iGB-Pentasia Salary Survey: Q2 review

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The 2022 iGB-Pentasia salary survey identified ongoing talent shortages and the impact of a maturing industry on staffing as significant themes. These factors continue to exert their influence on the talent market today and are driving conversations around recruitment and retention at the C-suite level.

Our latest surveys indicate that talent shortages across multiple functions remain a major factor driving trends such as remote, flexible and hybrid working arrangements.

Pentasia managing director Alastair Cleland

These shortages have also prompted more igaming companies to take proactive steps to foster a more diverse and inclusive environment. This is evidenced by the 56.7% of respondents in our survey stating that their companies are implementing inclusive recruitment practices.

As the industry matures, it is clear that the “churn and burn” model of employment of the past is no longer sustainable. Companies are recognising that to innovate and grow, they need to retain staff.

As a result, there is a new emphasis on training and development both to attract candidates and for employee engagement. Investing in employees equates to investing in the future of your company, so these trends are a clear sign that the igaming industry is coming of age.

In addition to these trends, the ever-increasing demand for tech talent and rise of salaries continues to create problems for the industry.

It all points to the same conclusion: to successfully recruit in the current market, companies must provide employees with what they want.

Finally, Latin America. The LatAm market is opening up and as well as offering opportunities for growth it may also offer a solution to some of the talent challenges currently facing igaming companies.

Trend 1: 100% office-based is out of the question

The shift away from 100% office-based work is a clear trend that is reshaping the workplace.

According to our recent poll, only 22% of respondents currently work five days a week in the office, while 39% never work in the office.

Many companies had hoped that 2023 would bring a return to pre-Covid days with most staff back in the office full-time. However, this expectation has not been met and it seems unlikely to happen.

In fact, companies are struggling to convince employees to return to the office and candidates are increasingly standing firm and demanding flexible work arrangements.

Insisting on full-time office-based work is driving away candidates and employees. Many believe they have proven that they are just as productive working remotely and are not interested in returning to the office.

To compete for talent, companies must embrace a flexible approach to work.

Remote or hybrid key factor in talent engagement

Many employers do recognise the benefits of remote work from a recruitment perspective, with 53.3% of those surveyed believing that offering full remote working is an effective way to expand their talent pool.

The 2022 iGB-Pentasia salary survey shows that the majority of tech roles are fully remote and many candidates in other functions expect remote or hybrid work arrangements as standard.

With talent shortages driving up competition for candidates, offering remote or hybrid has become a key factor in attracting and retaining top talent. Companies that fail to adapt risk losing out on skilled professionals to competitors who offer more flexible working arrangements.

Trend 2: Salaries continue to rise

The igaming industry is experiencing rapid growth worldwide, with more and more countries legalising online gambling and betting. This has created high demand for skilled professionals in various areas.

As a result, salaries in the industry continued to rise at an average increase of 12.5% in 2022 on top of the same growth rate in 2021. However, salaries for the most sought-after roles have seen even higher increases of up to 30% per annum.

Unexpected surprises

A tech talent shortage continues to drive up salaries

Compliance and legal roles have seen particularly significant salary increases, as companies seek to ensure they are operating within regulatory frameworks.

It’s important to note that many of these roles have an average tenure of 3-5 years, meaning that employers who have not hired for these positions in a few years may be surprised by the current salary expectations.

Tech talent shortages are also driving up salaries, especially for roles that require industry-specific expertise or candidates with next-gen tech skills. As competition for talent continues to intensify, companies must be prepared to offer competitive salaries and benefits packages to attract and retain top talent.

Trend 3: The emergence of alternative staffing models to address talent shortages in igaming

The ongoing talent shortages, especially for roles that require specialised expertise in areas like AI, IoT, VR and cryptocurrencies can impede the ability of companies to innovate, develop new products and grow.

To overcome these challenges, alternative staffing models are gaining popularity. They offer quick access to pre-built talent teams that possess the expertise and skills required to fulfill a company’s specific needs.

Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) is one such solution that can help companies to fill positions more efficiently. It can help provide access to a wider pool of candidates with the required skills and experience. RPO providers offer various services, from candidate sourcing and screening to managing the entire recruitment process.

In the igaming industry, turnkey solutions are also becoming increasingly popular. These are pre-built teams of experts in a particular area such as software development or data analytics, with industry-specific expertise. These teams can be deployed rapidly to work on specific projects or to fill skill gaps within a company.

Blended approach to staffing

Augmented teams are another popular model that involves supplementing a company’s existing team with external talent. This approach can be adopted on a project-by-project basis or for an extended period and can help to fill specific skill gaps quickly and cost-effectively.

Companies are also using turnkey solutions and augmented teams to build their internal capabilities. An external team can be deployed to help build the tech function within a company. Permanent hires are simultaneously recruited to eventually replace the external team. This approach helps address tech talent shortages while also building internal expertise over time.

The external team can provide the necessary skills and experience to get projects up and running quickly. Meanwhile, the company recruits permanent hires to fill the necessary skill gaps in the long term.

Trend 4: The LatAm opportunity

The Latin American (LatAm) market is presenting many opportunities for companies looking to expand. The region is rich in talented software developers. This makes countries like Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina popular hotspots for tech talent.

International operators have partnered with local brands, creating high-quality tech jobs and stimulating investment in igaming.

One of the main attractions for companies is LatAm’s excellent tech infrastructure, language proficiency and cost competitiveness. Hiring tech talent in the region remains budget-friendly for overseas employers. Average salaries range between just 35-60% of those found in the US and Europe.

In addition, many governments in LatAm provide tax incentives, grants and numerous tech accelerators and incubators that support start-ups in the region.

However, despite the abundance of tech talent, the shortage of industry-specific expertise in emerging igaming markets remains a challenge. Competition for qualified and experienced tech talent is likely to intensify as the market grows.

Country insights

Brazil, with its large population of 214 million, presents a major opportunity, with legislation passed in 2018 to privatise sports betting.

Brazil’s sports betting market is expected to be worth $1bn within five years of launch

The market is expected to be worth $1bn within five years of regulation.

Argentina, with a population of 45 million, has an online gaming and betting industry worth $2.4bn. But the tax on gambling increased from 2% to 5%, with provincial tax ranging from 10-25% of gross gaming revenue (GGR).

Chile is also expected to regulate online gambling soon. Colombia, meanwhile, became the first to regulate online gambling in 2016, with a total NGR of $200m.

LatAm has all the necessary ingredients to become one of the most promising markets for the igaming industry. However, companies must act quickly to take advantage of the opportunity and prepare for the growing competition for qualified and experienced tech talent.

Trend 5: Diversity and inclusion in igaming

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are essential factors for the growth and success of the igaming industry. A significant number of employers and employees view D&I as important to them.

Our survey results show that 33% of respondents consider diversity and inclusion important. And in total, 57% of companies have implemented inclusive recruitment practices to foster a more diverse and inclusive environment.

While companies promote diversity and inclusion in several ways, there is room for improvement. Only 27% of companies have clear diversity and inclusion policies and just 10% report on diversity metrics.

Additionally, only 3% of companies have a dedicated diversity manager. It is vital for companies to ensure they follow through on their promises and take meaningful actions towards promoting diversity and inclusion.

D&I boosts creativity and innovation

Companies that are committed to achieving gender and ethnic diversity within their workforce have an advantage when it comes to talent acquisition and retention.

Companies that commit to D&I can attract a wider pool of talent

Opening up to a wider mix of talent can help address skills shortages and boost creativity and innovation. Employees feel more valued in companies that make real efforts to promote equality. This results in higher employee engagement and lower churn.

Companies are also supporting employees through mentorship programmes, dedicated training and outreach to specific communities. Our survey results show that 23% of respondents have mentorship programmes in place. In addition, 10% offer dedicated training and 10% have implemented outreach initiatives to engage community groups.

Employee support packages

Inclusive recruitment strategies are being backed up with support for employees. 40% of companies promote pay equality, 30% offer enhanced parental packages and 20% have a return-to-work programme. Additionally, 47% of companies celebrate holidays of all cultures and 23% recognise community days.

Promoting diversity and inclusion creates a more welcoming and inclusive work environment, helping companies better serve a diverse customer base. Companies with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion can differentiate themselves in a crowded market. This leads to stronger brand recognition, greater customer loyalty and better employee engagement.

Overall, the igaming industry has much to gain from promoting diversity and inclusion, both internally and externally.

Trend 6: Training and development

The industry is beginning to recognise the importance of investing in training and development to attract and retain talent, with some companies well ahead of the curve. In the past many companies did not prioritise these areas. But with recruitment challenges and skills shortages, there is a growing need to invest in employees.

According to our survey, 46.7% of respondents believe that development programmes can help expand the talent pool and 40% said their company already has such programmes in place.

Additionally, 26.7% said that entry-level training is necessary for roles where there is a skills shortage and the same percentage reported that their company offers entry-level training.

However, some companies are taking it a step further. They are looking beyond qualifications when hiring and instead focusing on a candidate’s potential.

These companies prioritise ongoing training and development to support their employees’ growth and address skills shortages. This approach can attract a wider range of candidates and create a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Investing in training and development not only helps attract and retain talent, but it also demonstrates a commitment to employees’ careers and long-term success. In turn, it can lead to higher employee engagement, job satisfaction and retention rates, ultimately benefiting both the company and its employees.

What next for 2023 and beyond?

The igaming industry is rapidly evolving and is facing new challenges and opportunities. To stay competitive, companies in the industry must adapt to these changes and prioritise the needs of their employees.

The six trends identified in this review represent critical areas that igaming industry recruiters and C-suite leaders should focus on.

Remote work is here to stay, and companies must adapt their hiring, management and communication strategies to reflect this new reality.Salaries have not yet plateaued and therefore it is important to understand what is driving increases to avoid unpleasant surprises.Talent shortages require employers to be creative in the way they approach staffing, whether that is leveraging augmented teams, or looking to new markets like LatAm.LatAm presents exciting opportunities but companies need to move fast if they want to secure the top talent.A diverse and inclusive industry is good for everyone, commercially as well as for attracting and retaining top talent and creating a more innovative and creative workforce.Finally, investing in employee training and development is critical for addressing skills shortages and retaining top talent.

Pentasia offers game-changing recruitment and talent services. Established 2001, Pentasia is the market-leader in igaming recruitment. The business’ team of 80+ recruiters have placed 10,000+ candidates in specialist jobs worldwide. Visit pentasia.com for the latest jobs and to connect.

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