Making a bad hire is costly and disruptive at any level. But when that bad hire is at the C-level...?
The consequences can be downright catastrophic. Bring in the wrong CTO to scale up your engineering organization? You might never recover.
A mediocre CRO? Your growth potential may end up permanently capped.
The importance of hiring the right executives simply cannot be overstated, most especially as you are building and scaling your blockchain startup. You only have a finite window of time before each funding round dries up to convert your compelling vision and brilliant ideas into actionable product, traction, and ultimately – revenue. The quality of your executive team is the single largest determining factor in your success. Too many companies unfortunately learn this lesson only through bitter experience. Screw this up and you might find yourself resigned to Googling for "executive jobs in blockchain"...
So to whom do you entrust this most critical task?
Do you hire an executive search firm? One that has the acumen and track record to hire at the C-level, that gets executive recruiting, but doesn’t get crypto and doesn’t get you. They just don’t speak the lingo. They have to learn the industry from scratch to even begin to know where to look – and you won’t be reaching them on Discord or in their Telegram DMs anytime soon.
What about a crypto recruitment agency?
They might know their way around the industry and cap off their motivational posts with #LFG, but do you really trust them to hire your new CEO or CMO? Do they have the methodology, wisdom and gravitas required to deliver?
Or maybe there’s another option.
Much as Korn & Ferry or Heidrick & Struggles might protest otherwise, the traditional distinction between recruitment agency and executive search firm is increasingly becoming irrelevant. These models are both products of the industrial age, driven by information asymmetry.
The primary bottleneck in industrial-age recruiting was access. Knowledge of, and therefore, access to, candidates. Without easily accessible sources of candidate data (say…Linkedin), there were a number of key factors at play:
- Researching and contacting prospective candidates was an extremely time-consuming endeavor requiring grit, determination and specialist expertise
- Conducting original research was economically unviable for the vast majority of hires, putting executive search methodology out of reach and elevating the value of “the rolodex” – the recruitment agency’s database as core value proposition
- Executive hires have always been critical enough that the lengthy and painstaking process of original research was worth the elevated cost and extreme lead time
- Difficulty of access meant ease of engagement – people were generally flattered to receive very infrequent headhunter calls and so connection rates were extremely high
These conditions produced the executive search <> recruitment agency distinction we still live with today.
And yet today’s conditions couldn’t be more different.
Candidate information is overwhelmingly accessible, free and instantly available to anyone who cares to look.
Augmented by technology, deeply targeted original research can be conducted in a fraction of the old timeframes – mere hours or days instead of weeks or months.
Ease of access means difficulty of engagement – the bottleneck has moved from knowledge to salesmanship. Recruiter calls are simply screened out as white noise.
The legacy models, being optimised for access at the expense of engagement, are slowly fading away.
The most leading-edge recruiters of today are reinventing the profession from the ground up.
Armed with superior branding, marketing and influencing skills, gifted with executive-level business acumen and professional persistence, and backed by tech stacks that would make your devops team green with envy, they’re accomplishing far more than recruiters of the past.
They’re delivering a rigor of search traditionally associated with big brand executive search firms, only with substantially higher success rates and at a speed only database-driven contingent agencies could previously match.
In other words, they combine the unique advantages of both models into an offering which is wholly greater than the sum of its parts.
And this means the recruiter best served to hire your engineering talent might also be the right person to entrust with your critical CEO, CTO or CMO appointment.
This new breed of executive recruiter is still a rarity, making up perhaps no more than 5% of the overall recruiter population. But fortunately, if you’re reading this page, you’ve found one for crypto and blockchain.
While our clients work with us to recruit mid-level IC positions and above, we really excel in making executive appointments. Our Blockchain Recruiter Protocol only adds more value the more critical and senior the position becomes.
So click below to either learn more about our protocol, or book a call directly with our Founder to discuss if we’re a good fit for each other.