CASINO ARCADE MANAGEMENT TRAINEE PROGRAM – First graduates complete international traineeship
The CASINO ARCADE MANAGEMENT TRAINEE PROGRAM was instituted by NOVOMATIC at the beginning of 2017 and has now produced the first generation of graduates. Eight trainees have completed the 15-month training program to become casino and arcade managers – and are now mustering to start their careers in the international group operations.
A huge ‘Thank you’ to NOVOMATIC for this fantastic career opportunity – it is an extraordinary treat and a great stepping stone!
The casino and arcade industry is a highly specific service industry that places special demands on staff and executives, such as a high level of service awareness, a passion for the product and a sociable personality that enjoys contact with guests. The market is highly competitive, and the guest experience is primarily based on emotional criteria – the ‘feel-good factor’. Especially for executive positions, aspiring talents are coveted, and their development within the usual internal career paths takes many years of on-the-job experience within a gaming operation in order to gain the required qualification for a management position. Newcomers, on the other hand, very often lack a basic understanding of the industry and all that converts gaming into entertainment.
NOVOMATIC is a big player with some 2,100 gaming operations worldwide, especially focused in the European markets. Under the ADMIRAL brand, the Group has established leading standards in terms of equipment, service and ambience, as well as with player protection measures – all of which warrant the sustained success of its casinos and arcades.
As part of the HR talent management strategy and in order to be able to access a pool of future executive candidates for this key business segment, NOVOMATIC decided to develop an ‘International Casino & Arcade Management Trainee Program’ in 2016. The aim was to create a vocational training program that covers all essential aspects: detailed product knowledge, operational experience, management seminars, knowledge of legal aspects, HR and personnel management, marketing, communication and event management as well as personality development and soft skills. The training period is 15 months, of which the trainees each spend six months of on-the-job training in arcades as well as in casinos in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the Czech Republic or Croatia.
Denise Eisenberger, NOVOMATIC Head of Learning & Development, explains: “In the development and planning of our international traineeship concept, we considered it vitally important to incorporate the mindset of our operations managers and experts as well as their experience and expertise. This close collaboration definitely contributes to the overall success of the concept.”
NOVOMATIC was seeking candidates who, in addition to at least two years of work experience in them hospitality sector, also brought excellent German and English language skills, hands-on mentality, high flexibility, reliability and willingness to learn as well as special social skills. Of a total of 373 applicants, eight passed the strict selection procedure: three ladies and five men between the ages of 24 and 36 jumped on board the program and commenced their training at the Group headquarters in Gumpoldskirchen in February 2017.
Fate and chance is the common factor that brought them there – each of the candidates was looking for a new direction in their career path, many of them had already gained experience in the tourism and catering sector, and all came across the NOVOMATIC CASINO ARCADE MANAGEMENT TRAINEE PROGRAM by pure chance. Unisonous is their recount of the instant enthusiasm and positive gut feeling at the face of a possible career in gaming: “Kind of sexy, actually.”
Initially, the trainees spent two months at the NOVOMATIC headquarters – the first couple of weeks in the production departments were followed by a month of theoretical introductory courses and specialist seminars held by internal experts as well as external trainers. This was succeeded by two periods of six-month practical training in arcades and casinos, during which they went through various on-the-job service and floor stages as well as regional administrative and management responsibilities. Finally, all trainees returned to the headquarters for final seminars and the concluding event on April 26.
Their enthusiasm is still fervent, but these are no sorcerer’s apprentices that we meet shortly before their traineeship graduation. Quite the contrary: they are aspiring junior executives with an eagerness and great ambition, and with respect for their future mission. Over the past few months, they have demonstrated great flexibility and willingness to learn and have gained deep insights into the nature of gaming entertainment and the finesses of a corresponding premium service. Their preferences for their subsequent assignment have been widely considered and at the time of publication of this magazine issue all have already assumed their first job as Assistant Casino Managers, Regional Managers or Food & Beverage Managers in Croatia, Liechtenstein, Germany and the Czech Republic.
In addition to all the expertise, know-how and job skills they have been taught over the past months, they also learned to jump in at the deep end. When asked what advice they would give to the next generation of trainees, the answer is: “Openness and flexibility are absolutely necessary, you have to constantly exceed limits and leave your comfort zone. And above all, you need diligence – and courage.”
And something more that is very important to the first graduates of the CASINO ARCADE MANAGEMENT TRAINEE PROGRAM: “A huge ‘Thank you’ to NOVOMATIC for this fantastic career opportunity – it is an extraordinary treat and a great stepping stone!”
Dr. Klaus Niedl, NOVOMATIC Global HR Director, underlines the success of the program: “The positive feedback from our colleagues in the international operations and the great support from a variety of instructors in the casinos and arcades proves that our vocational training concept is a great success.”