The Maltese talent war: gaming salaries in 2017

The Maltese talent war: gaming salaries in 2017

The Job Market / January 31st, 2017

Last week we published our first comprehensive guide to salaries in the Maltese gaming industry, using extensive data collected over the last year. The response from the industry has been really positive and so we want to take this opportunity to unpack some of the key trends we noticed when pulling together the figures.

By way of context, this year is going to be a fantastic one for the iGaming community in Malta. Companies are full of optimism about their growth potential, and Malta is now firmly established as the best jurisdiction for the sector in Europe, and possibly the world. The flip side of this, of course, is that it is becoming harder and harder for companies to gain ground in the war for talent – the key resource for fuelling the sector’s massive growth.

In response to this, average salaries are increasing pretty much across the board, as one would expect. This pressure is not being felt evenly, however. Generally speaking, salaries are increasing the most in technology-driven roles and the least pressure sits in areas where gaming companies can pull in talent from traditional sectors – such as finance and human resources. The exception to this last trend is legal staff: despite big pay rises on offer, lawyers seem to be reluctant to go in-house, something which we can only anecdotally attribute to a feeling that the industry has fewer long-term prospects.

One of the biggest trends we have seen in driving high salaries outside of strict technology roles is the need for language skills. For customer service, marketing, VIP management, and other key roles, operators are increasingly fighting over staff with fluent foreign language skills. Native speakers of Nordic and Germanic languages are in particularly high demand and we expect to see the resulting salaries draw a lot of new people into the sector.

Salaries are only one part of a bigger picture, though. Companies are increasingly competing for talent by getting creative with benefits. The iGaming industry in Malta is one of the most progressive in Europe, if not globally, for the wellbeing of their staff. Creative office spaces, free meals, sophisticated company events, and generous welcome packs have all become the norm. Other standard rewards include health insurance (some include dental and family cover) and gym membership subsidies. As a result it is becoming increasingly hard for employers to differentiate, but here are some trends which we see coming into play in 2017:

  • Pension schemes.
  • Flexible / remote working.
  • More personalised benefits and incentives such as personalised health / nutrition programmes or individual (not team /company) events and prizes.
  • Points-based benefits structures.
  • Clearer and better supported career development plans.

Finally, even with all of the above to attract talent, the domestic market is never going to be enough. Relocations are an increasingly normal method of finding the right staff, yet this is an area that not all firms are doing well. Those companies who are managing to retain relocated staff tend to be the ones who are providing the following:

  • Correct advice and assistance on personal administration such as bank accounts, social security and ID cards.
  • Using the right real estate agents who know the best properties.
  • Knowledge of the schooling system.

On the other hand, companies who are getting these things wrong are spending significant amounts on relocations that aren’t ‘sticking’. We go into more detail on average relocation packages in the full report – if you haven’t read it yet, we recommend you do! It’s helpful for both employers and employees alike as a benchmark for expectations.

Download the full Malta iGaming Salary Survey 2017 here.