The Soaring Blockchain Talent Demand: Is There a “Link?”
The blockchain job market is seeing spectacular gains. That is according to a report by the business networking site LinkedIn.
These findings on the part of LinkedIn that were requested by the Financial Times showed that there were more than 1,000 blockchain related advertisements recently on the site, double the number during that same period in 2016. The data also noted that the number of blockchain ads is expanding at more than 40 percent each quarter.
Nearly 10,000 LinkedIn members have listed blockchain talent as a skill, half in the technology industry and a quarter in the financial services sector. It should be noted that while Blockchain is not a custom selection on LinkedIn’s list of skills, company officials are rumored to be considering it as one that they formally track.
These numbers suggest that the demand for blockchain-related talent, those possessing skills in the technology that undergirds cryptocurrencies is growing exponentially, far outstripping supply. This shortage demand is expected to worsen as blockchain-related startups continue to be created. Added to this are the needs of traditional business sectors like finance and retail that are scrambling to catch up with blockchain’s emergence.
LinkedIn, A Great Place for Accessing Blockchain Talent? Not So Fast, Says Noted Recruiter
Nako Mbelle, founder and CEO of Toronto-based FinTech Recruiters, Inc, a leading blockchain talent recruitment firm doesn’t dispute LinkedIn’s numbers. But she does question the notion that LinkedIn is a “go-to” site for accessing blockchain candidates. Says Mbelle:
“In my opinion few if any developers regularly hang out on LinkedIn. I have found little candidate interest there and can’t recall any being hired by companies I represent.”
She contends that LinkedIn is generally for non-technical people and even chuckled that those with blockchain developer skills may even be hiding out of fear of being constantly hounded.
So when asked about where she’s directing her time and resources to unearth talent for the blockchain client firms that she represents, Mbelle had this to say: “I actually own crypto so I’m really active in the altcoin community and I’m very active in a couple of Facebook groups. Frankly finding good people – a lot of it is word of mouth. It’s mostly referrals. From my experience, I don’t think a lot of blockchain developer candidates even have up-to-date profiles on LinkedIn anymore.”
Mbelle says she does use LinkedIn to access candidates for non-technical roles in the blockchain industry like project managers, sales professionals, and UX/UI designers. “That’s what LinkedIn is good for. Not for the hardcore developer.”
Mbelle goes on to note that because the Blockchain space is growing at lightning speed, the demand for blockchain developers is totally outstripping the supply. She also cited another interesting trend. “We are seeing a lot of talent in this space switching over from the Bitcoin Blockchain per se to the Ethereum bandwagon. As a result, there is this huge demand for Solidity developers. The problem is, there are none. Very few people know how to code in Solidity because it’s such a very new language and those that do know all have jobs.”
Consequently, she says, we observe a weird dynamic in the blockchain recruitment world, due to the immense shortage of skilled people in this niche.
“I tell clients all the time that you are either going to have to train people. This may involve selecting someone who doesn’t know a language like Solidity but is interested in learning and has the smarts to pick it up.”
She says that salary and compensation packages being offered to those rare (available) candidates in the blockchain space are “all over the place” amid all of the demand. “It’s definitely not that consistent. But I would say about $100,000 – 125,000 base, that’s kind of the range. And then equity compensation is all over the place. It can be from a quarter of a percentage point to two percent, that sort of range. Additionally, a lot of these people are agreeing to work for crypto. A lot of developers will do half fiat and half crypto.”
In terms of blockchain talent hotspots, Mbelle says that London, New York, and Toronto are all high demand employer locales. Her response when asked whether Silicon Valley was on this list: “Surprisingly, not so much.”
Her final word:
“Regardless of how this talent demand shakes out, LinkedIn or otherwise, one thing I know for certain is that there’s going to be a lot of rich developers. That’s what I see. I really believe that. I think this space is going to create a lot of millionaires the way the Dot-com boom did.”