Forget the pension scheme, gaming employees want an in-house chef and barista

Stimulating staff and keeping them happy? Make sure your company employs its own barista and chef, and don’t forget the “head of fun”, chief people officer, and wellbeing officer

Boston Link says the iGaming sector’s emphasis on a more relaxed, creative working environment is forcing companies to think about company culture. This innovation has created some unique jobs that include a barista, head chef, a “head of fun” and wellbeing officer
Boston Link says the iGaming sector’s emphasis on a more relaxed, creative working environment is forcing companies to think about company culture. This innovation has created some unique jobs that include a barista, head chef, a “head of fun” and wellbeing officer

Pension scheme as a perk for Malta’s iGaming employees? Forget future security and hand over the free breakfasts. Stimulating staff and keeping them happy? Make sure your company employs its own barista and chef, and don’t forget the “head of fun”, chief people officer, and wellbeing officer.

Despite recent lay-offs in iGaming by betting giant Bettson, activity in this innovative sector is still buzzing, and salaries for top executives still rising.

Chief executives in Malta’s booming gaming industry are earning nothing short of €80,000, with salaries having increased by an average 3.8% over the previous year.

A salary survey by the recruiter Boston Link suggests that salaries for top C-suite executives increased steadily over 2017, while core staff salaries remained broadly flat.

CEOs could expect starting salaries of €120,000, but the average moved up 7% to €150,000 over last year.

Chief Financial Officers saw the greatest boost, with a 16% increase to an average €140,000 salary. Chief Operating Officers saw a 4% increase in average salaries, climbing to €125,000 while marketing directors saw a 4% decrease down to €125,000.

“For the executive salaries the upper limit is less absolute than for other roles,” writes Boston Link managing director Julian Perigo in the latest survey report for 2018.

“The most well-remunerated executives are earning significantly higher with 100% plus performance-related bonuses and share options. Lower to mid-range CEO salaries tend to reflect start-up or early stage companies being run by their founders. As founders step back from day-to-day running, they often need to hire a CEO externally to drive the next stage of growth.”

The highest CEO salary suggested by Boston Link’s survey was that of €250,000.

Boston Link said the industry still lags behind on gender diversity in executive-level positions. A recent report by KPMG highlighted that women were not catered for when it comes to the female gambling industry, and that a lot had to be done to “court the female market”.

Down the line, salaries for core staff stayed broadly the same except for heads of risk, payments and fraud, whose average salaries doubled over 2017 from €30,000 to €60,000, with the highest salary reaching €70,000.

Perigo said that in 2017 his company expected to see more companies adopting employee pension schemes.

“But this hasn’t materialised. The most widely adopted practice last year was free breakfasts and lunches, often through in-house chefs. One trend we expect to see in 2017 is companies offering digital wallets to their staff which will help them to allocate fringe benefits such as monthly food allowance.”

Perigo also said flexible hours and remote working possibilities were key benefits to retain staff.

An area where recruitment was challenging for gaming firms in Malta was in legal and compliance, where Boston Link reported a shortage of talent and an increase in demand for these jobs. Starting salaries for lawyers were €40,000, while a head of legal could expect to command at least €75,000 and an average of €100,000. “In 2018 we expect to see the arrival of the Data Protection Officer as a standalone function,” the Boston Link said, suggesting a possibly indicative salary starting from €50,000.

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