7 ways to address the dev talent shortage in the crypto industry

The crypto industry isn’t unique in facing a developer shortage, but it can develop some unique solutions to the problem.

Ask any leader in any industry for a list of the significant issues they’re facing right now, and odds are they’ll mention the difficulty of finding and retaining top-quality talent. It’s been a long-term, ongoing issue when it comes to professionals with a technology focus, and as businesses across industries undergo digital transformation, it’s not just a problem for tech-focused companies anymore.

As a relatively new, tech-forward industry, the crypto and blockchain space is definitely feeling the pinch when it comes to landing and keeping talented developers. However, it’s not a problem without a solution. By exercising creativity and leaning into the space’s unique strengths and appeal, crypto and blockchain companies can catch the interest and loyalty of top-quality devs. Here, seven members of Cointelegraph Innovation Circle share some ideas to help leaders in the space address the developer shortage the industry’s currently facing.

Focus on benefits beyond salary

You may think you’re doomed if you can’t pay the highest salaries, but realize that what recruits often want is much more than money. Think about offering generous equity — this is not something exclusively reserved for leadership — and create an unheard-of culture that serves as a recruitment engine. Provide outstanding opportunities for personal, financial and career growth. – Zain Jaffer, Zain Ventures

Start hiring and training locally

Stop competing for the same handful of developers who are being shuffled around, and start hiring locally and training a workforce. There’s essentially an “arms race” for developers right now, and the only way to win is to widen the circle of candidates. Blockchain companies should look to build new talent pools wherever they are, not simply migrate to San Francisco to join the shuffle. – Jae Yang, Tacen

Invest in devs interested in growing domains

I’ve witnessed firsthand the fierce competition in recruiting and retaining talent, particularly among developers in the crypto and blockchain space. The leaders should educate budding developers who are willing to grow about the numerous career opportunities available in the blockchain space. Developers from various domains are trying to switch to growing domains; invest in them to address the talent shortage. – Vinita Rathi, Systango

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Build products with real, innovative use cases

One of the best ways to attract and retain talented developers is by focusing on products that have real, innovative use cases. Without meaningful technical milestones to work toward, programmers will seek meaning elsewhere. But through building something significant, developers feel a sense of purpose that encourages them to stick around. – Wolfgang Rückerl, ENT Technologies AG

Create grant programs to incentivize project involvement

To attract talent, companies can create grant programs that incentivize developers to get involved while also giving them a stake in the project’s success. Blockchain technology gives us the tools to seamlessly create these types of opportunities for developers and reward them for their work in ways that other industries can’t. – Anthony Georgiades, Pastel Network

Support a range of initiatives to attract devs to the space

Create or support initiatives to incentivize and attract developers to the space. This could be done in many ways — by providing grants, funding competitions and/or providing educational resources on blockchain and crypto development. – Theo Sastre-Garau, NFTevening

Prioritize quality over industry experience

Simply prioritize hiring high-quality engineers over searching for those with experience in crypto and/or blockchain. Any high-quality engineer can get up to speed on a new technology, but turning a technologist into a high-quality engineer is difficult. – Arie Trouw, XYO

This article was published through Cointelegraph Innovation Circle, a vetted organization of senior executives and experts in the blockchain technology industry who are building the future through the power of connections, collaboration and thought leadership. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph.

Learn more about Cointelegraph Innovation Circle and see if you qualify to join.

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