The crypto industry has enjoyed astronomical growth over the last couple of years. Now, talent recruitment experts say that crypto firms are in dire need of good leadership to scale their businesses.
Previously seen as a nascent market, crypto is now a fast-maturing industry that attracts a lot of talent, David Richardson, partner at executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, told Cointelegraph. “It's all driven by the growth rate of these firms and hiring leaders that can help them continue to scale and continue to keep pace with the growth rate in the business,” he said.
Crypto companies are looking for executives who have scaled businesses successfully. They are ready to onboard such talent without prior knowledge of crypto or digital currency, added Heidrick & Struggles engagement manager Adrianna Huehnergarth. “We’re seeing a lot of need for heads of engineering leaders who have built teams of scale,” she continued.
Experts said the most sought-after skills for the C-suite are engineering, legal, finance, go-to-market and corporate development. Apart from expertise, companies seek low-ego executives who display adaptability, passion and excitement for growth and the mission of the space.
Since the regulatory landscape tends to be different in each country, the significance of regulatory and legal executives make a lot of sense, Huehnergarth said. “Many companies we've been working with have had more of a regional focus instead of a more traditional, centralized type of setup.”
For the crypto ecosystem, remote work became a major incentive to attract the top talent, Huehnergarth said, adding that many companies have gotten rid of their headquarters. The long-term incentives and cash compensation are also high enough to retain the talent.
“[Crypto] companies have the cash and have been bidding away very senior talent who only have one or two years of crypto experience with offers that they cannot turn down.”
Some companies are more tech than fin, and some companies are more fin than tech in the overall fintech ecosystem, Richardson pointed out. A lot of that culture is determined by the founding team and how they set it up early. He explained that while most crypto businesses start with a core tech team, they require GMs, sales, finance, legal and compliance talent as they scale up.
As the company grows, a lower degree of technical competence becomes sufficient, he added. When the technical barriers lower, people who have more broad experience in investing in alternatives are able to look at crypto as an excellent avenue to explore.