“Where Are All The Candidates?!” - A Review of the DeFi Recruitment Market

May 12, 2022

“Where Are All The Candidates?!” - A Review of the DeFi Recruitment Market

Posted on 12 May 2022

Talent shortages can have devastating effects on any industry, but, for emerging markets like crypto and blockchain, securing the right human resources is quintessential to success.

Despite the rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies across the world, there is still a distinct lack of candidates willing to work in the sector, and their reasons include:

- Uncertainty about market survivability

- Lack of education and training opportunities

- Better opportunities elsewhere

- Limited entry-level positions

Going forward, for crypto and blockchain to survive, we need real structural change in our recruitment practices. The industry needs to start attracting candidates into the sector in order to fill fundamental roles.

Example 1: Data Analysts

Take, for example, data analysts. Today, they play an important role in identifying profitable opportunities that allow crypto banks to grow. However, available talent is currently hired in marketing, health, ecommerce, and more.

Example 2: Software Engineers

Similarly, software-focused roles like trading engineers and UX designers currently operating in parallel sectors like SaaS, data and technology, are desperately needed in crypto. They can transform business functions in the space by:

Without employees such as these, the ongoing development of the DeFi industry simply wouldn’t be possible. Reviewing the causes of the labour shortages facing our market is an important step to learning and improving.

Factor 1: International Talent Shortages

Globally, talent shortages have reached a 10-year high (Source: Forbes). During COVID-19, experienced employees were persuaded into early retirement and millions of apprentices were made abundant. Two thirds of staff laid off during the pandemic were young people in trainee positions, including in technology and finance (Source: People Management). This has already impacted the availability of candidates both now, and years down the line.

Factor 2: Skilled Talent Shortages

Many crypto and blockchain job positions rely on qualified individuals that are either fresh out of university or already have years of experience in digital, cyber, technology and finance spaces. However, in these industries, niche labour is already scarce and has been for years. This year, 86% of hiring professionals have struggled to hire technical candidates with the right skills (Source: Indeed).

Factor 3: Local Talent Shortages

In the UK alone, we’re missing almost 600,000 employees from our pre-pandemic recruitment market. This, combined with the government admitting to a devastating digital skills gap, threatens the progression of DeFi and other emerging technologies and makes recruitment significantly harder.

DeFi Talent Shortages

All in all, candidates have become few and far between and, according to Hacker Noon, the chances of hiring blockchain talent is 20:1. These macro and microeconomic factors have shrunk working forces and resulted in an incredibly competitive, candidate-driven market.

To encourage employees to move industry, blockchain salaries have already become one of the highest-paid technology jobs in the UK, averaging £75,000 per year (Source: Coin Telegraph).

How to Find Crypto and Blockchain Candidates

Simply posting adverts on job boards isn’t an option for anyone looking to secure industry-leading candidates with the potential to take their firm to the next level. The reliability and capability of talent should still be carefully considered, even when it feels like you have to make negotiations on building your dream team.

1. Cross-Industry Recruitment

Cross-industry recruitment begins with an education strategy that informs technology and finance employees about the benefits of working in DeFi and ends with a shift of talent into crypto. Businesses could start conversations about the rising salary rates in our market, talk about the career opportunities they offer, and become present and active participants in relevant conferences and tradeshows.

2. Social Recruitment

Each week, around 49 million are browsing job postings on LinkedIn (Source: Omnicore), totalling 122 interviews fulfilled each year. With numbers like these, it can be tempting to only rely on LinkedIn to source candidates. However, many prospective crypto and blockchain employees aren’t actively searching for jobs. They are either still studying at university, or are working elsewhere. Utilising multiple digital platforms to build your candidate network is the best approach for the future ahead.

3. International Recruitment

Crypto businesses have to be willing to expand their recruitment horizons and open job positions to remote workers in other countries. This will not only improve diversity and inclusion (impacting productivity) but also widen their available talent pool, allowing them to source the best people for the job.

4. Connect With Web3 and Crypto Communities

The candidates with the highest potential to work in our industry are passionate hobbyists who currently work across a wide range of sectors with varying work experiences. Someone who loves Web3 and crypto could bring unique perspectives to their team. They’ll be creative, passionate, and driven - and training these individuals to work in our sector could solve the long-lasting talent shortages that face our industry.

Where Are All The Candidates?

In 2022, the candidate pool for crypto and blockchain is not big enough to sustain market growth.

This means that, to secure a future with an ongoing supply of qualified talent, businesses in the sector need to immediately start looking at working with Source Control to bring employees in from alternative spaces. Through us, they can:

  1. Reach out to candidates in finance, digital, technology and cyber sectors
  2. Sponsor university courses and host graduate schemes
  3. Join crypto and blockchain forums to turn “hobbyists” into employees

By accommodating talent demands for entry-level positions and creating opportunities for workers looking to learn new skills or move jobs, businesses can take an active part in solving the labour shortage that will ultimately harm everyone in the crypto space.

Recruiting with Source Control

We are the global experts in the placement services of technical professionals from low-latency and distributed systems engineering backgrounds into blockchain, crypto & HFT. We place top tier talent at all skill levels from junior to executive hires on a permanent, contract, contingent or retained basis. If you’ve been looking to advance your company, contact our specialist consultants today.


Have a scroll through out informative and topical blog posts. From how to get employed in tech to intersting articals on crypto markets, we have something for you.