Over the last couple of years, there’s been a lot of hype and investment in blockchain-based startups. In fact, in the U.S. alone ICOs attracted over $3.7 billion in investment last year (but unfortunately about 10% was stolen).
The hype surrounding the blockchain has also created a lot of interest which has lead to significant demand for blockchain-talent. If you look at the current labor market, blockchain-related jobs are the second-fastest growing market with over 14 jobs posted on a daily basis.
While there’s a lot of capital to attract blockchain developers, there’s also a significant lack of talent. This is evidenced by the leading marketplace for on-demand tech talent, Toptal, who saw a whopping 700% increase in demand for blockchain talent over the last 14 months.
So whether you’re a startup or a large enterprise, you’re faced with the same problem. At the same time, even if you have all the necessary resources, it’s still going to be a challenge to attract top blockchain talent.
So how do you find blockchain developers for your next project?
At Digi117, we have come up with the following simple steps to resolve this problem.
1. Outsource Nearshore or Offshore
When you can’t find top blockchain talent in your city or even your country, the next best option is to outsource your next project. For example, you can take advantage of large pools of blockchain talent in Eastern European countries like Ukraine and Russia (and this is evidenced in both LinkedIn and Upwork).
You can also try and build a team of freelancers on platforms like Toptal and Upwork, but these individuals won’t come cheap and you also have to find an effective way to manage them.
In this scenario, it’s better to do your homework and work with an established outsourcing partner that can efficiently manage your blockchain project.
2. Target Colleges
If you’re not already investing in recruitment activities in universities in your area (and around the country), you need to start this process immediately. To meet the demand, colleges are already offering blockchain-related courses and they can be a great source of talent to tap into.
However, you won’t be alone and the competition for fresh blockchain talent can quickly become fierce. So make sure that you have a highly attractive remuneration package to get them in through the door.
3. Upskill Current Employees
While you’re looking for blockchain talent, it’s also a good idea to encourage current employees to learn about the blockchain and add significant value to their skillset.
Tech giants like IBM already have blockchain-related training centers and are committed to quickly training employees to get up to speed with the blockchain.
What’s even better is the fact that they provide certificates for those who complete these courses. This can be an added motivation for employees to not only attend but also complete the course.
In the near future, you might find that senior blockchain developers and researchers won’t just work for you, but for multiple companies. This idea is shared by the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin who said the following in his blog last year:
“The knowledge of the technical considerations behind protocol upgrades must be democratized so that more people can feel comfortable participating in research discussions and criticizing protocol changes that are clearly bad...[and]...core developers and researchers should be employed by multiple companies or organizations (or, alternatively, many of them can be volunteers).”
When considering security and trade secrets, it will be interesting to see if this actually happens. In my opinion, it will only happen if the talent shortage continues far into the future.