Play’n GO is doing very well, but my role is to use all my knowledge and help them become better. We will use an educational approach; this concept can improve life, work and culture. Instead of “this is who we are, these are our yacht parties,” the focus is on what the company actually has. There’s a classic post you see on LinkedIn where a hypothetical CFO says, "What if we train these employees and they leave?" The CEO replies, "What if we don’t train them and they stay?" You need to take care of your employees.
What are the main challenges for the industry in this particular area?
Globalization in such projects is always very difficult. Before you are different cultures, religions and the distance between different territories, geographic and political. This process takes time, but it is a very fast growing industry; now it takes very little time from concept to execution. Gone are the days when it took a year – it can take less than a month, depending on your team and strategy. Talent is also a constant problem. Once you find talent and promote it, people can leave. For some organizations, poaching people is the best they can, so you are always vulnerable.
Throughout my career in the industry, there have been only a few cases where operators did not have a Plan B to deal with legal and regulatory issues and complexities. On the other hand, companies had a problem finding the right talent to move them forward due to the lack of available talent in the European market. These companies have not even been able to get to the point where they start worrying about compliance. Many companies have significantly changed their organizational structure, at the same time, huge technical teams have left the EU. The bottom line is that talent is a much bigger issue than people think. No talent means no business.
On account of the fact that talent leaves the organization, Gambling Insider previously studied the problem and found that it is especially noticeable in Malta (where Mahoney works).
Just to get you up to speed a little, online gaming companies will always find the best talent in Malta. The second highest paid sector in Malta is the IT industry. It is outpaced by online gaming with salaries 25-40% higher, so this sector is unrivaled.
It’s more fun, there are more benefits, more fashionable people, flexible hours, etc. Regardless, people here know that there is an incredibly high demand that exceeds the supply. So, of course, approximately 12-15,000 employees in Malta know they have the ability to request better terms.
Instead of thinking about how they can climb the corporate ladder, improve their work, or introduce a new concept within the company, employees can join Mr. X or Mr. Y next door. There are approximately 1,500-2,500 jobs in the industry for which there are not enough employees.
Given the challenges you have voiced and the rapidly changing nature of the industry, how do you see the end result of your project in Play’n GO?
The end result would be to become the employer of choice. We are already at this level, but Play’n GO is entering the stage of becoming a major player in the market. Some people move an inch and scream for a meter; Play’n GO is a company that has advanced 10 meters and screams about one centimeter. We are in the process of changing this, so our marketing team has grown significantly.
Second, we want to attract the best talent. When people know you have a genuine product, true talent knocks at your door. Third, we create 40+ games a year, which is a record year for a company of this size, and we need people to push this work that will become part of the entire organization.
We are one global organization, which is very important. I like to explain that instead of having one tower with five offices on different floors, our tower has five floors in different countries.