Hiring top crypto talent can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be

Sebastian Parker
Sebastian Parker
Last Updated on July 2, 2022

To build a career in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) or crypto, you need to find talent, skills, and the right attitude in everyone. This is not a different industry than others, but what makes it unique is the highly-skilled skills and culture that are required in order to thrive in remote or international settings.

Despite the recent market turmoil, crypto companies are still building and growing. Many people want to switch from Web2 and Web3 because of the increased energy and legitimacy within the industry. This means that recruiters must sort through hundreds of applications each month. But how can you find the right people who share the same enthusiasm and are excited about building impactful technology? These are some recruiting strategies that may help, and there are a few things you should avoid.

For attitude, hire

The right attitude can make a difference in any industry. Crypto and DeFi work is often remote, non-traditional, and fast-moving. Because it is decentralized in nature, the work environment tends to be similar.

We look for people who are self-directed, kind, creative, and able to deal with challenges and mistakes in a team environment. How do you recognize these qualities and cultivate the right attitude during the hiring process.

This can be done in a number of ways. Ask them to tell you what they value. Ask them what they value in terms of culture, teamwork, and attitudes towards others.

It can be helpful to ask candidates the same question several times and measure sincerity in order to drive at these answers. If they keep returning to statements or topics that seem genuine, they most likely are. This could indicate that they are not thinking about the values and cultural elements they want in their next team.

It’s also useful to find out how candidates will succeed in remote or international settings. Our team includes people from nearly a dozen countries. How did they manage to work in different time zones? How do they adapt to other colleagues’ work/life schedules? It’s important to have an attitude that is flexible and can self-direct using asynchronous communication in order to be successful at remote work.

Related: How to get work in the metaverse or Web3

Keep your interview process thorough.

Many times, candidates tell us that their interview process is the most thorough and deliberate. During the interview, it is common for candidates to speak with up to four members of the current team. This is not meant to be exhausting. It is meant to be explorative and transparent, as well as helpful for both sides.

This is a deliberate process. This process is by design. It involves several conversations, practice scenarios and exercises, as well as touchpoints with multiple team members. You can learn more about each other by talking more. The formal education system has yet to catch up with crypto. It’s therefore difficult to evaluate educational and professional experiences in the same way as you can in traditional industries. This should give everyone equal opportunities to show their talents, cultural fit, and skills.

We have learned that transparency and respect are key to building remote teams. It’s a two-way process. Both you and the candidate are choosing one another. If the candidate chooses another role due to your lengthy process, that’s okay.

Related: Bear Market: Some crypto companies cut jobs while others seek sustainable growth

These processes must be maintained in a systematic, strategic and thorough manner. The cost of hiring the wrong person is higher than hiring the right person slowly.

Hire not out of desperateness

Despite the fact that the industry is constantly changing and rapid growth can occur, it’s important to resist the temptation to just hire for growth. While it’s tempting for you to lower your standards when talent is scarce, success comes when you set high expectations.

It is important to conduct thorough interviews and recruit the right people for the right reasons. It is better to have the right person fill the position for a short time than it being vacant.

Diversify in all forms

Although crypto and DeFi have made significant progress in diversity, there is still much to be done, especially in STEM-, technology- and engineering-based roles. Participation is heavily influenced by white men, as demonstrated by any visit to DeFi or crypto events. This is limiting the potential of our communities, organizations, and industry.

More diverse teams are more productive. More diversity in the workplace will lead to greater innovation, understanding, productivity, and longevity. Diverse teams will foster a diversity of ideas and accomplishments.

This means creating strong cultures and policies that are supportive, inclusive, professional, open-minded, and have zero tolerance for discrimination and prejudice in the workplace and at home.

Remote-first companies have the advantage of being able to hire anyone from anywhere. You should take advantage of this but also be aware of how others may feel about your industry and team.

Similar: Building the metaverse with no bias: New industry, new rules

This is possible by creating policies and philosophies which are inclusive and welcoming. To find diverse candidates, you must think outside of the box. Look for women-led, decentralized autonomous organizations, hackathons, or Twitter communities. Be a champion for those who are underrepresented in the industry. Help them build them if you don’t know where they are.

Do not be afraid to ask questions about cryptography.

DeFi and crypto are complex industries that require highly skilled skills. However, this doesn’t mean that organizations should limit themselves to recruiting people who are familiar with crypto and active in it.

Many highly skilled Web2 individuals are involved in crypto as a hobby. Look for self-starters, meaningful contributors and people who are willing to learn. This is what the industry is all about. Blockchain and crypto knowledge is possible to learn if you have the right mindset and attitude. To continue developing talent, embrace things like paired programming and internal learning sessions.

Non-crypto recruits may feel overwhelmed in the beginning weeks and months, but people who have the right attitude will learn, especially when they are mentored by a friendly, understanding, and strategic team. Patience is a virtue. (Ensuring diversity by engaging with non-crypto people is also a virtue.

The industry has grown so quickly over the past five years that the talent criteria will need to expand or we will run out options, especially in this bear market.

This article is not intended to provide investment advice. Every trade and investment involves risk. Readers should do their research before making any decision.

These views, thoughts, and opinions are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Cointelegraph.

Melissa Quinn, chief operating officer at Risk Labs, is the foundation behind Uma, Across, and Outcome.Finance. Melissa is originally from the human resources field and moved into operations in crypto and DeFi in 2017. She has been a leader and builder of teams throughout various market cycles. Melissa joined Risk Labs late 2020. She has led the team through a rapid growth of its size without sacrificing culture, values and collaboration.