In this panel discussion focussed on talent acquisition, Piret Ploom, Head of People at Yolo Group, and Adam Woodley, Global Head of Recruitment at Betsson Group, sit down with Anneli Nilsson, Recruitment Director at Job Matching partner to further explore this niche
When businesses were abruptly hit with the pandemic they were faced with a pivot in approach for their businesses. Different kinds of employment contracts and service agreements had to be looked into when it came to talent acquisition and employers had to adapt to the situation that the whole world was currently facing.
Betsson’s Head of Recruitment described this change as a “big cultural shift with lots of changes in the way we think about our culture and how we have come together as a business. A lot of the changes implemented show how one would recreate the culture and the vibe and what it means to work for Betsson from a remote perspective.”
Betsson’s onboarding process usually takes up to three days but with the brand scattered in different locations, standardising this same process wasn’t easy. Woodley explains how going online has standardised the onboarding process on all locations online which means this process can now get global. In terms of adaptations and the positive impact that covid made is that it made us rethink what we can digitalise. That is one example of how covid managed to bring our employees together.
When asked about the difficulty of scouting talent in Estonia, Ploom answers that not all occupations require the same talent acquisition effort, developers are likely to be the most difficult to find. “We are quite lucky as most of the people who are living in Estonia are willing to relocate and are actually willing to work from the office. Even though everyone was going through such difficult times employees still wanted to be in the office together, have that community feeling, and socialise with each other.”
When carrying out their engagement survey at Yolo Group, Ploom noted that one of the things that employees brought out is that they have such a cool office as such a great working environment.
Anneli then goes into the importance of having a great working environment and the importance of diversity in bigger offices. With Betsson winning best working environment during the awards night Woodley comments “It’s a real journey as cliche as it sounds, we’ve been putting a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into building our company culture.”
Although the option of working hybrid was tabled for all employees, Woodley goes on to further explain that knowing your company culture is an important factor. What was a really difficult scenario is for all the individuals who joined a business during COVID as working from home doesn’t really connect you much to the business. How do you translate the culture and the values? A lot of this comes into leadership.
Training and empowering your leaders is an important aspect of talent acquisition. In his opinion, both options should be available as some people prefer to work from home while others would rather work in an office setting and if you can land somewhere in between then you would probably be catering for most.
Having worked with Betsson for nearly 7 years Woodley says that this experience makes him more credible when he speaks to candidates and entices them in trying to join the company. “I’m kind of living proof that, you know, I genuinely say to candidates that it’s the best company I’ve ever worked for and although this might sound a bit of a cringe, I genuinely believe it. People vote with their feet, and I’m still there. I’ve also been lucky enough to have had a couple of promotions in that time.”
It’s key to any business to be able to develop your employees and demonstrate how they can grow equally. Letting people go is also an important point that should be considered. A company can develop someone up to a certain point and later get the off-boarding correct. “I’m a big believer in the whole off-boarding also as sometimes people do leave and come back.”
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Yolo group is well renowned for being high on tech. Having a lot of incentives for staff, Ploom believes that at the end of the day it comes down to three key things building strong teams, making leadership a key aspect, and providing people with growth opportunities.
Nowadays we’re offering members of staff ways of improving themselves is key to retaining your employees. Having been in the industry since 2005, Nilsson explains the different key aspects of iGaming ads when it comes to talent acqusition. Where before gaming companies used to advertise beer Fridays this idealogy has shifted and now recruitment ads have changed to study packages.
“What’s your recommendation to people who are just getting started to get people to stay with you?” Anneli asks.
“The biggest surprise to this year’s SiGMA is the influx of new companies you know, and I was talking to a number of people, not seen for a couple of years. I think it’s great to see so many new businesses springing up and this is great for the industry and for the local economy. What seems to be the main, HR conundrum is recruitment.” says Woodley.
“It would be pointless for a startup to try and compete with Betsson on certain things. I think any business has got to find its own voice. Why should someone work for you is the question you have to be constantly asking yourself because there are benefits to any business. If you’re small, you’re agile, you can, probably perform a multitude of different tasks and grow and do things.
“To be brutally honest, you probably wouldn’t be with us. We’re big and we have a lot of people doing very specific roles, on the other hand, if you’re a startup, you can gain broad, experience, doing a multitude of different things, that’ll help kind of accelerate your career. You’ve got to find your voice, find what’s your unique niche and build on that. If you can’t attract staff and you can’t keep staff then you’ve got a problem.”
Agreeing with Woodley, Ploom says “talk to your people and listen to your people. They are smart, they know what they want. Having a personalised approach with your staff is super crucial. One size really does not fit all. You need to find different ways, how to retain different people. Always keep in mind that employer branding starts from within.
“There’s no use in saying you’re a great company externally if people internally do not feel the same way. Your employees are your ambassadors. Keep that in mind. The bigger a company gets the more HR starts distancing itself from people. Listen, talk and act of course as well.”
The staff doesn’t stop being ambassadors when they stop working for you. When they leave they will remain your company’s ambassadors; good or bad.
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Asia Awards 2022:
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