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Strategic iGaming Recruitment


In this Handbook we explore why the traditional recruitment approach and thinking no longer cuts it in this dynamic space, and why it’s time for business leaders ‒ like you ‒ to rethink your approach to talent acquisition and retention.

As well as pinpointing where you’re perhaps going wrong, we’ll also help you to get it right. Because talent acquisition and retention is not just a problem for hiring managers, HR and recruiters; it’s a matter that demands C–level attention.


Cryptocurrency is a case in point. In 2022 you can’t expect to hire someone with four years’ experience in crypto, and certainly not cheaply. The market is simply not mature enough, yet, to allow someone to develop that skill set. And for those skills that are beginning to filter through, those candidates can name their price.


If recruiting experienced people in the iGaming sector is challenging, more global skills shortages have exacerbated the problem for employers.

This is most noticeable at the mid to senior level where there is the highest demand. The global trend in job shortages can be attributed to these key factors:


All these global trends contribute to wage inflation. Put simply, the scarcer the commodity, the more expensive it becomes.

With a smaller talent pool of candidates actively looking for a new role, hirers need to tap into the passive candidate market. These are individuals who are not actively looking for a new job but might be receptive if the right opportunity presents itself.

However, passive candidates need to be incentivised to move. They’re not looking for a job so why take the risk of moving companies without a serious uplift (20%+) in salary and other benefits?

How much of an uplift is required will depend on the market rate for the specific role, demand and the opportunity. Your company, the job, your culture and the compensation package all have an impact on how much you will have to pay.


As we explore later in this Handbook, how proactive you are in engaging candidates and moving them through the recruitment process, will also impact how successful you are at recruiting at the right price.

Why Aren't You Paying More To Secure The Best Talent?

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your company is the best in the world and that candidates will bite your hand off to work for you.

Of course, you’re the best but there are thousands of other companies that also make this claim - and some of them are doing a really good job of communicating that to candidates.

Relying on inbound traffic is not enough. Posting a LinkedIn advert and expecting to get your pick of quality applications doesn’t work anymore. Fewer people are applying, and the quality is poorer. There are exceptions to the rule but it’s more luck than judgement!

As we have seen, your company needs to compete for candidates not only in the iGaming space, but also in other industries. Those in more mature sectors already have established recruitment and retention strategies and understand the value of investing in talent acquisition and retention.

Candidates tell us that the volume of approaches they get from hiring managers, HR managers and recruiters has gone through the roof. To get their attention you must do things differently.


A smaller talent pool is a problem for everyone, especially when you want to attract people with highly transferable skills.

Your ideal candidates are hot property, everyone wants them.

Hirers need support from C-level. You need to invest in and get behind the process that’s necessary to get to the right people.


5 Principles Of Successful Talent Acquisition And Retention


Function Trends

Mid to senior level roles have seen the highest levels of wage inflation as they’re most in demand. Certain specialisations and functions have also experienced more of an increase. For example, there’s high demand for candidates to fill technology roles across the whole
spectrum of iGaming technology.

Similarly, there’s a shortage of candidates with three to seven years experience to fill Commercial roles.

Companies in the sector are scaling up and want candidates with a black book and a few clients they can bring with them, or a bit of expertise in the sector. But they don’t want to spend too much on people, and they don’t want management level or someone more strategic – sole contributors with a network and track record are most sought after. It’s a challenge because there aren’t many people who fit the criteria, and that’s driving up basic salaries and commission rates for those medium level candidates.

Remote Work

Remote work is also a location-related factor that’s driving wage inflation for some companies. Across the iGaming space there’s a reluctance to return to the office full time, people believe they can be just as successful working from home. Many candidates are asking for more money if they have to be office based, even for just one or two days per week.

Expecting someone to be in the office puts a geographical restriction on where they live in proximity to the organisation. In turn that limits the available talent pool making it more competitive and inflating wages.

The Counteroffer

Another trend we’re seeing globally is the counteroffer. In some cases, candidates are using job offers as leverage to get a salary rise from their current employer. You don’t want to waste time on those people.

At the same time, companies don’t want to lose their top talent, so counteroffers are becoming increasingly common in iGaming. As you know, it’s expensive to hire good people. With a skills shortage, companies that weren’t worried about a high employee churn rate a few years ago, are now investing in retention.

Key takeaways

  • Wage inflation is linked to many variables:

General market trends, skillset, function, location and your unique requirements, can all impact what your company will have to pay to get the talent you want.

  • Manage your expectations:

If you have a set budget you can still get talent, but you need to understand that the salary won’t get you the same candidate as it used to. £100K now gets you the calibre of a candidate earning around £75K a few years ago.

  • Be more flexible:

Does that Tech hire have to be in the office twice a week? If you’re open to being flexible it can give you a competitive advantage. As well as increasing the talent pool available to you, you can also explore other approaches such as working with contractors or consultants.

  • Get expert support:

No offence to your internal hirers but do they really know what the market rate is or how much someone is worth to your company? Generally, hiring managers and HR teams do not have the volume of hires across multi-functions to have their fingers on the pulse of such a dynamic market. Work with specialist recruiters to ensure you’re offering the right salary for the right hire.

  • Invest in retention:

In a candidates’ market you don’t want high turnover, you want to keep the talent you have. Pre-empt having to make a counteroffer by making sure your valued employees are well compensated.

Be Available

The less involved you are, the less connected you are, the greater the chance that things will fall through. Whether it’s a candidate reaching out to you on LinkedIn, a hiring manager or HR asking for support, or a recruiter with a thousand questions, we need you to make time for us.

Because time is of the essence. We, hirers, can find you a great candidate but with so many other companies vying for their attention we all need to be highly responsive to keep them engaged.

Your Employer Brand

When a candidate researches your company, you want them to find the right content - the content that shows how great it is to work for you. Don’t leave it up to websites like Glassdoor to tell them what the employee experience is like.

Even better, build a great employer brand that has candidates queuing up to work for you. A mature recruitment and retention strategy includes a talent pipeline to address future recruitment requirements.

The importance of long-term planning cannot be underestimated. Employers’ reputations are built over years and cultivating strong talent pipelines is a process best achieved over time.

Key takeaways

  • Be generous with your time:

Don’t pass the baton to your internal talent team or external recruitment partner and expect them to wave a magic wand. Work with them so they have the best chance of success.

  • Champion recruitment:

If HR doesn’t have a place at board level, make it your job to advocate for them and bring other senior business leaders onboard. C-level executives need to understand that recruitment is strategic and requires a proactive approach from all involved.

  • Allocate resources to nurture the employer brand:

Get your marketing team, internal comms and HR around the table to develop a strategy for promoting your employer brand. Start with identifying what it is, then communicate it across all channels.

  • Don’t pass the buck:

As a C-level executive you’re in the perfect position to influence candidates and sell the opportunity. If a candidate reaches out, don’t say “I’ll get someone in my HR team to speak to you,” consider that it’s more positive and impactful to do it yourself.

A Candidate-Centric Experience

It’s important to understand that the candidate has the upper hand in the current market. If your mindset is “we’ve got a great job, they should be grateful for the opportunity” you’ll struggle to engage candidates successfully.

Instead, your recruitment process needs to be candidate-centric and a positive experience from the start. Every touchpoint should help sell your company and opportunity, and everyone involved needs to buy-in to the candidate experience.


Providing feedback quickly is vital. If you wait more than a couple of days, you’ll probably lose the candidate. Senior leaders involved in interviews or other steps of the recruitment process must prioritise feedback so hirers can keep the candidate engaged.

Skills Assessments

The first thing to ask yourself is whether a skills assessment is relevant. Many of the skills assessed in these tests are not used by people day-to-day, and generally the candidate’s work experience and qualifications are enough to show they have the skills you require.

In other roles like Marketing, you can no longer expect a candidate to complete extensive tasks as part of the recruitment process. They simply won’t do it. Expecting people to jump through hoops and share their expertise for free, with no job offer on the table, is not realistic.

Key takeaways

  • Rethink your hiring process:

If you have five stages in your recruitment process, reduce it to three. If you require someone to complete a task, leave it to the final stages of the recruitment process when you’ve built rapport with the candidate.

  • Make recruitment a top priority:

When your company is in the process of hiring someone, everyone involved must be fully engaged. If a senior leader can’t commit to giving feedback quickly or be responsive to questions from your recruitment team, find someone who can.

  • Invest in the candidate experience:

Budget is needed to invest in the process of meeting people, engaging people, having conversations and nurturing them throughout the recruitment process. This can’t all be done online for free, especially if you want to stand out from the crowd.

Benefits Package

Life and medical insurance, fitness perks, baby bonuses and employee discount programmes are very popular with employees because they save them money, effectively
increasing their take home pay.

Candidates are also attracted to companies that offer benefits like more paid time off including enhanced annual leave; enhanced maternity and paternity leave; volunteering days; and personal days. Some progressive companies have their own company bank
holiday to give everyone extra time off. Or even a ‘global week of rest’ where the business runs with a skeletal staff and employees are encouraged to focus on their wellbeing.

Opportunities for learning and development are also highly rated, and it’s beneficial for the business too. Companies that provide a budget for L&D and commit to an agreed number of paid days for external training courses, can really differentiate themselves.

Remote Work (Again)

Offering remote or flexible work is increasingly being viewed by candidates as less of a perk and more of a ‘must have’. If you can’t or won’t give employees the option to work remotely, then you must offer other tangible benefits to get them into the office.

Free breakfast or lunches, and perks like fitness classes or massage treatments, can be effective for the right demographic. Travel support, or simply paying people more, can also make a difference. In our experience, companies that offer remote as the default work model are the most successful at recruiting currently.


We are also having a lot more conversations with candidates asking for employee stock options (ESO) or equity in the company. Typically, it’s the higher-level roles that are asking for this, especially if there’s no salary uplift above the market rate.

Key takeaways

  • Get advice:

Speak to recruiters who understand the iGaming market who can give you sound advice on the market rate and any variables that might affect your ability to recruit at that level.

  • Review your benefits:

Explore where you can get a competitive advantage over other companies competing for the same candidates. Remember you’re not just competing with others in iGaming, you could be competing with other sectors where attractive benefit packages are standard.

  • Sell your employer brand:

If you’re compensating candidates generously, make sure everyone knows. Communicate what you offer candidates clearly, even lead with it, to get their attention.

  • Make remote long-term:

If you can make a job remote, do it. However much you might prefer to have people in the office, long-term remote working is the preferred model by sought-after candidates.

You Only Get One Chance At A Candidate

In today’s market, no one wants to burn through candidates by presenting the wrong opportunities to them. Instead, you want to keep those candidates in your pipeline for when the right role comes up, so it’s vital to understand what makes a candidate a good fit for the role and company, and vice versa, before candidates are approached.

What Does Good Talent Acquisition Look Like?

Best practice is to follow these seven steps:

  1. Build a strong employer brand:
    Make sure that candidates doing their own research find the right information about your company and what it’s like to work for you. This needs to be honest and authentic, an employer brand that existing employees can endorse.

  2. Discovery:
    For every vacant role there should be a planning and preparation stage to onboard external recruiters, research the market and define exactly what you want from candidates in terms of experience and skills, and what you can offer them.

  3. Reality check:
    It’s likely there will need to be some compromises to secure the best talent within your budget. Get feedback and suggestions from all parties involved to ensure you’re not setting your hirers up to fail.

  4. Optimise your recruitment process:
    Make sure your recruitment process is aligned with your target candidates’ needs and you have the capacity and resources needed to process engaged candidates in a timely way.

  5. Identify and engage candidates:
    Your recruiters can now start identifying candidates with the right fit and engaging them. Allow plenty of time for converting passive candidates into active ones that are genuinely interested in exploring your opportunity.

  6. Kickstart your recruitment process:
    The clock is ticking so everyone involved needs to be available to participate, provide feedback, answer questions and work towards the common goal of making a great hire.

  7. Build your talent pipeline:
    All candidates, even those that weren’t quite right, should receive a positive candidate experience. They may be good candidates for future roles and can go into your talent pool. Unsuccessful candidates can also be useful brand advocates by recommending your company to their peers - if they’ve had a great experience.


Workforce growth doesn’t have to mean hiring. Successful employers embrace a holistic approach to talent that also empowers existing employees to realise their potential. Offering training opportunities as part of your benefit package is a great way to attract talent but also to retain it.

As a result, the company benefits with a more skilled workforce, which can remove some of your recruitment challenges. Instead of competing for specific skills or experience in a small candidate pool, upskill existing employees to fill those roles. You can then replace those employees with less experienced recruits, from a larger candidate pool, and the investment in training is retained by the business.

Key takeaways

  • Promote your employer brand:

If you haven’t already, explore creating a dedicated careers website or page on your existing site. Work with your marketing team to create digital content to promote your employer brand on an on-going basis. Produce a briefing pack for potential employees – control your own brand messaging in the market. Monitor review sites like Glassdoor to protect your brand reputation. Support these efforts yourself on digital channels like LinkedIn and be responsive to any approaches or questions.

  • Be realistic:

Give your hirers the best chance of success by understanding the market and balancing expectations against available budget, so they can target the best possible candidates.

  • Get specialist expertise:

If your internal team hasn’t got sufficient time to build a talent pipeline and engage with passive candidates, get external help.

  • Give hirers time:

When there’s a skills shortage, hirers need time and resources to identify candidates, engage them and get buy-in to the job opportunity.

  • Invest in your existing people:

Upskill and promote from within to retain your top talent and reduce recruitment headaches.