In Business Las Vegas
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September 9 - September 15
Gaming Headhunter could hit jackpot at Gaming Expo By Liz Benston / Staff Writer Current Issue Special Publications Search In Business In Business on TV The List Book of Lists About InBusiness z z z
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While casino managers at next week's Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas check out the latest bells and whistles on slot machines and other casino games, Bill Werksman will be scouting for human talent. For Werksman, a locally-based headhunter and one of a few management recruiters who specializes in the gaming business, the industry's largest convention is a potential gold mine for clients who need skilled workers. It's also a good place to find information technology experts. That's good news for Werksman, who says tech jobs are among the industry's most in-demand positions. Tech jobs tend to be hard to fill and are more needed than ever given the technological advances of today's casinos, he said. "There's a tremendous need for tech-oriented people," Werksman said. Software engineering, hardware engineering, firmware engineering, information technology are increasingly critical for both operators and manufacturer-suppliers." Las Vegas' historically tight job market is only one of Werksman's problems. Most of the thousands who move to Las Vegas every month to work in the country's hottest job market don't have the specialized tech skills casinos are looking for, he said. "We have to recruit from higher-salaried areas" with concentrations of technology
In Business Las Vegas
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workers, such as California and the Pacific Northwest, he added. While the cost of living in Las Vegas is still lower, the gap between these areas is narrowing, he said. For job candidates, the casino business is viewed as a potentially lucrative yet insular industry that is tough to crack. While unskilled workers snap up jobs serving drinks, bussing tables and parking cars at massive job fairs, skilled workers seeking management-level jobs have told stories of resumes that collect dust or interviews that are never scheduled. It's who you know, not what you know, so the saying goes. "That's honestly the biggest misnomer about the industry," Werksman said. The real problem, he said, lies in "getting your information to someone who can analyze it appropriately." Werksman puts some of the blame on human resources departments, which are often swamped with resumes but don't have the expertise to be able to determine whether a candidate with specialized skills would be a good match for the company. "If I bring someone to my client, I have to talk to the director of engineering," he said. "I can't just go to HR. There's a disconnect between HR and their own organizations." Some companies don't have the talent in their ranks to promote unskilled workers to skilled tech jobs, while those companies that spend the time and money to train their workers for higher-level jobs risk the prospect that the individuals will be snapped up by competitors, he said. Werksman is the managing partner and principal shareholder in Resource Partners, which owns more than 50 career-related Web sites. They include www.nevadajobboard.com, where employers and job candidates can post resumes and job information for free. Werksman was previously a senior recruiter with the Las Vegas office of Management Recruiters International, where he sought executives for companies across the West. Liz Benston covers gaming for In Business Las Vegas and its sister publication, the Las Vegas Sun. She can be reached at (702) 259-4077 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Publications While casino managers at next week's Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas check out the latest bells and whistles on slot ma...