Laid off from your crypto job? Here’s what founders are looking for in new talent

Layoffs continue to spread across the crypto job market amid macroeconomic volatility and bearish market sentiments, but there are still plenty of startups looking to hire fresh talent.

Crypto firms like Coinbase and have cut employees in recent weeks, which has increased the talent pool and been “instrumental” for startups looking to build talent war chests, Jeff Feng, co-founder of layer-1 blockchain Sei, said to TechCrunch.

The layoffs aren’t specific to crypto; Big Tech has also seen a number of cuts in recent months. But layoffs within crypto and adjacent industries present an opportunity for startups to bring in experienced talent across the sector, Nate Holiday, co-founder, president and CEO at Space and Time, shared with TechCrunch.

The pace of hiring slowed after the summer of 2022 and continued for the remainder of the year, Aleksi Loytynoja, co-founder and CEO of “proof-of-talent” hiring platform Kleoverse, said to TechCrunch. “The final weeks of 2022, after the FTX collapse, were very quiet. Now, after the New Year, it seems that there’s more hiring happening again.”

Yes, most companies are looking to conserve their burn rate and extend their runway as much as possible, but many are still hiring for “highly intentional and critical roles,” Nabin Banskota, co-founder of, said to TechCrunch. “Layoffs are increasing the talent pool for startups to find really great talent with overall less competition.”

Founder advice

While recruiters and talent heads alike shared their advice on how to navigate the current hiring environment, we also spoke with a handful of founders about what they’re looking for in applicants.

The first piece of advice? “Be obsessed with web3,” Holiday said. “If you don’t eat, sleep and breathe web3, this is probably not the industry for you.”

Laid off from your crypto job? Here’s what founders are looking for in new talent by Jacquelyn Melinek originally published on TechCrunch

As the economy reopens, startups are uniquely positioned to recruit talent

We are amidst a sprawling renegotiation between employers and employees as to the very nature of work, and no one has more leverage than skilled technologists — many of whom feel unmoored from their current jobs.

Our 2021 Technologist Sentiment Report — which in the second quarter polled technology professionals who mostly work at bigger organizations — shows 48% tech professionals expressed an interest in changing companies this year, up from 40% in the fourth quarter of 2020, and a big jump from 32% in the second quarter last year.

It’s a unique moment, one that creates an unusual opportunity for startup founders on the hunt for talent.

Fast growing upstarts have a lot of advantages. Bigger companies may be more likely to attempt to recreate the office environment of the past — especially if they have leased space and a built environment that will be difficult to unwind. Startups are often non-traditional and may be able to react to create the hybrid work environments many technologists crave as the economy reopens.

While all startups are certainly not focused on being disruptive, they often rely on cutting-edge technology and processes to give their customers something truly new. Many are trying to change the pattern in their particular industry. So, by definition, they generally have a really interesting mission or purpose that may be more appealing to tech professionals.

A migration of tech talent just as the economy is revving up would be disruptive and could also play to startup strengths. The market for tech talent is already strong: tech hiring has increased every month since November, according to our last tech jobs report released in May. Great data engineers, developers, business analysts and the like are in red-hot demand, and unemployment in tech is just above 2.4% percent, versus 5.5.% percent in the economy overall.

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