Crypto Recruiters See Opportunity to Snap Talent Amid Big Tech Layoffs • TechCrunch

A number of Major Crypto companies have been laying off employees in recent months to keep their businesses afloat. But as big players throw talent back into the pool, startups get a chance to snap them up.

Recruiters and Talent Heads shared their thoughts with TechCrunch on what this means and how talent should navigate the current hiring environment.

“The mindset in a bear market is unique in that those looking to enter the space during downturns are more likely to be passionate about, understand, and believe in the industry for the long term,” Zack Skelly, head of talent at crypto-focused investment firm Dragonfly, said to TechCrunch. “They’re in it for the right reasons, rather than simply needing to find another job or hoping to benefit financially from a hype cycle.”

Reports surfaced on Monday that Gemini, a crypto startup that has merged with now-bankrupt Genesis, will lay off 10% of its employees, according to internal news viewed by The Information. This wasn’t the first time Gemini had laid off employees, either. In July, the company implemented a second round of layoffs, just seven weeks after shedding 10% of its workforce due to “turbulent market conditions,” TechCrunch reported.

Gemini is one of many major crypto firms taking cuts. Earlier this month, Coinbase and both cut 20% of their jobs as the firms tried to weather the crypto market downturn.

While layoffs are happening at major crypto firms, this is just one segment in a broader resizing of tech workforces: Salesforce, Amazon, Meta, Alphabet, and Microsoft have all made layoffs in recent weeks.

“Broadly speaking, this means access to an even larger pool of proven, capable talent,” Gus Brewer, a recruiter at Alchemy, told TechCrunch. “Many of the companies facing layoffs have a reputation for extremely high recruitment standards, which is an important consideration when evaluating newly available talent.”

Some crypto projects and startups are revising their hiring plans to capitalize on this influx of talent, Skelly said. “But while a larger candidate pool might make it easier to fill the overall headcount, I’ve heard some founders say it’s harder to find those who are truly mission-aligned. More qualified resumes appear – yes – but there is also more to filter when it comes to the intangibles.”

But it’s important to note that not every crypto sector is hiring aggressively. “There are very few opportunities in commerce right now,” Dan Eskow, founder of web3 talent agency Up Top, told TechCrunch. “There doesn’t seem to be any action. Whether developers, dealers, researchers, there is not much to do.”

Eskow focuses on helping talent find jobs in early-stage projects or companies. “You don’t see many layoffs [for startups] because many wait until they absolutely have to. […] There is much higher job stability within the DeFi space,” he noted.

And now is a slow phase, Tyler Feinerman, Wachsman’s head of talent and people operations, 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 typically the hottest time for the job market. While things may remain a bit slower than usual, I think we can expect some green shoots on the horizon.”

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