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For any organisation, hiring the right people is essential. In the current tight labour market, it’s harder than ever to find competent, reliable employees who have the skills and disposition to help make your business a success. And if that’s true across the wider economy, it’s even more the case in the Web3 world, where there can be fierce competition for good talent.
At the same time, there are plenty of low-quality candidates in the space. These might simply be individuals who are relatively new to the crypto world, and despite being motivated to learn more, are still on their way up. Unfortunately, there are also those who are simply trying to exploit the lack of good people in the space and offering a poor service at a high price; at the worst end of the spectrum, there are the outright scammers.
If you’re looking for high-quality Web3 freelancers, you’ll need to tap into the right pools of talent, and screen candidates to make sure they really are up to the job. As a Web3 freelancer portal with over 100,000 users, LaborX is a great place to start your search – though it’s not the only place to find the expertise you need.
Finding Web3 Talent
The ideal way to find any talent, and the first you should try, is word of mouth. Your immediate networks and communities are a great place to search for freelancers. Crypto communities are a fantastic resource to be able to tap into, since they contain large numbers of diverse individuals who have a wide range of skills and contacts, but who are also familiar with the space and likely already aligned with your project. Simply by tweeting an appeal or dropping an ‘@everyone’ in your Discord, you stand a good chance of finding someone qualified and willing, quickly and easily – potentially saving yourself days or weeks of searching, and a hefty recruitment fee too.
Remember, it’s not just your closest networks that are valuable, here. It’s your second-order connections – acquaintances, friends of friends, and your outer circle of followers – who are actually more likely to come through, since they have connections and information you don’t.
If you can’t find someone suitable via your communities, then don’t worry. The next stop is online freelancer platforms and jobs boards that specialise in the crypto and blockchain sector. While these lack the trust and built-in references that come with hiring someone through your own close networks, they have the advantage of bringing together thousands, or even tens of thousands, of freelancers. They also have a range of features (such as reputation systems and feedback) that enable you to hire with confidence.
What’s more, because this is the Web3 world, these are not simply centralised platforms that rely on a single gatekeeper. Very often they will provide features that help you carry out your search for candidates effectively, such as the ability to set up bounties or offer tokens as a reward for other users who refer a promising candidate, especially if it leads to a successful hire.
Another good way to expand your own networks and meet potential candidates is to attend industry events including meetups, hackathons, and conferences. These are full of competent individuals who – by definition, since they have gone to the trouble of attending in the first place – have an interest in Web3 and are motivated to network and learn more about the space. As a result, such events have a high return on investment when it comes to recruiting talent. So long as you put yourself out there and aim to meet as many people as possible, there’s a good chance you’ll find someone who can help you. Conversations at these gatherings often lead to successful hires more frequently than other recruitment methods.
The same is true even of small-scale local meetups. You don’t have to attend the big annual conferences – although, of course, you’ll meet a far greater number and range of people at those. Any networking opportunities and industry-specific events are a good opportunity to connect with potential candidates.
Hiring Options On LaborX
If you don’t have the time and luxury of attending conferences, and your networks don’t come through for you, then you will probably default to searching for candidates via freelancer platforms like LaborX. This is not a bad solution, by any means; it just lacks the personal touch of a community introduction. However, it more than makes up for it in ease of use and the sheer size of the pool of talent you can access.
Freelance and full-time
There are two options when searching for talent on LaborX: freelancers or full-time candidates.
Freelancers can be hired for one-off jobs. These might be very short tasks – something like creating a logo or writing an article – or they could be longer but discrete jobs like developing a dApp or building a website. There are two different ways to hire a freelancer, depending on what you’re looking for:
- Purchase a Gig. Gigs are fixed-price, one-off services offered by freelancers. They tend to be popular tasks that might be bought many times by the same or different clients – things like creating a logo, writing articles, recording a voiceover, providing a package of marketing services, or even forking a well-known dApp. In short, a Gig is the freelancer’s opportunity to sell their skills in a specific form, showcasing their talent in the process. Gigs can be searched by sector and type, and there is a huge number to choose from, provided by tens of thousands of freelancers. You’ll find all budgets are catered for (but see further on that below).
- Upload a Job. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the Gigs listings, you can choose to create a custom job for LaborX’s users to browse and apply for. A Job is your way of advertising to freelancers, rather than the other way round. Jobs are typically more complicated or bespoke tasks, or sometimes simply something a little unusual. Whereas you simply buy a Gig and get started straight away, when you create a Job you’ll have to wait for the freelancers to apply, and then select the candidate you like best. This takes a little more time than just buying a Gig off the peg, but it means you can specify exactly what you want, and wait for the right freelancer to offer their services.
The alternative to hiring a freelancer is advertising for a full-time employee. This is currently a beta service that is offered by LaborX at no charge. The feature essentially acts as a jobs board that connects employers with prospective employees (specifically those who are willing to work full-time for an organisation). Simply upload the vacancy, providing as much detail as possible, and interested parties can browse and apply for it.
Screening Job Candidates
If you post an attractive Job on LaborX, you may find that a large number of candidates apply. Similarly, if you are looking at purchasing a Gig, there may be many different freelancers offering broadly the same service. In both cases, you will need to screen the different providers to ensure that you end up with someone who can deliver what you need, on-time and on-budget.
There are a few principles you will want to bear in mind when filtering prospective candidates:
- Web2 experience is not the same as Web3 experience. Developers might have many years under their belts in the Web2 world, but that does not mean they are automatically suited to a Web3 role. While many skills are transferable, there are new technologies and new principles that will not intuitively make sense to someone from a Web2 background. At the very least, make sure that your developer has gained some expertise in the blockchain space, because there will otherwise be serious (potentially catastrophic) gaps in their knowledge.
- Reputation matters. The Web3 world is an ecosystem that thrives on building networks and communities. The open source nature of the space means that developers (and other professionals) don’t do their work behind closed doors. They will be known, via their previous projects, Github repos, social profiles and roles in different communities. Don’t pass up the opportunity to get a sense of how competent and reliable a candidate is by checking out their online reputation.
- Don’t forget soft skills. Hard skills (coding, project management, marketing strategies, etc) matter. But so do soft skills, including critical and creative thinking, negotiation, empathy, and so on. While you might hire someone for their hard skills, the majority of problems in an organisation arise due to a lack of soft skills. It’s no good if someone is a rockstar developer if they’re incapable of taking orders or working with other team members.
A few reminders for hiring
Finding good people should be pretty straightforward, but there are always candidates who will exaggerate their experience. Don’t forget these guidelines:
- Don't hire marketers who don’t have followers
- Don't hire developers who can’t show their code
- Don't hire designers without portfolios
- Don’t hire writers who have spelling mistakes in their Gig adverts
- Don't hire moderators who have bad English
Fortunately, LaborX makes finding good people easy. If you’re looking for the best candidates, filter freelancers to show only 4-5 star ratings, and don’t always go for the cheapest option. The saying goes that you get what you pay for, and that is certainly true in Web3.
Market Prices For Web3 Employees
Web3 jobs have a reputation for paying more than comparable roles in other sectors. This is partly because there is a shortage of talent, and partly because freelancing is more common. (All things being equal, freelancers tend to be paid more per-hour than full-time employees, because they lack job security and all the other benefits that come with a permanent role.)
At the same time, the open and global nature of the industry means anyone with an internet connection can bid for your custom. Some will lowball to try to get the job, others will be underqualified, while others may have the talent you need and just happen to live somewhere with a low cost of living.
Typical market prices for different roles
- $100-999 for fixes and simple jobs (errors with code, website changes, Discord bots/scripts, etc.)
- $1,000-5,000 for smaller projects (simple smart contracts, building a new website, DeFi platforms frontends, and so on)
- $5,000-9,999 for larger projects (creating games, tokenisation, full-service implementations)
- $10,000 upwards for major dApps and DeFi protocols, crypto platforms, etc.
- Content creators: $100-1,000 per piece of content
- Graphic designers: $100-1,000 per creative item
These are just guidelines, of course. If you find someone whose work you like, who communicates well with you and your team, and who delivers promptly, then that’s worth a lot in its own right – so you might be happy to pay a little extra.
Finding good people in Web3 can be tricky at times, due to the shortage of talent, but it’s largely a matter of common sense. Leverage your communities and social media networks to gain leads, attend industry events, and browse LaborX to tap into a huge network of crypto-focused freelancers.
When screening prospective candidates, don’t settle for a false economy by hiring someone without proven experience in the Web3 sector. Similarly, don’t agree to work with someone without seeing a sample of their work before you start. And – hopefully it’s needless to say – never, never pay someone before you’ve received the work you’ve been promised. LaborX has built-in reputation and escrow systems to avoid the problems associated with working with remote freelancers, enabling you to make your hires with confidence.