Banking crisis forging new career opportunities

bdailyIf you are looking for one of the last bastions in traditionally run organisations, particularly when it comes to recruitment, then you can safely bet on the gambling industry.

Historically talent research for this sector has centred around who we know within the industry, where the ‘old boy network’ is very much alive and kicking.

Which is why, when Sands China approached us to find their next Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Asia, we were delighted to discover the brief had opened right up, turning every industry across every Continent into a potential search target. It made us realise the value of tight briefs, yet the opportunities to find an exceptional individual were heady indeed!

Of course Sands China is no ordinary gaming resort, its properties are among the most visited destinations in Macau attracting families, business visitors and entertainment seekers from around the world. More than 30% of hotel guests are families with children and business travelers attending corporate meetings, conventions, and exhibitions.

In 2010, all three of the properties, The Venetian Macau, the Sands Macau and The Plaza Macau, attracted a combined total of 36.4 million visitors, up from 35.2 million in 2009. That’s just under 100,000 visitors per day.

Sands China represents a collection of businesses, in essence a mini conglomerate. This complexity demanded a skilled executive who could be successful in local as well as global marketing. The type of candidate they were looking for needed to have such a wide range of skills and expertise that Sands China were prepared to look at exceptional individuals from outside the industry as well as outside of Asia so long as these individuals had global experience and could be fluid in adapting to change.

The shifts in the gaming recruitment sector have been most notable recently with a trend towards sourcing candidates within the banking sector. This started occurring as the shrinking job market in banking led staff to look for work further afield. It made perfect sense, particularly for online gaming companies, to source specialist technology skills as the City’s biggest banks curbed pay and cut jobs.

Our search however was for a pragmatic individual who could challenge the paradigm and find better ways to accomplish the goals of the organisation, less about someone whose transferable skills centered around numbers and technology. We needed to find a culturally sensitive individual too. With over 26,000 employees representing 26 countries, Sands China were after a culturally adept candidate who was highly adaptive to new ideas.

With such an extensive brief it took 12 months to hone the possible candidate list down to 3 potentials. Now that our new candidate is on board and thriving in Asia we have had a chance to review the entire search process and assess how the project evolved. It was a major learning curve for us despite our years of expertise, the world of gaming is entering a new era and their recruitment requirements need to keep pace, in fact they need to stay several steps ahead.

If we thought that the banking sector made easy pickings for the gaming sector to sift through, we were only just starting to scratch the surface. The world economy may have been through some torrid times but as the dust settles new talent opportunities are emerging which industries such as gaming are fast to zoom in on.

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