The crypto industry has already seen more than 1,600 layoffs across the industry in the first two weeks of January.
Despite a wave of heavy crypto layoffs to start the new year, employees in technical and engineering roles, as well as senior management, will likely continue to see “strong demand” for their skills, recruitment professionals believe.
It’s been a tough first few weeks of 2023 for crypto businesses and their staff. Within just two weeks, the market has already seen more than 1,600 crypto-related job cuts as a result of continued market volatility and uncertainty.
However, not all departments have seen the same level of cuts.
SAFU: Senior-level tech and engineering
Rob Paone, founder and CEO of crypto recruitment firm Proof of Talent, told Cointelegraph that technical and engineering roles are by a “wide margin” the most in-demand jobs, even during bear markets.
He said his firm is still seeing “strong demand” for these functions, adding that these salaries are still “very competitive” despite “bidding war type scenarios” no longer being the case for these employees.
Johncy Agregado, director of crypto recruitment firm CapMan Consulting, said that it’s common for mid-level roles to be trimmed during a bear market, but said that senior functions tend to “double or triple” during a bear market.
Agregado added that roles such as chief technology officer and chief information security officer tend to be safe, because people in those positions have to maintain the fluidity of the business and keep “things in order” while the market corrects itself.
Not SAFU: ‘Non-mission critical’
Paone however said the jobs that crypto firms tend to cut first are “usually around” in-house recruiting, customer service, compliance, and anything “non-revenue or product generating.”
Investor and podcaster Anthony Pompliano — who is also the founder of crypto recruitment firm Inflection Points — said while each company approaches bear markets differently, he has historically seen the “non-mission critical jobs” affected most by layoffs.
These roles, according to Pompliano, are any roles outside of product, engineering, operations, customer service and management.
Commenting on the ongoing bear market, Pompliano said he has heard “numerous reports” of salary reductions in smaller companies, while others have put a freeze on raises and annual bonuses.
Paone also added that in some cases, even those in technical roles might not be able to entirely avoid job cuts, explaining that the crypto firms forced to make “deeper cuts” have had to reduce their engineering and product teams too.
Recent months have seen a string of crypto firms, particularly exchanges, cutting staff amid the market downturn.
Last week crypto exchanges Crypto.com and Coinbase both announced cuts to its global workforce.
Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek tweeted on Jan. 13 that the exchange had made the “difficult decision” to reduce its global workforce by “about 20%” because of the tough market conditions and recent industry events.
Meanwhile, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced on Jan. 10 that the exchange would cut 950 jobs as part of a plan to reduce operating costs by around 25% amid the ongoing crypto winter.
Crypto exchange Binance was one of few to announce the opposite, hinting at plans for a “hiring spree” in 2023 during a crypto conference in Switzerland.
However, Paone suggested that while crypto layoffs have been front and center, it hasn’t prompted crypto professionals to pivot away from the industry.