Winning strategies for blockchain & crypto hiring

I’ve called it a hiring ‘frenzy’. I’ve even resorted to the cliché ‘war for talent’ when describing the fierceness of the competition for skilled blockchain and crypto professionals. And that’s because the reality of what’s taking place in this incredibly hot market sector when it comes to sourcing good quality people who are in much rarer supply than demand feels very combative right now.

And, as with any similar situation, the smoothness of the operational process, the quality of the people in the field, and the rigor and discipline of execution will be the differentiators that lead to victory.

OK, I might have gotten a little carried away there with the analogy, but here’s what’s going on, globally, in the world of blockchain recruiting:

For every Web 3.0 professional who has a few years’ experience as an engineer, product manager, community manager, developer relations or ecosystem manager; or CMO, CTO, COO, CFO, legal counsel and related with blockchain / crypto experience – there are, at a minimum, two or three hot job prospects available right now.

These professionals are getting calls from headhunters on the regular, with the promise of great new career opportunities in a sector that has gained substance, credibility and a sexiness quotient not seen since the heyday of financial markets pre-global financial crisis.

And those who are open to looking at new jobs are likely interviewing for several at the same time, weighing up multiple offers simultaneously. Despite this, positioning your company or project as one that can attract and secure the candidates you want is a lot less complex than you may think. Here’s how:

  1. Value proposition

Formulate a well-defined value proposition that has been articulated in writing, and that you and anyone else in the interviewing process can share with candidates. This is your pitch. You likely have one for investors, so ensure that you’ve got one to attract future employees. Remember to include information about your investors, and your team, as these factors can differentiate your company or project significantly.

  1. Get your JD in good shape

Take the time to formulate a top quality job description. Granted, no one ever said ‘isn’t it going to be fun to write a JD?’, but doing this well is a foundational part of winning in this talent war. Get clear about what you’re looking for, what the non-negotiable skills are for the role, and which ones are not much more than ‘nice to have’ – this is critical, and is worth the time. Equally importantly, ensure that all of the key stakeholders in the hiring process are on the same page; there’s nothing worse than someone on the leadership team vetoing a candidate at the 11th hour.

  1. Hiring process

This needs to be super streamlined! You’re going to need to find the balance between interviewing with rigor, and doing this speedily. I’m not a fan of shoddy short-cutting on interviewing at all, but you just won’t have the ‘luxury’ of being able to bring candidates back for more than two or three interviews. So, ensure you have interview times pre-planned in the diary, double up on key stakeholders attending the interviews, know what your ‘culture fit’ questions are that help you determine fit, and do your prep by previewing candidates’ code (where relevant) so that you can assess technical competence without delay.

  1. Partner with the right recruiter

There are some very experienced recruiters in the sector who can help you gain access to the talent you want much more quickly than if you try to go this alone. Nevertheless, make sure that the recruiter has the experience and network to source candidates for the specific role/s you’re looking to fill, in the relevant territory and time zones. Be specific about your needs here, including language preferences. Talent in the space is global and remote first, in many cases. Despite this, having a VP based in the Bay Area (for example) managing a team who are mostly based nine or ten hours away is going to prove logistically challenging, so direct your recruiters accordingly so that time is not wasted in the process.

  1. Be prepared and ready to make an immediate offer when you identify a high quality candidate

In an ideal world it would be great to interview several candidates over a few weeks in order to compare and evaluate but, by the time you’ve done this, your favorite candidate who you may have interviewed early on in the process is probably no longer going to be available – due to another company moving fast and making an offer quickly. To address this, get clear on the key criteria for the role, and when a candidate meets these, move ahead with an offer. The offer process itself should also be thought through ahead of time so that you’re not tripped up with HR admin, which can unnecessarily delay securing the candidate.

Get these five variables right, and I guarantee you’ll see a radical shift in your hiring outcomes – much more winning!


Author Info: Debbie Goodman

Debbie is Group CEO of Jack Hammer, a global group of executive search, talent advisory and leadership coaching companies. For more than 20 years she has partnered with some of the world’s most progressive companies, NPOs and VC-backed disruptors, in the USA and Africa, to help them find great leaders who drive growth and impact.

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