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Ex-Gemini head of people hiring slow and steady in DeFi

Crypto firms cut headcount in 2022 and they're doing it again in 2023. Already this month, Crypto exchange Gemini has announced it's cutting another 20% of its workforce. Gemini's former head of people, Jonathan Tamblyn, who saw headcount at the exchange increase over 1400% during his four-year tenure, isn't there to see the cuts. He's now moved into decentralised finance (DeFi) with fintech Skolem Technologies, and this time his hiring approach is slightly more tepid.

New York-based Skolem is a De-Fi platform that enables institutions to participate directly in DeFi markets. After raising $20m last year, it's hiring, but not at the pace of Gemini: 20-30% heacount growth in the next 12 months is likely, says Tamblyn. Most of its current roles are for engineers. 

Top crypto talent is still hard to find 

Tamblyn says that in 2023 "the crypto hiring market has quickly shifted in favor of employers." This is partly thanks to the "ongoing upheaval of tech companies" flooding the market with "many more active jobseekers."

However, Tamblyn says it's easiest to hire non-technical candidates, who "have disproportionately been affected by layoffs."

Top tier talent is less plentiful. Tamblyn says people impacted by crypto layoffs typically want stability in future and the best crypto technical talent is usually "still employed, highly incentivized" and "not seeking new roles."

You don't need crypto experience to work in crypto

While it might be supposed that people have been discouraged from working in crypto by events of the past year, Tamblyn says a majority of his new colleagues "have strong backgrounds in traditional finance." Crypto experience helps if you want to work in crypto, but it's a plus rather than a must-have, he adds.

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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