How would you describe the current recruitment market within Malta’s online gaming industry?
In general, we can see that the market is still very much active and that people aren’t perhaps afraid or hesitant to switch jobs. Some roles are more challenging to recruit than others, like tech-heavy roles such as developers, but we see it as a global trend and not just focused on Malta.
How has Covid-19 affected recruitment in terms of virtual onboarding and retention rates?
Of course, the recruitment process is a lot more virtual these days, challenging but not wholly unusual. As a global company, we have employees sitting worldwide and even before 2020 having a virtual interview, or virtual onboarding, was not something that we were unfamiliar with.
Since we are all working from home, all our new colleagues are being onboarded digitally. We took an active approach to this and made sure that our analogue process performed in the digital world as well.
That meant tweaking it a bit, adding some tools to help us but most importantly, making sure everyone knew it would take a bit more energy, focus and time to make sure that the new colleague was seen, heard and welcomed into his/her new team. As far as we can tell from our follow-ups, most people are surprised with how well the process works, giving them all they need to know and introducing them to their team, even if they haven’t met in person yet.
Retention rates don’t seem to be a problem; it’s getting people through the door fast enough! As we continue to go from strength to strength, we are still growing quite rapidly. This means we have to keep adding to our Play’n GO family to make sure we can satisfy the industry demand and reach our goals.
Just how much more of a challenge is recruitment during a pandemic?
The biggest challenge would probably be not being able to meet your candidates face to face. You can learn a lot about people in person, and they, in turn, can learn a lot about you.
The most important thing during the recruitment process is to get to know the person who has applied; it is equally important for the person to get to know us. Since we can’t invite people to the office, we try to give them as good of a picture as possible of how a day looks like, what you can expect when starting etc.
Our motto right now is that we’d rather take one interview too many than too few. That can mean you have an ‘extra’ interview to meet the team and future colleagues, for example. Just to make sure the chemistry and personalities ‘click’. An extra step but well worth it in the long run.
We’ve spoken to Play’n GO before about its employer branding. How important would you say employer branding is in Malta?
Employer branding is essential, regardless of where you are, but it becomes even more vital in Malta because of the concentration of employers within the industry in such close vicinity. Some of the biggest brands in gaming are on the island, so there is a multitude of opportunities for anyone looking for work in the sector.
Of course, if you want to attract the best and the brightest, you have to mark yourself out from the competition and really let people know what it is they’ll be gaining by joining Play’n GO.
It’s not enough to offer a competitive salary; it’s about creating a desirable work environment and making sure people are happy in their jobs. We do a lot to make sure of this, and it’s important to let prospective applicants know that.
Is the concept of employer branding one that has been embraced industry-wide, or still only by a few of the major players?
I think the concept of employer branding is really taking off across the industry; it’s a case of having to adapt to survive. If you want to attract the best people for your company’s positions, you need to make yourself an attractive proposition.Whereas a few years ago it would be enough to offer a hefty salary and write a jazzy role description, people are scrutinising companies a lot more now, so everyone who wasn’t invested has had to catch up.
What trends do you see developing within gaming recruitment in 2021?
First and foremost, more positions are going to offer the possibility of flexible working. As a company, we have always seen and championed the benefits of flexible working; it’s part of our culture. With the current situation across the globe, others see that employees can be just as effective outside of the office environment.While it’s a forced situation now, we predict flexible working will become the norm from here on out.
Recruiting in the Americas will be another trend; with both North and South America picking up pace in their development, having feet on the ground in those areas should be essential. It is imperative if you want to provide the best service; make sure you have people who know the landscape and the culture.
Finally, employee benefits; people are no longer just interested in getting the highest wage. They want quality of life as well, and part of that is feeling valued in your job. The extra perks that come with your role go a long way to helping with this. We have a dedicated employee experience team focused on how we can continue building and improving the culture here at Play’n GO.