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RPjobs at the ICE Gaming Expo

18 April 2012

Rapid expansion for RPjobs

Racing Post Jobs has been around since 2004 but since re-launching its website in September last year it has transformed in just six months from what was little more than an ‘add on’ into a meaningful recruitment service, the now more slickly named RPjobs.

Though still in comparative infancy, it is making inroads on the full spectrum of industry jobs from stable staff to betting shops.

“I think the most important thing is to aim to be there for the racing and gaming industry, to facilitate ways for people to get into the industry, or, if they are already in it, how to move around within it,” says Crispin Moller, one of the RPjobs team present at this year’s ICE.

“The scope for people moving around is massive. We’ve made a great start with stable jobs. When I started in RP Jobs we had none on there; now we have 15-20 every week.

“The Racing Post is the hub of the industry and we want to enable people to find out more about it.”

The Racing Post is in a strong position whereby it can focus on recruitment both in print and online. While print’s popularity may have declined over the last decade, classified adverts still work well for bookmakers and for stable staff.

“It’s hard to compete with print,” observes Moller. “Yes, there’s an outlay in terms of cost but you’re communicating directly with your potential new employee. You have placed the advert; they are reading it. There is no more direct relationship other than actually speaking to them on the phone."

“However, online we’ve got a wide network of job boards that we can link with and that allows fresh blood to get into the industry, people who otherwise might not have thought about racing or betting shops."

“With stable positions, it’s much more about industry experienced people looking to move from overseas yards to a yard in this country. I do a weekly analysis of the job board and on average we get searches from over 60 countries a week, much of it from established racing communities in the US, South-east Asia and the Middle East but also from further afield. It’s a growing market and we’re in a position where we can cater for it."

“With betting shops there’s a lot of correlation with general retail experience, so we are providing ways for non-industry people to find out more about it. At the moment we’ve got positions available from part-time cashier all the way up to senior sports trader."

“We’re trying to break into Malta, Gibraltar and Eastern Europe, whereas before we weren’t really in a position to do that. We’re now able not only to promote a job abroad but we can actively look for candidates abroad as well."

“We’re building up the functionality of the website so that it is much more orientated at finding out what a job consists of. I think that’s important and we’re keen to put information on the website that allows people to find out."

“One of the hardest things about this market is that there isn’t a lot of money for recruitment, particularly within independent stud farms or small racing yards, so we’re coming up with ways of supporting that. We’ll help out online and get things going."

“The overall message is that employers need to focus more on how they attract and recruit people. In the online space particularly, people are getting quite savvy as to where they put their CV.”

Seminar promotes agencies

At a seminar held on the Wednesday afternoon of ICE, Crispin Moller and Mark Sutherland of RPjobs were joined by James Fleming, director of Betting

Sutherland concentrated on the print side and emphasised the advantages of using Microsoft Tags and social media such as Facebook (the Racing Post has over 20,000 Facebook followers), Twitter and LinkedIn (which has the advantage of dealing with other businesses) as means of finding new staff.

Moller’s focus was the online recruitment base. He noted that 3 million jobs were advertised online during quarter one of 2011 alone, yet only 10 per cent of all jobs were posted directly by employers.

He emphasised the importance of job boards, with RPjobs providing a candidate network of over 60 million worldwide, and also advocated the benefits of having an agency on board to work closely with the employer in developing an appropriate job specification. He added that cost implications were a key factor of the different methods.

Fleming further emphasised the benefits of agency partnerships. “When working with a gaming focussed recruiter an employer can be confident that the agent will have a strong understanding of the business,” he said.

He commented that an agency would proactively search for suitable candidates using various channels, its network comprising company websites, internal databases, social networking, referral schemes and trade shows. It thus opened up the vacancy to a far wider audience.

Furthermore, the agency would proactively ‘sell’ the employer’s business and the opportunity to work with the company, manage applications and the interview process, relay feedback to candidates, guide the employer through the offer stage and manage the offer process, take care of any references and arrange start dates.

Chris Pitt at BOS Magazine

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