Workforce Challenges in the Web3 Frontier - According to 1inch’s HR Generalist

Workforce Challenges in the Web3 Frontier - According to 1inch’s HR Generalist

Are Web3 companies and the challenges they face really that different from those in Web2?

In terms of HR practices, the Web2 and Web3 worlds are lightyears apart!

It all begins with fundamentals. People who work exclusively on Web3 projects are usually very passionate about decentralisation and freedom. Because of this, a rigid hierarchical structure or authoritarian format, typically seen in the traditional realm of team management, is no longer of interest to those living in a Web3 world.

The values leading the charge in the next generation of tech typically revolve around:

  • Decentralised Governance
  • Remote Global Workforces
  • Token-Based Incentives
  • Community Engagement
  • Cybersecurity Awareness

And of course, when hiring talent for a Web3 project, a very unique and specific set of hard skills and experience is typically required to build on this mindset.

In the dynamic Web3 space, where decentralised technologies, blockchain innovation, and cryptocurrency ecosystems are rapidly reshaping industries, the human resources landscape is somewhat uncharted territory. The Web3 space, with its disruptive potential and revolutionary concepts, presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for HR professionals.

As the digital revolution unfolds, Web3 companies are pioneering new models of work, value exchange, and governance. In this brave new world, the role of HR professionals is evolving from the traditional "personnel management" approach to becoming strategic architects of decentralised, borderless, and highly transparent organisational structures.

Below we interviewed Viktor Dovydenko, Human Resource Generalist at 1inch, to get a glimpse of what it's like to navigate the Web3 HR space.

What unique challenges and opportunities do Web3 and cryptocurrency companies face regarding talent acquisition and retention?

“The first challenge is a skills shortage. Web3 and blockchain technologies are relatively new and lack professionals with expertise in these areas, and competing for a limited pool of talent can be challenging. Additionally, some projects use very rare programming languages that are not well known in Web2. Therefore, the option of hiring a Web2 skilled person and cultivating a blockchain enthusiast seems no less challenging.

Another challenge is rapid technological evolution. The fast pace of technological change in the crypto and Web3 space means that employees need to continuously update their skills and knowledge, which can create a skills gap. Therefore, it is always necessary for a company to motivate employees to attend conferences and take educational courses. In one of my projects, the CTO and I were able to introduce the format of quarterly hackathons with a monetary prize. As a result, we have two new projects within the developing ecosystem.

As for opportunities, remote work and global teams are two of the main ones. These models give us a little more opportunity to build a strong team. After all, when there are no geographical or office restrictions, it is much simpler to gather the best specialists.

Community engagement is yet another opportunity I can mention. Many Web3 projects actively engage with their communities, allowing employees to interact with a passionate user base and contribute to open-source projects.”

In a rapidly evolving industry like Web3, how does your HR team stay updated on the latest trends and technologies to recruit the right talent?

“We actively attend various Web3 conferences around the world. Also, we have quite a wide network in the Web3 sphere, so we are always aware of trends.”

Do you pay your employees in crypto? If yes, what benefits do you see in this approach to compensation?

“We do pay salaries in USDT wherever local regulations allow it. Our team is distributed all over the world, and it's much easier for us to do accounting this way, plus employees can change crypto to fiat without any problems. The most important benefit of crypto is freedom. That's one of the biggest reasons why we're all involved in blockchain development.”

In the Web3 space, remote work and distributed teams are common. What strategies do you employ to maintain effective communication, collaboration, and team cohesion in such an environment?

“We try to reduce our processes to asynchronous communication. I would say it's a must-have for a remote Web3 project.”

The Bottom Line

The shift from Web2 to Web3 brings about profound differences, emphasising soft skills, decentralised governance, global remote work, token-based incentives, community engagement, and cybersecurity awareness. It’s only a matter of time until the industry evolves and talent becomes more Web3-savvy as a whole.