need to keep an office but there are other costs.
A good employer usually provides the equipment. At least, you should pay for depreciation if a specialist uses their equipment. By this, you take care of your team and also minimise the risk of the employees’ equipment failure. Nevertheless, these costs are lower than keeping an office. But on the other hand, recruiting and managing a remote team is much more complicated.
Gaming companies hiring remote employees should mind a bit different demands. Then, you should pay more attention to remote workers’ mental health. Moreover, you still need to organise team building and other corporate events, and it is harder than for an office team.
Online gaming jobs from home demand more employee independence than office jobs. The onboarding process for remote employees is much more complicated. So, companies prefer to hire specialists of middle level or higher because they already have enough experience to work quite independently. This is the easiest way to form a good team but it is expensive and it’s hard to hunt such employees. Middle and senior specialists would rather not change their job unless you offer them a much higher salary.
Another approach seems to be more reasonable. You need to have highly-qualified specialists on your team but, at the same time, you can partly hire junior employees. This allows you to optimise your labour costs and you can educate specialists precisely for the needs of your project. In addition, such employees are usually much more loyal because they grew up with the company and got used to working there.
To grow up high-level specialists within your company, you should consider a budget for training courses. Also, you should build a mentoring system. This will attract junior specialists with a desire to progress in their careers.
Mind Soft Skills
Recruiters pay greater attention to soft skills nowadays. This is not a new trend but it’s still topical. If the candidate doesn’t completely meet your hard skills requirements but has outstanding soft skills, you should think about hiring them. Moreover, you’d better prefer this candidate to another one that fits perfectly with hard skills but lacks soft ones.
By the way, there is a recruiter’s hint. Try to set up a situation for text communication with the candidate (a messenger or email). By this, you make sure that the potential employee can communicate this way well. It would be a hard challenge for your remote team to work with a person who can’t phrase things in the text.
Remote Employees’ Mental Health
There is a common mistake when companies concentrate only on mentoring and training. This causes the situation when junior specialists gain education and experience, and quit for a better job. To prevent staff turnover you have to build an HR process for employee retention. Do not forget to promote and raise the salary for hard-working and rapidly growing specialists. But the main challenge is that remote employees burn out more often than office ones.
They say that remote employees work less because of a lack of managers’ control, procrastination, and home-related temptations such as sleeping or playing a console. However, studies show mixed results. The meta-analyses by LUMSA University say that remote working decreases the level of stress but, at the same time, it is linked with higher levels of fatigue.
Jonny Gifford, the senior researcher at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, says in his article that remote work is trending to increasing workload. There is a risk for mental health because the border between work and life is blurred and employees often feel like they are always at work. The survey results by employment platform Monster say that 69% of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms. The research by Mental Health America says that 48% suffer from a lack of emotional support.
Managing a team of remote workers is hard in many aspects. Managers should be highly attentive to the level of workload. If they don’t see how the employees work, managers can feel like the team doesn’t work at all. Therefore they can unconsciously give the team too many tasks. According to Indeed research, 38% of remote employees feel pressure from management to work more hours.
The HR process should contain regular pulse surveys measuring the level of stress. If there are any signs of burnout, the HR manager should discuss it with the employee and their leader. Maybe you should reconsider the workload or suggest an extra vacation. Anyway, preventing burnout is much easier than curing it.
According to HRreview, 30.9% of remote workers suffer from loneliness and isolation. If a remote employee works at home they don’t see their teammates most of the time. Therefore, they can feel lonely. You should encourage communication among teammates as much as possible.
Besides work chats, you should allow chats for flooding. There should be various emojis, reactions, funny stickers, etc. It would be great if you have your own corporate unofficial sticker pack. For example, Slack or Mattermost messengers are quite customisable and you can create a very unique atmosphere.
Encourage leisure-time joint activities. Let the employees organise clubs of interest. Maybe they will play video games together, watch films, or discuss some books. It can become emotionally easier to work with their mates afterwards.
Offline Activities for Remote Employees
Participating in offline activities also prevents burnout. There should be some reasons to go outside and rest from a home office. At EvenBet Gaming, we sometimes rent a coworking space for our remote employees if they need to change the environment.
Suggest them participating in offline conferences on the company’s behalf. Also, it’s a good idea to present them some theatre or concert tickets to go there with their families.
You should organise offline corporate events and invite remote employees twice a year at least. Let the teammates see each other and communicate.
When you hire an employee from a foreign country, you should explain the cultural peculiarities of the rest of the team. Inform the team that they will work with a person from a foreign country. If everybody is aware of that fact they will be more tolerant to each other and there won’t be any conflicts because of cultural misunderstanding and diversity.
Another issue is holidays. It wouldn’t be a good idea to celebrate national holidays if there are many foreigners in your team. They would feel like aliens. Here are some ways to meet the challenge.
- Celebrate nothing. It’s the worst way. Holidays help your HR managers with team building and creating a friendly atmosphere for the team. If you cancel all the holidays your HR team’s job will be more complicated than necessary.
- Different nations’ holidays. Let the employees choose any holidays from different countries. If you choose this variant try to change the set of holidays each year. Variability will prevent the feeling that you prefer some cultures to others.
- Dedication. You can choose a random country or ethnicity and declare a year dedicated to it. So, this year you celebrate related holidays. Then choose another ethnicity. Don’t forget to ask your employees’ opinions.
- Entirely new holiday. Invent a unique corporate holiday that isn’t related to any country or ethnicity. The pros are obvious. All cultures in your team are equal when you celebrate such a holiday. And it is not filled with traditions you have to follow, so you can fill it with the best team-building traditions and make all your team happy.
As for us, there are a lot of people from a dozen countries in the EvenBet Gaming team, so recently we established a holiday for everybody. We call it The Team Day.
Nowadays remote work is trending and it is quite risky for employees’ mental health. A team of remote workers needs lower costs than keeping an office but, at the same time, the management is much more complicated.
The general idea of preventing staff turnover is being attentive to your team. If you take care of the team you’ll have the highest level of loyalty and a favourable atmosphere in the company. This is not cheap, but the service quality sagging because of the staff turnover will be much more expensive for you.
If you have a stable, friendly, and close-knit team you can provide a quality product, work more effectively, and increase your profit.