How organisations can discover new talent in the era of Web3

How organisations can discover new talent in the era of Web3

With the era of Web3 rapidly approaching, organisations need workforces with the relevant skills. But how can recruiters find and attract Web3 talent?
  • Web3: the current state of play
  • How can organisations discover Web3 talent?

As we move into the era of blockchain, decentralisation, the metaverse, and other related concepts, organisations must adapt if they are to remain relevant and competitive in a dramatically changed online world. Companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple are all planning to increase their stock of Web3 talent, as are countless startups. But how can hiring managers find and attract the right talent to help their organisations thrive in the era of Web3?

Web3: the current state of play

According to venture capital firm Electric Capital, there are over 18,000 active developers currently operating in the Web3 community. While this number is only a tiny fraction of the number of more traditional, Web2-based software developers, it is growing quickly and looks set to continue to do so. Web3 talent pools are all over the world, although 50 per cent of developers are located in either the US, India, or China, as Web3 startups are similarly concentrated in these places. Canada, Brazil, Spain, and many Eastern European countries are also rapidly emerging as hubs for Web3 activity. However, the global shift towards remote working models has largely removed the obstacle of physical distance when hiring – organisations can now attract talent from anywhere in the world.

How can organisations discover Web3 talent?

Web3 talent strategist and founder of Stella Talent Partners Elliot Garlock has thoughts to share on recruiting Web3 talent. Despite the comparatively small size of the community, Garlock believes that many standard technology recruiting ratios still apply: “one-third is referral, another third is inbound sourcing, inbound applicant, gender, generation, and review. And then one-third is outbound – going out and sourcing people. And I would say that those ratios are still broadly applicable to Web3”. Referral hiring is also highly important in the community, due to its interconnectedness. However, formal qualifications and work history may be less relevant to consider than developers’ profiles on GitHub (an open-source software development platform) and GitCoin (the system by which developers are paid for successful projects). In Garlock’s words, “in the Web2 space, talent sourcing is often resume-based… For Web3, however, hiring is largely focused on proof of work… there’s much more of a focus on people’s actual work that’s in the public domain. And the really good candidates always have it.”

While this levels the playing field for talent, how can recruiters source the best applicants? Although Garlock believes that “LinkedIn is still a great sourcing tool”, Twitter, Discord, and Telegram are more “crypto dominant” and therefore more fruitful places to source Web3 talent. Recruiters must also be more proactive, as developers are so highly sought-after that they usually wait for offers rather than actively apply for vacancies. A network called Braintrust aims to optimise and democratise the labour market for developers and companies. Using a decentralised governance process and ‘tokens’ that validate the credentials of both freelancers and clients, the platform could represent the future of gig work marketplaces. However, much conventional hiring wisdom remains true even in this new era. Recruiters should remember that what attracts Web3 talent is largely the same as what attracts any new hire. Garlock states: “the thing that’s most important to people is, ‘Who am I going to be with all day? Who’s my manager going to be? Is that manager going to treat me with respect, be fair, allow me to develop my professional skills, and allow me to develop as a person?’”.

Closing thoughts

As with any trend, digital discovery in the Web3 era presents challenges. Candidates may be less dedicated to individual companies due to abundance of opportunities. Payment with cryptocurrency may be difficult or even impossible in certain jurisdictions. Opinions on privacy (especially regarding publicising work history) may differ, and anonymity may make it hard to foster inclusive, diverse spaces. However, the shift towards Web3 is likely to happen regardless of these issues, and organisations must find a way to navigate hiring in this era. Recruiters and HR departments must be prepared for the future, and spending time in Web3-related communities can be a valuable use of time.

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