Recruitment and exec-search must take eSports seriously

Recruitment and exec-search must take eSports seriously

The eSports market is estimated to be worth over £525 million by 2018, according to Fortune. But recruiters are not up to the task of sourcing relevant talent to the sector.

That is according to Joe Hills. He is the Associate Director of AGP, a Norman Broadbent company. The agency is a combined recruitment and executive search firm. Hills tells Executive Grapevine that the eSports market is “no longer a niche fad limited to obscure forums.”

Instead, Hills argues, the market is ripe with opportunities for alert recruiters as the sector is maturing.

He explains that while the industry has been run by voluntary and short-term workers in the past, it is time to help the sector take the next step. That means stepping away from using fans, players and consumers.

Hills says: “The passionate fire of the community must now be bolstered by mainstream acceptance and corporate investment for the industry to evolve further and this exposure can only be brought about by out-of-industry professionals.

“Obviously, hiring those with industry experience has a plethora of advantages, however at this crucial junction of the ‘mid-life crisis’, a fresh pair of eyes can breathe new life into your proposition and make you stand out from the growing mass of emerging eSports teams and potential lifestyle brands.”

Hills argues that recruitment and executive search firms must learn more about the sector. He says: “eSports is an especially difficult vertical to gain access to as the number of individuals who understand the product and are fans themselves (and there able to headhunt with the appropriate level of energy and enthusiasm) are few and far between.

“Effective, targeted headhunting requires a developed network and commercial gravitas to do so. Through this perpetuating skills-gap of ineffective agency and in-house functions, eSports organisations as a whole can struggle to actualise sponsorship and partnership negotiations which are mission critical to continuing to further defining the sport in the mainstream."

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