Strong Leaders Cultivate Success – Five Traits to look for when hiring a Player Development Manager

Finding a strong leader is rare, it’s like finding a diamond in the rough. Especially when you’re looking for a leader to drive your Player Development Team to success. When I visit properties, be it Corporate or Tribal, the same question is asked, “What makes a successful Player Development Team?” After years of training and sharing my knowledge, I must say that it’s the Manager you hire that truly makes your teams shine brighter. Success comes from that one person who holds everyone accountable, sets goals, shares their experience, and pushes their team to go above and beyond the guest's expectations.

With the gaming industry growing there will always be a need for a strong Player Development Team. To ensure your casinos success, here are five traits to look for when hiring a Player Development Manager. Finding these skills in the right manager will elevate guest relations, increase revenues and strengthen the departments marketing strategies.

Know the Market

Does your candidate understand their audience? Knowing casino players habits and interests is valuable when managing a Player Development Team. Each casino has a different market of casino players, your manager needs to understand who their valued players are, which host should be assigned to them and what keeps them coming back. It’s easier to manage hosts when you understand what type of players you’re building relationships with. Ask your candidate if they can share any marketing ideas on how to build better relationship with your guests.

Goal Setting

People who set goals for themselves and their teams are more successful. This type of manager understands that hard work must be involved to exceed their goals. It also shows self-disciplined and focus. Ask your candidate to offer examples of a goal they've achieved and the obstacles they had to overcome. You can even ask them if there has ever been a goal they did not achieve and why.

Accountability – Holding others accountable

This quality is so important, as Hosts have the power to control complimentary offers and make business decisions for the casino. To keep the integrity of your host program, a strong manager must hold their team and themselves accountable for their daily business. From tracking telemarketing calls, delivering comps and offering event invites, there is value behind each and a strategic plan. There must be accountability or your team is bound to fail and the casino loses revenue. Ask your candidate what Operating Procedures they would put in place to manage host’s productivity and comp authority.

Sales Background

Player Development’s biggest responsibility is selling the property. It’s a must that your candidate has a strong sales background, pushing hosts to exceed the goals set by the casino. Your candidate must be able to lead a team of hosts in one direction. While still allowing each host to deliver their sales message in their own unique way to their guests. This manager should be comfortable sharing their sales experience, that will help build a stronger bond with their team. Sharing is Caring! Ask your candidate what Sales experience they’ve had and what was their toughest sale.

Creative Mind

It’s a plus to find a candidate with a create mind. Especially one who is not afraid to share their visions. A manager that can see the views of others and mix-it with the views of their own, to form a strong plan of action, is valuable. Creative minds bring a fresh eye to your team and can break up the “boring” daily tasks, by making work more fun, while still achieving business goals. This manager would be more open to working as a team, not as individuals. When you get a group of creative minds together, you’re already on a road to success. Ask you candidate what creative marketing ideas they have to bring the team together as a group.

There are so many more traits to look for, but if you start with these five, your Player Development Team will thank you. They too know that a strong leader will lead them to success. When hosts respect their manager, it’s reflected in their work. For more information on how to improve your Player Development Team, contact me at

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