At the forefront of the HR field’s expansion into the new territory of Web3 is Nicholas Strange, CEO and Founder of Crypto Talent. We start the discussion today with why Nicholas felt it was the right time to found Crypto Talent and how he ended up in the position to do so. We break down what Web1, Web2, and Web3 are, how they differ, and what the big tech companies have been saying about Web3, plus some amazing statistics about the rate of growth of HR in the space.
[0:00:05.1] RS: Welcome to Talk Talent to Me. A podcast featuring the most elite talent leaders on the frontline’s modern recruitment.
[0:00:12.2] FEMALE: We actually want to understand the themes of someone’s life, we want to understand how they make decisions. Where are they willing to take risks and what it looks like when they fail.
[0:00:22.2] RS: No holds barred, completely off the cuff interviews with directors of recruitment, VPs of global talent, CHROs and everyone in between.
[0:00:31.1] FEMALE: Once I went through the classes and the trainings got the certifications through diversity and inclusion, I still felt like something was missing.
[0:00:39.7] MALE: Talent acquisition, it’s a fantastic career, you are trusted by the organization, you get to work with the C-Suite and the security at the front desk and everybody in between and everybody knows you.
[0:00:52.0] RS: I’m your host, Rob Stevenson and you’re about to hear the best in the biz, Talk Talent to Me.
[0:00:59.2] RS: Today’s episode of Talk Talent to Me is one I’ve wanted to do for a while now but I wasn’t sure that the world was ready, which maybe is patronizing of me but I think it’s high time to get into Web3 and crypto and NFT stuff. I know you’ve all been seeing this on your feeds, your Twitter, everywhere you look, this stuff is coming up. What does it mean, what does it mean for talent work recruiters? We’re going to find out here with our guest today who has founded an agency that helps place individuals in Web3 type roles. Nicholas Strange, welcome to the podcast. How are you?
[0:01:37.9] NS: Doing absolutely wonderful, brother, how are you doing?
[0:01:39.2] RS: Really, really well. I mean like I said, I’m really excited about this conversation, there’s a million directions that could go inside and I’m going to be hard pressed to keep it on the recruiting rails but I think if we leave those far behind, maybe it will still be fun for folks. I’m excited to hear about your company, Crypto Talent, I should have said in the opening is the name of the company that you have founded. I would love to know a little bit, about your background and what led you to found this company to decide the time was right, the market was right. Can you walk me through all that?
[0:02:07.1] NS: Yeah, definitely. Well, I think, it would be safe to go all the way back to college so I studied psychology at Washington State University and I actually remember giving a presentation to my psych class on that I was going to go join the staffing industry and not one single person in that 200-person class had heard of the staffing industry and neither had I, just a few months prior before going through the interviewing process with the company in downtown Seattle.
Having the degree in psychology, I was thinking about — interested in going into getting my doctorate in psychology and become a psychiatrist and I was looking in all these different routes and what to do and then I stumbled upon recruiting and HR services and things like that. So I started interviewing with different companies around the country and kind of just getting more information about staffing and recruiting and talent acquisition and HR business partnerships and things in that realm and I kind of fell on technical recruiting on the agency side of things as a good blend between my psych background, my interest in people and how individuals work with also a competitive nature that I had and I could see sales coming into that whole entire realm.
I went to go work for a small startup in South Lake Union. I was — I started as a technical recruiter, I did that for a few months and then I moved up into full desk, where I was also doing some business development going out and procuring new clients and then also filling positions for those clients as well.
I worked for that company for about a year and a half until I was recruited out of a recruiting agency, it’s kind of always funny to say, by one of the largest HR services firm in the whole entire world, which is Randstad Technologies and I had a privilege to work under some incredible people there and support one of the largest accounts in the world in our industry which was the Microsoft account.
In that position, I worked as like a senior executive account manager, where I would work with line level managers up to corporate vice-president levels on hiring best practices, recruiting services, team agility and things in that nature.
Having a few years underneath my belt in the staffing industry and talent acquisition and then also, coming into this realm of crypto and defining blockchain and seeing kind of my personal passions residing in the crypto industry and investing and things like that, I started to think, how can I blend my skillsets that I’ve acquired throughout my career and put it into this industry because I see this incredible need for it. As I’m on Twitter following all the CEOs of these companies that I’m currently using some of their products like Coin Base and Kraken, Gemini and Binance and I’m looking at their CEOs twitters in every single day, they are talking about one thing, almost one thing only and that’s the lack of labor in order to support this crazy growing industry, we’re kind of seeing that .com boom era.
It took a long time but over the course of about eight months of bringing ideas into fruition, getting the right business partners and fund raising, we’ve successfully launched Crypto Talent in early part of November so we’ve been in operation now for a few months, been really excited, myself, along with my other four founders which kind of have a big team have been working with a variety of different clients now in the space from the small startups stage, where they’re looing to get 10 to 20 people and grow that company from 10 to 20 people all the way to established publicly traded companies that are just looking for more support on a recruiting end and things like that.
[0:05:21.0] RS: Yeah. The rising tide of the hype about crypto currencies like Bitcoin, now, you know, you use — when the people in NFT sold a little over two million dollars, people started paying attention to that and I think there was like this very widespread lack of understanding of how exactly this technology would be disruptive.
One of the ways we’re seeing is companies, household name companies investing in the space, posting jobs in Web3, we use solidity developers. We need someone to manage our discord for $120,000 a year. Some of these jobs are popping up. Was that part of what inspired you to start this company, seeing just these job postings and these hiring needs have to be more widespread?
[0:06:11.9] NS: Yeah, definitely, I mean, I was actually support in the Microsoft account during the early stages of this and Microsoft and specifically, I mean, their CEO has just recently come out and said that the metaverse is the next Internet, it’s the whole entire embodied experience and then, they just acquired Activision for 60 billion dollars. I mean, they’re doing all these big money moves on the investing front to kind of grab the lions share of this new market and started thinking like this is coming.
I know for sure this is coming now, I just don’t know when it’s going to happen yet. If you look at companies like Facebook as well and Google, they’re all are having these departments that are completely built out, they’re going to be block chain focused and I was like, the time is now, for a lot of people, to transition their career as well as to start a company to help support that transition.
[0:06:55.2] RS: Totally, the signals are there it feels like and I think, if someone views NFTs for example as, “Oh it’s just an expensive jpeg” then they’re missing the forest for the trees a little bit. The Activision purchase is a great example, you know, why did Microsoft buy Activision for so much money? It’s not to make more Call of Duty games, right? How do you compare that to what Satya said about it would be the next Internet, clearly Activision is going to be this video game world we can all engage in, you know? That’s one example and another one like, I don’t know, the smartest guy I know told me that the highest leverage action you can take for your career right now is learning solidity.
When you start hearing some of the most powerful tech people all talk about something, like you said, it’s coming, right? Whether you like it or not or whether you think it’s going to be disruptive, these people do and whether they’re right or not, they have the resources to at least give a serious go of it. Adoption and engagement and disruption and all that, we’ll see but in terms of the investment and the products being brought to market, it’s going to happen, right? It’s just a matter of time and then, begs the question who are the people who are going to be doing this? That’s where Nicholas Strange comes in.
I am curious, what are kind of the roles that are being hired for when you think of the traditional software engineer that you would hire for your Web2 company, what does it look like for Web3? I guess, first, can we just do like a crash course in Web1, Web2, Web3, just in case people aren’t familiar because you see Web3 being tossed around and it took me a while to even figure out why is this different, why is this new, would you mind just kind of walking us through the differences there?
[0:08:32.9] NS: Yeah, sure, I think it’s incredibly important to kind of demystify all of these different words and acronyms that keep getting thrown around that are buzzwords on the Internet. I think it’s safe to say, go back to Web1 and what that kind of look like? Launched around 1989 is when Web1, the Internet came out, that was just mostly a bunch of static pages, read only, there’s no logging in, there’s no online profile, there’s no interaction, it’s essentially just a digital library, just one big large Wikipedia, all hyperlinked together.
[0:09:01.7] RS: Think of like the New York Times website which it’s first iteration was just a digital version of the newspaper.
[0:09:08.0] NS: Exactly. That’s all it was. Over time, there were different features that got added like Flash and Java Script that allowed a little bit more interaction with digital sites and things like that but all users were just consumers and they went to the Internet just to consume information.
Then we go into Web2, which started having some other features with flash and Java Script that came out and late 90s, around 1999 but it’s typically talked about. That movement started in 2004. This was a huge shift in how the Internet was being used. We started seeing a blending of the physical and the digital world and so the Internet evolved a ton and the reason why is because now, it was a two-way communication.
We consumed information and the Internet consumed information on us. So then, these big centralized companies and big tech collected data on individual’s Internet activity to bribe them with more specific content to keep them on their pages longer.
Then, we came into the age of target advertising and lack of privacy for its users. To be fair, we all willingly signed up to this. We signed the Apple agreements, we wanted this utility, as long as we had the next Facebook and the next Myspace coming out, we didn’t really care about all of these data that was being collected and then eventually sold.
It is interesting in 2017 I believe, around that area, data became the number one traded commodity, surpassing oil for the first time in forever. We’re looking at how is Facebook so big? How is Google so big? What is Microsoft doing that’s so big and a lot of it is, these are profiting off of personal data and being able to provide a more specific content to you and advertising and obviously, we’ll purchase that and that’s how kind of how the transactions work.
Then, as we shift into Web3, we started seeing some of those emerging technologies come out like the late 2000s, it was actually it was coined in 2006 by John Markoff for the New York Times writer there but all of these new buzz words come into play, we hear blockchain, Defy, crypto currency, NFTs, Metaverse, Dows, all of these different words that are getting thrown around, augmented reality, virtual reality, right?
All of these underlying technology is being built and has been built to essentially shift how humans interact with the Internet and that’s what we’re talking about the launch of Web3, which is not just Doge coin or Bitcoin or all these crypto currencies that people kind of just throw everything into one basket, there’s all of these underlying technologies that are being built like the ones that were just mentioned that are going to allow for individuals to own their interaction more on the Internet, which is going to provide security and privacy for all as well as peer-to-peer transactions and less third-party authentication. Truly, just peer-to-peer interactions on the Internet.
[0:11:48.1] RS: Got it, what is this skill difference then? Back to the original question when you think of the original — the typical software engineer job post you might see. What does that look like for a company hiring Web3 talent?
[0:12:00.2] NS: Yeah, definitely. I think that’s one thing that often gets misconstrued about the talent that is being hired actually into Web3, people are like, “I have to be a solid developer, I have to be a smart contract developer. I have to have some very specific technical knowledge on to transition to my career.”
However, if we look at the hiring stats that are currently going on in 2021 and moving into 2022, that’s not necessarily all the case. These are well-established companies or small startups that are looking for all sorts of talent. Anything from HR, sales, marketing, software engineering, project management, hardware management, people in the office to do office duties, office assistance, executive assistance.
There is all sorts of different talent that are going into that and 2021, we had about 10,000 people that joined the Bitcoin and crypto industry. Currently right now, there is 30,000 job openings worldwide that have crypto specific language in them. We also saw 400% increase on LinkedIn job searches in the year of 2021 and the most popular crypto job boards off 1,500% increase in page job listing by employers.
Which are some pretty crazy stats if you’re looking retrospectively to the other major tech companies. Most of these jobs, you’re right, are in software and finance but over other industries, you’re also seeing a huge rise in demand. Professional services, accounting, consulting, legal, compliance, staffing, computer hardware sectors, everything like that is created.
[0:13:28.2] RS: Community development too, yeah.
[0:13:31.7] NS: Yeah, community development, Discord development or management is a big one, all of these online communities and nontraditional mediums are popping up and to manage all the interaction these marketing managers and community managers start to build up different facets of their career.
The interesting part is that 36% of all crypto job postings are remote work, compared to your traditional 7% across the rest of the United States. They are geo-equal opportunity employers that are just looking for anybody to come in and help join their labor force. I think one of the most interesting quotes actually that was transformation for me when I was just starting this company was a quote from Binance’s CEO, his name is Ching Pang Zao, CZ is what people call him for short but he was quoted in an article by saying, “We see the industry growing exponentially on a year-to-year basis and we need to scale our team to cope with it” and that cope is a really important word.
It’s not that we need to hire a bunch of people to capitalize on this market to be able to do that, is that they’re facing such a burden on the lack of talent in this industry that they have to cope with it by hiring aggressively. I think that’s pretty interesting.
[0:14:42.8] RS: Yeah, it’s like they’re not investing to build a future, they’re like, investing to scramble to catch up.
[0:14:47.3] NS: Exactly. A lot of these companies like coin base for example. I mean, they have 525 jobs opened on their website and they’ve grown in the last two years for about 300 employees to almost 3,000 employees. We’re seeing as massive uproar and people just joining and going into the specific crypto companies.
I think one thing that’s important to highlight, especially because I know that a lot of your demographic that listens to this podcast is recruiters and HR professionals and things like that. The HR, human resource accounts for almost 200% growth in the crypto-related space because it kind of make sense if you look at it.
People, these companies are hiring, they need more people to come in and so they need to hire recruiters and HR business partners to be able to make that happen.
[0:15:32.6] RS: It’s interesting that there is more remote friendly jobs, which makes sense because this Web3 movement in general is airing back towards anonymity, the kind of which we haven’t seen really, since Web1. Another characteristic of Web2 is your faces and avatar, your social media profile is you and your background and your interest, people can write on it, there’s this personalization of the web that is less typical, you see it with the NFT avatars, right?
People are putting the picture of their little pixelated monkey on their Twitter and they’re taking their name off and they’re replacing it with their .eth address, right? There’s a couple of projects I’m involved in that the people, the founders, the owners are completely anonymous. I know who one of them is because I follow his newsletter but the rest of them, they could be anyone, all I know about them is that they ship, right? Is that like — it’s working.
There is this built-in anonymity which will lend itself to I think, more less bias in hiring for example, right? One of it’s more remote then the opportunity is more distributed and two, if I don’t know what you look like or what you sound like, then how are my biases going to creep in if really, all I can go off of is some work that you show me? That is kind of like, the dream really in hiring.
There’s these tools have existed for along time, double blind, sort of interviewing techniques, these things do work. I’m curious, in the event that people remaining anonymous or they don’t have the computer engineering degree, how are individuals qualifying themselves for roles in these new kinds of companies?
[0:17:07.3] NS: Definitely. Well, I think that’s the most exciting thing for me and one of my biggest passions is this opportunity to kind of reshape those traditional learning routes and training routes, right? Which were sectored off to certain communities that were able to afford the resources in order to go get that training and education. Your computer science degree for example, right?
We are entering into a world of open source and learning and the self-taught and so there are countless opportunities out there for people to join these crash courses, these cohorts, these maiden learning academies, these online YouTube people who will be able to educate the masses on how to get their skills up. There’s incredible opportunity for individuals in underrepresented communities that have not been able to have access to the resources to be able to go to your traditional meetings and learning like college and grad school and all these things that have these big financial bars on them.
Because we are approaching into this world of open-source learning and the self-taught. A lot of companies, individuals who we work with, whether it be CEOs or head of talents or talent acquisition partners or leaders of recruiters with these companies, they’re more interested in people’s passion projects. They have some sort of online identity and which everybody has access to, being able to create something, be able to market yourself out there more.
Whether it be a YouTube channel, your LinkedIn feed, your twitter, your discord, you have all of these different mediums which you’re able to essentially market yourself and the skillsets that you’ve learned. Because, we have the library or Alexandria at our fingertips but the directory sucks because there’s so much information out there, right? We’re like, where do I go, how do I learn?
There are some specific resources out there that are better than others, I would say that if you’re paying for a course, I’m not a traditionally a big fan of that. I think that everything that you need to know is out there online, open for free and then there’s tons of projects out there that people are able to train and get ramped up to speed and don’t actually necessarily have to be possessed the hard, technical skills.
They just have to show a passion, interest and understanding of that North star movement of where this industry is going to go.
[0:19:20.6] RS: Yeah. I tend to agree with you with paid courses. I think what you’re paying for is to keep yourself accountable and for the structure, right? It’s like very nicely organized for you, it’s not like the only way to access that content is to get through a paywall or something, right? Back to the matter at hand, this notion of self-taught, nontraditional backgrounds is typical of Web3 projects but it’s not particularly novel to how recruiting is happening right now.
I think the thoughtful recruiters out there have been hiring folks from nontraditional background for a while now and saying, “Let’s take these academic requirements off of our job descriptions, they are needlessly limiting and discriminatory. Let’s look at boot camps, let’s look at these organizations that are cropping up that specifically cater to marginalized communities and let’s hire out of those” as supposed to the traditional Stanford’s of the world, right?
This is just the next generation of it, right? It’s just another iteration of something that’s already going on and it’s great because it democratizes access but it’s not particularly revolutionary.
[0:20:27.7] NS: Yes, exactly. I think what this is actually going to be doing is can be providing an equality of opportunity, essentially is all it is. I mean, like you had mentioned, the best recruiters in my opinion and from my personal experience too, it was never the hard skills that necessarily made somebody get the job or that was required, it was always that culture fit. When I was recruiting and as I currently recruit now, what I looked for and when I speak with hiring managers is like, “What is your why?”
Because I’m going to go find somebody else out there that has that same why and I’m going to mix you two together because I know that there’s going to be the ramp up time. There’s going to be a grace period because people just want to be able to work with people who have the same why and are culture adds, not just culture fit and I think that’s an important distinction, right? We don’t want people in our companies who are the same fit in our culture because they’re not providing new insights. We want people who add to the culture, who fit in a way that are different enough to be able to apply some new way of thinking.
[0:21:22.5] RS: Yup, I think it’s worth calling out that Web 2 companies aren’t going anywhere and it’s conceivable that as a recruiter, you can continue working in a Web 2 company or any other sort of application that’s not even necessarily Internet based without having to learn what solidity means, you know? I want to make sure though that for someone who’s like, “Well, I’m just never going to work for a Web3 company. I have no interest in working for coin base, so this podcast is not relevant to me.”
I do think however that overtime we will see the traditional Web2 type companies entering the arena of Web3 and while it may never be a 100% of their product offering, it will be a growing field that they invest in. How do you envisioned traditional Web2 companies slowly dipping their toe in the water of Web3 branching out? What are some of the disruptive technologies that you think a company like Chase for example or a conservative company who may not jump in with both feet to the Web3 world will invest over time?
[0:22:26.0] NS: Yeah, definitely. I think that’s a great question and a lot to unpack, obviously trying to think of some hypothetical situations in the future. I think we can apply how history work, how the history of open-source technology and open-source programming has looked at. I mean, if you look at the Web3.0 architecture, I think it is obviously going to require a lot of additional resources and infrastructure.
It is not going to be an easy task to create this and this whole entire push is awesome sometimes to disrupt these big technology companies, right? To disrupt the Microsoft’s of the world, disrupt the Google’s of the world but if you look at all those same companies, all of them like Facebook for example, Zuckerberg was just quoted saying, “Metaverse is our only priority over Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp from now on.”
He is forgoing all of his other subsidiaries that are underneath this Facebook umbrella just to invest into the Metaverse. Google CEO was recently quoted as saying, “We see blockchain as a powerful technology with broad application and we will invest heavily into it.” Morgan Stanley, “The Metaverse is an eight-trillion-dollar market that will replace the mobile Internet as we know it.”
We do currently have all of these traditional Web2 companies that are seeking these huge, huge acquisitions, partnerships with either acquiring the coin bases of the world or the krakens or these other blockchain startups or creating their own. I think Microsoft is a big player in the tech industry but just an important company to highlight and not to go back to it but I think it is such a great use case of their 60-billion-dollar investment.
I think I saw a calculation that that could have bought every single MOB team in the whole entire country and Microsoft did that to invest into just into the Metaverse and so I think if we look at these traditional Web2 companies, they have slowly underneath kind of drapes and curtains already have been creating a lot of these technology like Facebook, Oculus, Drift, Microsoft’s, AR and VR technology, they have been doing Google Glasses.
A lot of these big companies, I mean even like Apple’s iPhone Siri is a function of Web3 that AI automated voice that’s going to be there to answer things with you, where we really have this blend between the digital technology and the human physical world, where there is sometimes going to be even hard to distinguish between the two. I guess in short, all in all, it’s hard to say. I mean if you look back at the .com era, the big boom that happened there, I had a ton of companies who grew to become really large and then end up falling, right?
Because we have open source technology on the blockchain and a lot of these are going to be the intellectual properties, it is going to be open and out there for everybody, there is going to be a huge amount of innovation and creation in the coming years and I think new companies are going to emerge and new companies are going to come in to be “the big tech companies” as well the current big tech companies are also going to stay around because I think they have some — they already have some foresight.
[0:25:19.6] RS: Yeah, if Sachin Adela of Microsoft, if that quote that the Metaverse is a new Internet is correct, then that’s the answer right there like they’ve got every businesses online, so it’s really just quite as simple as that. Outside of companies with explicitly Web3 offerings, in need of explicit Web3 talent, how do you think these new technologies will change the way people engage with employers, the way recruiters engage with talent even if the company they are hiring for isn’t really Web3 focused?
[0:25:56.4] NS: Definitely, this is I think one of the coolest things too is when we look at what is Web3 and how does Web3 disrupt the way that employers engage with talent of how talent represent themselves to companies, there is a lot of different things that are going to come into play here.
One being that if you look at the company LinkedIn, LinkedIn makes most of their money, their revenue on selling recruiting licenses to companies to try to procure talent and what that allows recruiters to do as most of your listeners know is to be able to gain a ton of different data and information on candidate skillsets and likeliness that they have acquired throughout their career, right?
If you know, just about anything, any of those really sought-after skillsets that are really hard to find that are niched, those individual’s data is incredibly valuable and so if you look at how that could potentially be disrupted is where we give the ownership of that data to the individual. Let’s say that you are a blockchain developer in the United States who has four years of solidity and experience and you have worked on some very visible projects.
Your work is in an open-source model that everybody can see what you’ve done, your career and the skillsets you have acquired are incredibly valuable to everybody. Essentially what you could do is you could have what instead of what your Web2 regular PDF resume would look like, you’d have an on-chain resume and this resume can be sold as an NFT, where employers could bid on the ability to have the chance to have a conversation with you.
You could then profit off your data that you are not currently profiting out of that LinkedIn or these other job boards that are profiting off of you and then you could have this kind of interesting chance where you have all of this information that provides uniqueness one of one to you and who you are. Like NFT, your resume, you could put I9 verifications, background checks, desired salary, all of these different things on your resume and then have that in bidding war to all of the top companies.
It can really disrupt how current staffing agencies and employers are recruiting talent because now we’re giving power, more power to the individual to have ownership of that recruiting life cycle process rather than these other centralized tech companies like LinkedIn or Dice or all these other job boards.
[0:28:06.2] RS: The taking back control of your own personal data I think is so important and the ways that it will take shape, we can’t even really fully imagine but as you say, it’s the biggest commodity right now is data but it’s my data, right? Historically, I have paid for use of a LinkedIn with data, right? This is the cliché in 2010, you could just say if you are not paying for a product, you are the product being sold, right?
So too is the case with all of these social media sites but here’s the scenario, where there is a recruiting of a team is trying to triangulate who is going to be a good fit for this job and they come up with you, they come in the close range and they say, “Look, maybe we can get Nicholas, maybe we can’t but how do we get more people like Nicholas? Nicholas has the exact skillset we want, how do we like this is the model we’ll build off of.”
They pull up your LinkedIn profile and they put it on their giant monitor in their comments room or their Zoom more likely. That’s LinkedIn’s value right now is displaying your profile and your data that they may have had to pay LinkedIn to get access to, to put up in their conference room and use it to make a hiring decision or to make a hiring model. What if instead of LinkedIn getting paid for that, you got paid for that?
Just because like someone thought you were so good that they wanted a bit of access to your data to either like you said, engage with you directly or just to know what does it even mean. What is someone who has this job, what does their background look like? How do we find more people like this and I would just wake up and there would be some Ethereum in my — or some USDC in my MetaMask wallet because “Oh, my profile got accessed this many times”.
You log in on LinkedIn and it says someone viewed your profile, one, what am I supposed to do with that information but what if instead of a little notification, I was compensated? This is another huge shift I think from Web2 and Web3, which is that we are not just in terms of the data but the content we generate for these LinkedIn sites. I’d write a LinkedIn post or I write a tweet and the only way I got compensated with that is in likes and retweets and whatever else and that’s like a social capital in a way.
It gives me this credibly in the site and unless I do it so well that I can then sell access to my audience to be like a sponsored post, I don’t get anything for that besides like the little Internet points, you know? But LinkedIn does, right? Twitter does, they get comments, they did it in the form of more active users and more content and more of a compelling thing that they can sell to people. Part in parcel with taking the power back on your data is taking the power back on the content you generate.
Historically, there has not been ways for Twitter to pay their users for generating content, right? Patreon and there is a couple of other tools that are external to this that are sort of playing with it but the whole “Buy me a cup of coffee” thing that you see or like what if there was someone who is tweets you love so much and there is a little link on the top of their bio that was like “Buy me a coffee or give me a couple of dollars”, right?
You could be like, hey, instead of retweeting you, you wrote this thread that was really, really helpful to me, here is four dollars, bang-bang-bang-bang, right? This is another example I think of taking the power back that we could see Web2 to Web3.
[0:31:20.1] NS: Just a brief reaction to that because I think it’s pertinent, Twitter actually has now installed that feature. You see a traditional Web2 company where the former CEO, Jack Dorsey has actually, he’s all in on Bitcoin. If you listen to anything that he’s putting out there, he is fully into the Web3 movement but Twitter itself now has that ability. You can — they just have the lightning network installed on their app as well as a partnership with Strike that allows people to tip.
You can actually send a one dollar tip for that individual who wrote that life-changing Twitter thread, which there are so many out there that you can read crazy amount for a 150 words and you can read that and you can change your day or change your mind, change your week. I think there are some exciting things going on in that space as well.
[0:32:00.7] RS: That’s just V.01 right of paying people for the content that they generate instead of paying the company who just broadcasts it. I do want to — again, this is what I was worried about is we are going off the recruiting rails but another example of ways we can expect employer-employee candidate recruiter relationships to change is in the resume itself, which as any HR tech company in the last 10 years, they’ll tell you resumes are dead.
The truth is, it’s not that they’re dead. It’s just there’s nothing better and you are dealing with someone self-reported skills, you can write anything on your LinkedIn, you can write anything on a resume and outside of a reference check, which more and more people aren’t doing because it is problematic for reasons discussed in previous podcast, you just have to take their word for it.
What if instead of a LinkedIn profile or a resume, you could look at their NFT collection, where they worked at this company and in exchange for successfully completing some project, they were given a badge and the badge is NFT and it is verified in the blockchain and it’s issued by the employer and you can assume that they wouldn’t have gotten it unless they actually worked on the thing that they said they do.
Now, someone like me, my work is public, right? I can send this out to anyone and be like, “This is what it is” but you don’t have that advantage if you are working on something that’s maybe has proprietary information or is just legacy code that you’d put into a coding environment and then was deployed in an environment that you couldn’t share it from but what if that was represented by something that the company said, “Yes, here is your stamp of approval.” Do you see that as an outlet, the NFT resume?
[0:33:37.6] NS: Yeah, definitely and that’s just because everything will be on the blockchain, right? That’s the immutable ledger. I mean, once that transaction or that communication happens, that it’s recorded and can never be changed or edited, right? Just like you have mentioned, people can create their own day-to-day responsibilities and things like that on their resume but not a lot of companies in Web2 are open source.
If you or because a lot of different reasons, protection of their own data so that way, competitors don’t come in and steal their share but also it’s just proprietary information that has personal information and things like that and so now, when we switch into this whole entire Web3 version and where you have essentially your on chain resume, you are able to have these things that are verified on the blockchain that companies can look at and say, “Oh, look he contributed this amount of code” almost like a living breathing GitHub LinkedIn portfolio mash up, right?
I think if you look at the traditional UX designers or the graphic designers where all of their work is very easily just like broadcasted in a portfolio and a portfolio and a resume, like portfolio always trumps a resume in that space, right? We saw how the online portfolio was able to trump a traditional resume in the designer space because it allowed access to people’s work and that’s always people can just see actually what you were able to accomplish.
The blockchain resume is essentially doing the same thing but for everybody and the way that that can happen is by the employer authenticating that the work that was done and so that way, we don’t have to have third party authentication. I don’t have to call a reference or anything like that because that reference would have always put that — already put that stamp on the blockchain to say that this individual has completed the work and here’s the day-to-day responsibilities and that’s what’s going to look like I believe going forward.
[0:35:17.2] RS: Yeah and just a quick vocab part of the episode for anyone out there who is not in the fully down the rabbit hole. NFT stands for non-fungible token and it’s basically a contract. It can be anything that is just proof of ownership proved by the blockchain and represented by a profile picture or a badge. We are in this early iteration of it where it’s like, “Oh people are paying 10 Ethereum, 35 grand for a picture of a monkey.”
I think like that art and profile picture iteration of it is just like again, V.01, right? We are so early in the space that people see that and like, “Well, that’s stupid, why would anyone pay for a JPEG?” and it’s like yeah, but think of the other applications, right? Think of anything that you would want and verified, verified ownership of and in the case of a blockchain, in the case of a blockchain resume, you could argue, “Oh yeah but couldn’t you just mint your own badge that said you were instrumental in this project?”
Sure you could but you couldn’t issue it from the company’s official wallet address, right? That is another interesting thing about the blockchain. If you’ve never been on a block explorer, you can go and look like who sent what to whom and you can click on the link of theirs their wallet, there is the thing that it issued from and that’s the official Microsoft wallet. I know that that’s verified, I don’t have to call the boss.
I don’t have to out them that they are on their job hunt. I can just see that they worked on this thing that they said they did. There is no like, I don’t have to see the legacy code, I don’t need to — there is no threat to the company’s proprietary information. It’s just approved, right? The company said you did it and if I were in the next few years, I would be pushing for that if I was some kind of but my work was internal.
I would be like, “Hey, I need you to be able to give me basically a digital ribbon that says I did this.”
[0:37:03.7] NS: Exactly and it only helps, allowing you to be more marketable so people can advance in their careers and then we can see more innovation in this, in all sorts of technology and all sorts of industries.
[0:37:14.5] RS: What about the Metaverse? What about our career favors coming back? How do we get jobs in the Metaverse?
[0:37:19.3] NS: Yeah, that’s interesting too and then — well, I guess two-year long now pandemic, which has been crazy, which have actually completely destroyed all events and career fairs and things like that and then turned everybody into this 300 person Zoom meeting where you have breakout rooms where people have a hard time logging in and there is just all of these kind of — people are just unfortunately barred from the opportunity to be able to connect with employers.
There’s all these new mediums being developed, right? I am sure that if you have been recruiting in the last two years, your day-to-day recruitment has changed a lot prior to March of 2020 but how I see moving into Metaverse type career fairs, which is the people aren’t listening don’t understand what the Metaverse is, is essentially just an online virtual world that you could go live in and have your own avatar, I think that’s going to be something that’s interesting.
This is like maybe a little bit of a farfetched hypothetical situation but you know, there is a lot of different avatar NFTs that are being built, right? People are, like you had mentioned, spending tons of money on this, right? What if there was for example, in a career fair, there were some certain badge that you would receive if you have a certain level of experience with a specific programming language you had work for certain companies or something like that?
There was information that was very pertinent to recruiters that if it was verified in a visual representation on your avatar’s body in this Metaverse that would you go, “I want to go up to that person and talk to them because they have some specific experience.” I think that’s what’s going to be really interesting to see how people interact in these digital worlds and things like that. I don’t necessary think it’s ever going to replace real world interactions as I think we as human beings are always going to feed on that.
But for the time being, it’s going to really, really help alleviate some of the problems that have currently happened and also just allow more connectivity across the whole entire world, right? Because you can’t be in person with somebody in Dubai when you live in Seattle, right? But you could maybe have a little bit more of that shared intimate experience and that would take place to that in person interaction somewhere in the Metaverse where you are actually feeling like you are talking with your hands, you are moving around a little bit and you can actually interact with them in some sort of more normal sense.
[0:39:26.1] RS: Yeah, that’s important to call out that we’re not saying that there is this dystopian view of you’ll have your AR goggles, your VR goggles on and you’ll just like be like one of the creatures in Wall.E that are floating around because they can’t actually walk and all of your entire human experience is virtual, no, but if you are hiring remotely, then you’re hiring experience could be virtual, right?
It would be better off because you have access to these other talent pool and such a good call out like and then just use your imagination like it could be a badge, it could be like a balloon that your Metaverse avatar holds. It could be like a superhero cape and you’re walking around the Metaverse career fair and like, “Oh there’s someone with a green cape. That means they have this particular experience” and historically, that information has resided where like inside of portfolio that they are carrying around with them, it’s super inefficient.
Yeah, if I was a recruiter and I can just look at across the giant room and be like, “Oh, I need to talk to everyone in this room whose avatar is holding a green balloon” then they’d be thrilled. That would be great.
[0:40:30.4] NS: Right, yeah that would streamline a lot of stuff.
[0:40:31.0] RS: Nic, this has been an awesome conversation. Thank you so much for being here and sharing your experience and just kind of prognosticating with me. I really enjoyed chatting with you, so thanks so much for being here.
[0:40:40.1] NS: Yeah, definitely. I really appreciate you for having me on. This is something that myself as well as my business partners are incredibly passionate about and we’re working out a couple of different things that I think are important to maybe some of your listeners or if anybody has any questions on maybe how to start or transition their career into the D Fire or crypto industry or maybe even some of the ideals of which we have spoken about today, I’m always a resource here for you in any way, shape or form that I can be.
We are also creating a training and education platform with the partnership with Hodges University, you can look up on Twitter. We could provide some free open sources learning and training on how to enhance some of your professional skills when it comes into, “How do I get myself in front of recruiters, how do I get myself past the algorithms, how do I get and go and land my dream job with the company based on my specific skillsets?”
One thing that we’re doing is we’re going to be creating out some crash courses on how to polish up your resume online presence, how to effectively send a cold DM or a cold email, how and when to find the right mediums to be able to connect with the right people and like Discord and Twitter and things like that and so if there is anybody out there that’s listening and are just like, “Hey, that sounds interesting, something that I would love to do” I would be more than happy to help in any way that we can, help make that best step for you.
[0:42:00.1] RS: I love that. We’ll put all the links to find Nicholas and the company in the show notes. Thank you so much, this has been a blast.
[0:42:06.2] NS: Thanks, Rob, I really appreciate it.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:42:11.2] RS: Talk Talent to Me is brought to you by Hired. Hired empowers connections by matching the world’s most innovative companies with ambitious tech and sales candidates. With Hired, candidates and the companies have visibility into salary offers, competing opportunities and job details. Hired’s unique offering includes customized assessments and salary bias alerts to help remove unconscious bias when hiring. By combining technology and human touch, our goal is to provide transparency in the recruiting process and empower each of our partners to employ their potential and keep their talent pipeline full.
To learn more about how we can help you find your next great hire, head to hired.com/tt2m.