Betsson Group has been operational and integral to the Maltese gaming industry ever since 2004. Now an employer of over 1,900 staff, 900 in Malta alone from 46 countries, Betsson's Chief HR Officer Lena Nordin has perhaps one of the most detailed insights into the country's unique recruitment market.
More than many similar businesses, Betsson has the advantage of an extensive company history going back generations, as well as the experience that comes with it. “At Betsson Group, the customer is at the heart of everything we do. We listen and learn from our customers, and aim to exceed their expectations, using best-in-class technology and leveraging an abundance of data and insight. Our 17 brands offer casino, sports betting and other games via gaming licences in 11 countries. One of our key company values is ‘We Play Fair’, which applies both internally and externally; we respect each other and we respect our customers, we are open and transparent. Responsible gaming is a natural part of our operations and something we take very seriously. We see gaming as a fun and enjoyable pastime. We have been in the business since 1963, and we love what we do with a passion,” she says.
Naturally, maintaining such values and passion requires that the right staff are on hand to deliver to customers, and Ms Nordin has an equal passion when it comes to recruitment. “The iGaming industry is fast-paced and we want to stay at the forefront, recruiting talent with the right mix of hard and soft skills. We are powered by people. The present and future Betssonites are the ones who will help us deliver on our vision to provide the best customer experience in the industry. This has not changed, neither is it likely to in the future. I’d say that the typical Betssonite is very competent within his or her field, but just as importantly, our employees have a willingness to learn and evolve, which I find is key for success, as is the willingness to share one’s expertise and work together with others to reach a common goal. We are focusing a lot on enhancing leadership in Betsson and emphasise the ‘how’ as much as the ‘what’ when we recruit,” she affirms.
Being such a major player in the industry means that the company's effect in employment and recruitment has had a substantial effect on the local economy. “Malta has many perks that are positive when recruiting – the lifestyle, the weather, the interesting history and, not least, the friendliness of the Maltese people. Many Betssonites are Maltese, and with the establishment of the iGaming industry on the island, a wide range of interesting positions opened up for the local community. In addition, iGaming professionals on the island utilise local goods and services, helping the economy to prosper which in turn could provide an even broader scope of job opportunities for Maltese citizens.
“However, more needs to be done in order for Malta to stay attractive; for companies like Betsson who operate here and for the talent that we hope to attract. I’m thinking for example of better infrastructure, more environmentally-friendly initiatives and more international schools. The availability of qualitative higher education within relevant areas is also a matter where we feel more can be done to better support young Maltese in their quest for an interesting and rewarding career,” continues Ms Nordin.
On top of what Betsson itself is doing in recruitment, there is also a great deal of positivity in what happens within the larger recruitment market. “The competition for talent on the island is fierce, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It inspires us to up our game. We want to be the number one choice and we want to make sure that the employee has a positive experience with us from the very first contact, throughout their career, for as long as they remain with us. It does happen that our employees get poached by other companies. However sad it is to lose a valued colleague, at the same time we see it as a testament to our ability to find the right people. It is clear that others see what we see: Betssonites are really, really good at what they do. The iGaming community is tight and we should see job rotation as a natural part of competence building and career development. We have quite a few rehires already, people who have tried out other companies but then choose to return to Betsson. You can’t really get a higher grade than that,” she maintains.
To this end, attention has shifted more towards the idea of staff retention in recent years. Betsson is not alone in offering an increasingly attractive range of employee benefits, but is proud of constant innovation in this area. “Every employee is unique and we believe that it is important to recognise that what one appreciates in an employer, another may not. Therefore, we offer a wide range of benefits and competitive perks. At Betsson in Malta, we are 46 different nationalities working together and every one of our employees on the island is special to us. We constantly evaluate and develop our benefits and ways of working, and we do it with our ear to the ground; the Betsson Employee Experience forum and suggestion box are examples of ways for the Betssonites to suggest and discuss ideas to make working at Betsson even better. Of course, there are many things that we provide that are appreciated by employees across the board; health insurance, wellness allowance, relocation and loan of company apartment, a substantial induction programme, great parties and company activities. However, I believe it takes more to stand out and that’s where our amazing Betssonites and inclusive culture comes in.
“In addition, I think that what Betsson offers in terms of career development is highly appreciated by our employees. With us, you have ample opportunities to grow, not least because you are surrounded by other talented people for you to learn from. We also offer training, job shadowing and programmes within specific areas and for ‘High Potentials’. We are very proud of our successful refer a friend scheme. Great people know great people, and Betssonites are encouraged to recommend their friends for an open position with us. What better review could we as a company get than to have our employees refer their friends? It really shows that they are happy working with us and want to share their experience,” Ms Nordin states.
In the end, there appears to be little stopping Betsson's forward march, and plans for the future are delivered with just as much passion as everything else within the company. “The iGaming industry is definitely growing. About 85 per cent of global gaming still takes place offline, meaning that there is plenty of structural growth. At Betsson, we have a number of interesting positions open for those willing and able to join this fascinating industry and come along for the ride. Our ambition is to outgrow the market in a profitable and sustainable manner. From an HR perspective, we are always striving to improve the Employee Experience in any way we can. We look into every step of the process, from the recruitment ad, through training and career progression, to the exit discussion, to make sure that we are competitive. For any talented professional looking for a new job, Betsson should be at the front of the mind,” she concludes.
This interview originally appeared in The Commercial Courier