Gamers: The untapped talent pool?


In February of 2020, the UK was experiencing the worst talent shortage in over ten years, with 23% of employers struggling to fill roles.

In the latest ONS labour market report, we’ve seen vacancies start to creep back up towards pre-pandemic levels, which means more gaps in the talent market.

Filling roles is no longer just about experience, hard skills or proximity to a workplace, it’s about soft skills and the ability to learn and develop into a role. This opens the door to gamers as the next big untapped and growing resource; like for like game sales increased 44% as a result of the pandemic the world over.

ManpowerGroup analysed more than 11,000 games across 13 genres—from action adventure, role-playing to music and indie— identifying the top soft skills developed in each gaming category and then mapped gaming skills to work skills. For example, a gamer who plays games like Call of Duty or Fortnite cultivates soft skills that a warehouse packer requires, such as critical thinking, spatial awareness and problem-solving.

Jason Greaves, Brand Leader, Manpower UK says: “It’s not just the labour market that’s been shocked in the last year, we’ve also had a sharp uptick in personal time, which has led to many swapping commuting for computer gaming. And this is across the entire population, regardless of age, gender or background. Gaming is on the rise. The good news is, all the time spent in the virtual world of Fortnite, Minecraft or Animal Crossing wasn’t in vain for the UK workforce. In fact, workers waiting out the pandemic have been developing many of the skills required for today’s jobs and the roles of the future.”

“Before the health crisis in the UK we were experiencing historic talent shortages, and as we prepare to return to offices those skill gaps remain; there might be more people looking for work but that doesn’t mean they have the skills that are in demand right now,” continued Greaves.

“What we do know is that skills like teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving are needed now more than ever; and these skills are developed through video games. What’s currently missing is workers awareness of the skills they’ve been developing through gaming. Similarly, employers need to be open-minded; it’s our duty to support people back into work, and remember that new skills can come from anywhere, it’s not just workplace experience that is important, in fact video and computer games could have been developing the skills of the future-ready employee.”