A number of large in recent months, crypto companies have been laying off employees in an effort to keep their businesses afloat. But while the big players are throwing talent back into the pool, startups have the opportunity to reclaim it.
Recruiters and talent managers shared their thoughts with TechCrunch on what this means and how talent should navigate today’s recruiting environment.
“Hiring in a bear market is unique in that those looking to join the space during downturns are more likely to be passionate about, understanding and believing in the industry for the long term,” Zack Skelly, head of talent at crypto-focused investment firm Dragonfly, told TechCrunch. “They’re there for the right reasons, rather than just needing to find another job or hoping to profit financially from a hype cycle.”
Monday, reports have emerged that Gemini, a crypto startup that tangled with the now-bankrupt Genesis, is laying off 10% of its staff, according to internal messages viewed by The Information. It wasn’t the first time Gemini had laid off staff, either. In July, the firm executed a second round of layoffsjust seven weeks after cutting 10% of its workforce due to “turbulent market conditions,” TechCrunch reported.
Gemini is one of many big crypto companies cutting back on spending. Earlier this month, Coinbase and Crypto.com both removed by 20% of their jobs as companies tried to ride out the downturn in the crypto market.
Even though the layoffs are happening at big crypto companies, it’s just one segment in a broader resizing of the tech workforce: Salesforce, Amazon, Meta, Alphabet and Microsoft have all layoffs these last weeks.
“More broadly, this means access to an even broader pool of proven and capable talent,” Alchemy recruiter Gus Brewer told TechCrunch. “Many companies facing layoffs are known for their extremely high standards when it comes to hiring, which should certainly be taken into account when assessing available new talent.”
Some crypto projects and startups are revising their hiring plans to capitalize on this influx of talent, Skelly said. “Yet, while more applicants can make overall recruiting easier, I’ve heard some founders say it’s harder to find those who are truly mission-aligned. There are more qualified resumes popping up. – yes – but there is also more to filter when it comes to intangibles.
But it is important to note that not all crypto industries are hiring aggressively. “There are very few opportunities in trading right now,” Dan Eskow, founder of talent agency Web3 Up Top, told TechCrunch. “There doesn’t seem to be any action. Whether it’s developers, marketers, researchers, there’s not much to do.
Eskow focuses on helping talent find jobs in projects or start-ups. “You don’t see a ton of layoffs [for startups] because many expect to be obliged to. […] In the DeFi space, there is a situation of much higher job stability,” he noted.
And now it’s a slow time, Tyler Feinerman, head of talent and people operations at Wachsman, told TechCrunch.
“January is typically a slower time of year for hiring, but macroeconomic factors have certainly exacerbated conditions,” Feinerman noted. “February to April is usually the hottest time for the labor market, so while things may still be a bit slower than usual, I think we can expect to see some green shoots on the horizon. “