David Lamb from CB Recruitment


Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of Poolside, Web3 builders podcasts, where we come together to share knowledge and experiences with the community in an informal and conversational way. Thank you all for joining us. My name is Cate and your host and today we have with us David Lamb, the founder of CB recruitment. For those who don't know, CB recruitment is the recruitment company backed and funded by the mainstream web through educated educator, the CoinBureau. So together with David, we're going to talk a little bit about crypto trends and how to overcome the web to witnesses, but mostly, we will discuss HR in the blockchain space. As you already might know, our episodes are recorded live on Twitter spaces. But if you've missed any, you can always find us on Spotify, Apple and Google podcasts. So subscribe today.


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Welcome, David


Welcome guys. Thank you so much for having me today. And apologies for being a bit like a for anyone who knows it or computer user non technical issue. So


apologies. No problem. So first of all, introduce yourself how you got into the rectory space and how you ended up at CB recruitments.


Absolutely, thanks. Thanks for giving me the opportunity. So my name is David. I've been in recruitment for pretty much my entire working life. So but 1011 years now. I used to recruit finance professionals and software engineers and all sorts a couple, two or three years ago, really sort of got into blockchain in a big way. You know, when the COVID thing kicked off, essentially spent a lot of time at home, like a lot of people did research and coins and that sort of thing. A couple of years ago, I was approached by a mutual contacts, a friend of mine who was speaking with the CoinBureau and asked me if I knew who they were. And I was already, you know, subscribed to the channel was already a big fan. And I was approached with the opportunity to lead the recruitment team. I've been running a business of my own for sort of five or six years at this point. But you know, I never thought I'd go back to work, I was happy working for myself. But the opportunity to go and work for a big name in the Web3 space was something I didn't want to miss. So yeah, went for it packed in the business. I was running before and went to work full time at CoinBureau. And the I haven't looked back, really. So that's how I got into the space. And we set up CB recruitment in partnership with CoinBureau with the aim of firstly helping the clients we were already working with at CoinBureau to scale their teams. But more importantly, I think and you know, relating to the subject of of this of this call today. It was to help build the Web3 workforce of tomorrow, right? We had so many people coming to us who were fans of CoinBureau who were passionate about Web3 space, and just wanted to understand how they could start to turn that passion and that interest into into something more and CV recruitment was set up for that ethos in mind.


Great, thank you. We've, we've already talked in previous poolside episodes about spotting emerging crypto trends. To what extent do you think it's possible to predict them?


Well, yeah, I'm, firstly, if you're working in the space, and you're, you know, speaking to people who are working in the space, you know, all day every day, then obviously, you're going to increase the number of conversations you have is going to increase the amount of information. You know, one thing I found since I started working at CoinBureau is I went from being someone who was, you know, researching, researching just online to suddenly, you know, having conversations with with, you know, what, to me were household names, you know, in the Web3 space. So, that's been fascinating. But you know, what I think is great about the Web3 spaces that, you know, the information is out there, right? Anyone can spot trends these days. You don't have to go to university and get a PhD to learn about Web3 and two To get involved, I think a great example is you look at how legacy media reported the FTX scandal and compare that to, you know, how much of that was, was brought out on crypto Twitter, right. And it's obvious to me that, you know, if people are diligent and passionate about the space, and they can easily go out there and and catch on to trends and catch the information themselves.


And what do you think? Are the still the main web freespace weaknesses? And how can we overcome them?


I think it's a bit of a loaded question. Because, you know, what is what is a weakness? Does one person could be perceived as a strength, right? I mean, take the whole thing of decentralization, right, it comes with its own pros and cons, the risk of dissent, you know, we we can reduce remove middlemen like banks from financial services, but of course, we always take on a risk there, which is we have self custody, right. So, I think the weaknesses are quite obvious. But I think what's important over the over the next few years is that we, we start to work together, as the community to find out how we turn some of these weaknesses into positives. You know, for instance, decentralization, that sort of


thing. I liked that looking on the bright side always, already gave us an explanation about what is what is CB recruitment? But in your, in your own own words, can you give us an explanation of what you do at CB recruitment? So we can just jump to your core business? Topics?


Yeah, sure. So, as I said, before, you know, our ethos is here, we want to make, we're making Web3 work. So on the one hand, you know, companies are out there, and if they're going to be successful, they need the best talent, all of the traditional companies and try and find where to, and this most successful companies, you name it, they pay for talent, right? They're out there, looking for innovative ways, whether it's through recruitment, or internships are different programs, to bring in the top talent to their business. We want to be business partners, with these companies to help them to create innovative ways and to secure the top talent. One of the things that we've been all about Columbia has been education, right. And we're consultants here at see the recruitment. We're experts at helping people to scale businesses. On the other side, and probably more relevant to the call today, we want to help empower, you know, people working in Web3, and people looking to work in Web3 to make smart decisions, right? And give people the advice that they need to start to build a career in Web3, right. And we have done that for so many people. And ultimately, for me, that's where the fun comes from. Right? It's, you know, seeing people that when they come to us haven't I worked in Web3, which is probably about 85 90% of people that apply in the first place. And then a year later, they're, you know, Head of Department somewhere and hiring people. And that's all come about, you know, through their own hard work. But it's nice to think that we play a small part in that by helping to push people in the right direction from the beginning.


So let's talk about recruitment in Web3, after the latest big scandals in the blockchain world, and you've already mentioned FTX, and the current bear market, do you feel these impacted the process of recruiting new people for Web3 companies and rolls in a negative way or not?


I actually think there's been some positives to it. The space was unquestionably bloated, with questionable business practices everywhere, right. And what we're seeing is ultimately, the removal of some of the some of the businesses that ultimately have no place in Web3 in the first place, right? A lot of these businesses are simply centralized finance package to something else, you know, and FTX being the biggest name, but I'm not gonna go into a million names. I don't want to disparage anyone. But you know, anyone who follows the Web3 news will know what I'm talking about. The I think I'm looking at as a positive, we're still seeing huge numbers of people pouring into the space, the in terms of the human capital, in terms of the people who wanted to get into the space, the numbers are higher than ever. And, you know, the bigger companies, they've still got runway, the businesses that have been managed properly, they're still hiring for me, and that was the best time to be getting into the space, people who are working now they're people who've managed their treasuries properly, and they're taking their time to build, you know, ultimately ready for for the next cycle, the start of the next cycle.


And do you think crypto regulation is something that would help with not only blockchain methods mass adoption, but In consequence, will it improve the recruitment part as well?


Okay, good question. I mean, again, it's kind of like the, the weaknesses question like, in a sense, as this regulation is important, okay. If people's deposit In short, as they are in traditional finance, then there's always going to be a large part of the people who are not going to hold crypto assets, right, who are not going to get involved. So of course, something like that would help for mass adoption. However, you know, it's both sides of the stick. Right? What we need is regulation, which doesn't hinder innovation unnecessarily. I think the issue, the issue we have at the moment is, and I think anyone who wants the FTX sessions with with with the, the new CEO FTX will see the majority of the people in America at least making the laws don't actually know what they're talking about. And so, regulation will help. And I'm all for it. As anyone who's serious about growing the space, we need protections for retail and for people. But it's important that you know, people who are I can then plenty of people in this industry, who could come up with better regulations for the ones that have already been discussed, right, that it's important that people in the industry who understand it are actually being consulted about this, rather than things being decided unilaterally by people who ultimately aren't involved in the space.


Yeah, definitely. Is there a difference in recruitment processes for a Web3 role, compared to what has been done for other industries in the so called Web two worlds? So are we also talking about some kind of recruitment? 3.0?


Yeah, that's interesting. I think, I think that the fundamentals are the same, you know, companies need people need good people, and good people need jobs. I do think that, you know, what's changing is that is this sort of idea of Web3 experience, right? Normally, when I recruited software engineers, you know, if someone was working in the similar sector, fine. But if they could code JavaScript, they could code JavaScript, right? They'd be hard for JavaScript developers job, where we're seeing a bit of a change here, which is the attitude towards, you know, do we want someone who's got work through experience versus someone coming directly from, you know, shall we say, traditional legacy industries? That would maybe be the one change, you know, is the focus on whether that's important, and one of the things that we're really pushing on clients? And I guess an underlying ethos of our business is trying to encourage people to hire full potential and to ceiling, right, if you believe in the long term, if you believe that Web3 is is for the long term, which everyone in the space does. And if you believe that your business is solving a problem, which I would like to think anyone running a business does, then yeah, it's in their interest.


And that was the growing normalization of remote work in the last few years a game changer for recruitment.


So me, yeah, I mean, I'm currently in Costa Rica, I've lived the last three years in Italy.


That's a wonderful, yeah, we


don't have an office. And I often we don't have an office, we don't have office hours. And I often think, you know, it would have been unthinkable to have a business like this four or five years ago. It's been brilliant. I think I'm a huge believer in trust, right? You know, why would you Why hire people and then breathe on their neck, hire people who you know, have the right ethos and trust that they're going to do the right work. And that's it, it's been a game changer. And for me, it's the most important thing. We're trying to build a business at CB recruitment, which which echoes, you know, the trends in Web3, right, where we're trusting our employees. And I think, ultimately, if you if you hire people remotely and trust them to do the work, you'll have a happier employee, and you'll get more out of them.


Yeah, I totally agree. I, I love the remote work option. I also like I also like to go to an office sometimes to see people and just network a little bit. But of course, I think that the remote work option for companies, I think it's, it's nowadays, like, it's hard to imagine that anyone would prefer to be in an office like from eight to five.


I know, right? It's so interesting, because after COVID, but my sister said, I speak to my sister, and she said that she doesn't work in Web3. But she said to me, I'm not going back to the office. And I said, Well, what are you going to do? She was worth the time to get back to the office, I'll just find another job where I don't have to. And I just think that's the attitude change now, right? Like five years ago, you'd have gone? Well, I can't tell my boss that I want to work from home. Why? Well, because no one else does. Suddenly, it's like, that's an option. And


suddenly everybody does


exactly right. Suddenly, it's the it's the norm. And in fact, the other day, I actually messaged a friend and he said, he was on the tube. And I was like, do you still go to an office every day? And he was like, Yeah, and it kind of blew my mind.


Yeah. So from your experience, what is the profile of the companies that most recruit web professionals at this moment?


For me, it's, it's, it's less about as good. It's a difficult question to answer. I think. I look for soft skills primarily. Okay. Because there's, there's a there's a job for everyone in this space. It's just about is someone enthusiastic? Is someone passionate about it? They first first and foremost, right? Are you someone who's just applying for any old job? Or are you 100% Sure you want to work in Web3, okay, because if we're working with three sticking at the top of your CV Okay, I've got a track record of success, or I've been to university, and I've studied this. And now I want to work for a company in Web3. And if you've got a specific interest in Wi Fi, stick that at the top of your CV, the number one thing that shines through is enthusiasm. Okay, every single person that we've hired to work here, you know, as a business owner, I can say, it's someone who's been enthusiastic, you know, and they've been able to make a presentation about, you know, how they would go about attacking this role. And so, I think soft skills are super important, because this is a space where you can learn, like I said, you can learn at home, you can learn very quickly. And if someone's, you know, prepared to commit all of their time and to throw themselves in, you know, both feet forwards to a job here, I think that's the number one thing that I look for I look for personally.


And what are the most sought after roles? By companies?


Well, good question, I guess. You know, we have technical roles, which, which are always in demand, people are always going to be building in this space. But in terms of getting a job in Web3, that's probably the longest process. Yeah, some of the the easier entry roles to get into and something that are always in demand, probably on the on the marketing side. So things like community managers, you know, a lot of people I know, I'll advise them to, if they're looking to break into Web3, and they don't have experience, go and be active in telegram groups and go and become an admin somewhere, go become a moderator, or, you know, work your way up to being an important part of the community there. Because, you know, people don't often see it, but that's great, you can have that on your CV, and that's going to convince someone that I often say to people, we used to have a lot of writers apply at CoinBureau, okay, and so many people would apply. And they say, I'd be a great writer, and I'd say what have you written, they'd say, I haven't. But it'd be great if you gave me the opportunity. And you know, it was just say to them go and write in your spare time, and someone's far more likely to pay you to do it. And I'd say the same thing about about Web3, you want to break in, go and get involved in communities and start adding value to those communities. And that's how you can get yourself a role as a social media manager, as a community manager, which I think are probably the most in demand roles. Certainly, for people, you know, in terms of entry level positions,


there's a lot of people will start as ambassadors, and then they go up, and they become part of the marketing team.


Exactly. That's exactly. I mean, when I was breaking into the industry, first, starting even at CoinBureau, I joined a few groups, and I'm an admin, I think I'm still an admin of a couple of groups. Now, it was mainly just about understanding how communities work and, and getting that direct experience of of your sounds as not just even business models, but just how people talk to each other. Right. Like, in Greece, I guess dumping yourself into the space, you know, in the deep end, and, you know, putting yourself in a position where you're engaging with people working in Web3 everyday.


Also, because unfortunately, we're still dealing with some scams in this industry. How to Make sure where three candidates apply for credible and trustworthy projects and companies.


Yeah, that's something that's really important to us. We have a research team, and it's an internal research team here. You know, I've got to be completely honest, we worked with FTX, you know, probably earlier, in the middle of in the middle of last year. It's interesting, because I was having a discussion with someone and he said, I was really important. Everyone does due diligence on clients. And I said, Well, yes, of course. But then some of the biggest companies in the world did due diligence on FTX, and said it was fine. And of course, it was not. From our side, what we tried to do is we research, you know, where the funding is coming from, we research the idea to make sure it's something that we actually think is a viable business. And ultimately, in the same ethos was going Bureau, you know, it's about giving people as much information as possible, so that they can then go and do their own research and make a decision. But yeah, in general, we're as careful as we can be in terms of making sure that company's funding is secure. And you know, that the idea is, is legitimate and has has some kind of, you know, potential growth potential. Yeah, of


course, there's no, there's no 100% guarantee that you can protect people from a company that is going to fail, or there's going to be involved in some kind of scandal or whatever. But there's always ways that you can teach people how to look out for themselves and to investigate what what are they are they applying for?


Yeah, exactly. And it goes back to the thing you said about regulation before, right? Like the way that the only way that we can properly do due diligence on all of these companies is if the people at the top put a framework in place that, you know, that allows people to have more confidence in these businesses. But as far as for our involvement in the due diligence side, you know, we're as careful as we can with all the companies we represent. And you know, I think other than FTX which is you know, as is everyone already knows about I think we've got a pretty solid client this So, you know, people we're currently working with?


And what are the main challenges you face when looking to hire new talent


as personally or businesses in Web3?


Well, I think you personally, but also the feedback you get from businesses.


I think from our side, it's, it's finding it recruitments not the easiest job in the world. And we, you know, we've we've been reassessing what it is exactly what it is that we need, you know, in consultants and in people who are going to work here. And I think we have, you know, decided that, you know, that Web3 passion is, is important. And so that's something that we always look for finding people. Finding people is not actually too difficult for us. And we've been able to scale quite quickly, although we are always looking, and if anyone, you know, is quick shell, but if anyone is looking to, you know, to enter the Web3, then feel free to contact us if you know, if we have, we're always hiring and prefer to consider entry level people. And you know, even if it's a job with us or with someone else, we'd be happy to, you know, go through your CV and help you to find something, I guess the main feedback we get from external clients. Good question. I think it would be finding people who can who have the ability to hit the ground running, but also have a high ceiling right back, I think a lot of people end up in a position where thinking, I can't get both. And I think that's what we try to, you know, that's part of our ethos, right? It's helping people to get that experience. So that, yeah, maybe they haven't worked or worked in Web3 for two or three years, which is written on the job description. But they've been immersing themselves outside of work for, you know, for two or three years in crypto. And, you know, they're keen for an opportunity. And I think, you know, that's always the cell from us.


And is it harder to hire or retain talent?


I think that it's harder to it's harder to hire, I think, because once you found a good person, you know, if you're, if you've got the right ethos, I mean, like, it's not something that comes easily. I think one of the things that I find interesting is like, if I gave you a million, if I give you a million dollars now, right? And told you to buy a house, you'd speak to an estate agent, okay? Give you a million dollars and tells you to invest it, you speak to a financial advisor, right? So many people have got a million dollars to spend on stuff, but they don't speak to the recruiter, they don't structure they just start hiring. And that's why we've seen so much this. So that's why we've seen this year, so many companies firing people, right and laying people off. I saw a funny tweet the other day where someone said, in Web3, it's not a question of whether you'll lay people off, it's just a question of whether you'll only lay people off once. Right? We've been able to grow from one to just the me to sort of 15 people in a year. I think by having the right growth, the right growth, ethos. So yeah, hope that answers the question.


Yeah, so but still speaking about talent retention, considering that this is this will be a growing and increasingly competitive area in the coming years. How do you think companies can ensure that they retain their best talents?


Well, shameless plug but you know, speak to us and help us to let us have a hiring process in place. Yeah, but Yeah, seriously. Think about the long term, like think about what you're doing don't go too fast. You know, problems that they say profits, you know, headcounts, vanity, profit is sanity, right. Don't just go for growth. So you can sit there and say, we've scaled to 100, people, make sure that it sounds crazy, produce job descriptions and hire people to fill needs within the company, don't just hire what you think you need. You know, so many companies could benefit from just pausing at the start and putting a more comprehensive plan in place. And I think, you know, that's something that we're encouraged all of the companies we work with to do. Ultimately, like you said, it's understanding the psychology of business, of course, it's great to have remote work and to work have more freedom, so you can take your kids to school or, you know, do whatever it is you need to do. At the same time, people do want that interaction. That's why our company we try to meet up, you know, once a quarter, and occasionally, employees are meeting up at different events, just so that, you know, we get to know the people we're working with, right? So just understanding the psychology of it, human people get to work as humans, they want to work for a company that's going somewhere that respects them as a person. And ultimately, just, you know, I think if I was gonna try and put it in a nutshell, it would be take the time to consult an expert and to plan out your hiring, not just, you know, three months in advance, but ideally three, you know, a year or three years in advance so that you know exactly what you're going to do if you hit certain milestones,


including career progression.


I think you can be very, very flexible with career progression. I think one of the things that pisses people off pardon my French that upsets people the most in In cases is the idea of I was once at a company, and they said, we would promote you, but this guy has been here longer than you and we need to promote him first. And I thought was just the most ridiculous thing ever, isn't it? Like, why should how long someone's been at the company really influence it over over a meritocracy. And so yeah, you know, for me, it's like, it's about being flexible. If someone, some people are going to come in, and they're going to struggle to hit the ground running, but they've got that passion there, and you can help them to get there. Some people are going to come in and blow you away within a few weeks. And they deserve to be, you know, have their responsibilities increased.




you know, as quickly as possible. And so, yeah, I think the most important thing when planning out career progression is that you explain to someone early on where it could go. You know, one thing I said to everyone here is we've got needs that needs to be solved right now. Show us that you can solve that you can deliver on that front. But at the same time, we want to hear from you how you can progress within this company, what you're good at and what you think you're bad at so that we can tailor that role to you. And I think that is something that I encourage all companies to do is hire people for their talent, let them find out what they're best at and then fill in the gaps around them.


Yeah, definitely. Lately, we've been talking about AI a lot. I think I've lost count the number of LinkedIn posts and Twitter threads that describe 1001 ways on how you can use check GPT or open AI in our professional lives. How do you see these products affecting recruitment?


Well, I guess it's like all industries. I mean, it's going to it's a fantastic tool forever for almost everyone. Right? It's it's incredible. I do I see it replacing recruiters No, I don't see it replacing many industries, because I think we're consultants. Of course, I see it as I guess in a nutshell, I see it as a fantastic tool, which will help us to serve candidates and clients better. I think there are some industries which are ripe for replacement from this kind of technology. And I think there are others, which which which will, which will be, yeah, which will be better protected. But ultimately, I see I see it as a fantastic tool. And I know it's something that we've been using before it went behind a paywall. Anyway, it was something we were using, you know, just to riff on, on on marketing materials, and that sort of thing.


Okay, my last question, not not related with recruitment, if you don't want to, is there something in the web space that really excites you right now? Good question.


For me, like, it's, like, every day, I spend eight to 10 hours on the phone, speaking to some of the best and brightest people in the world, and they want to come and work in Web3. And maybe they're already working in Web3, and they want to, they want to progress or change. Or maybe they they, they've had a demands, you know, an incredible track record of success. And they now want to come and do something different. And that gets me excited. Because, like I said, it's, it's, it's easy to say, Oh, this tokens gone up, this much has gone down this month. But when you see the quality and the quantity of the people pouring into the space, it's hard not to be excited. These are people that, you know, I've changed, I've changed for one of a better expression, they've changed the world, whether it's through, you know, traditional finance, or through, you know, the fang companies like Facebook, you know, Apple, Amazon, that's that sort of thing. So, yeah, we see huge numbers of these people coming into the industry. And you know, when I see graduates from the top universities, coming to me and saying, I want to work in Web3, how do I do that? That's me a super exciting because even like the legacy industries, I think a lot of people fell into traditional finance or financial services, not because it was their dream, but because they just saw that as a lucrative career option. After going through university. I don't see that in Web3, I see people wanting to work in Wi Fi, because they're passionate about it. And that gets me excited.


Okay, this will be the end of this poolside session. Thanks to everyone for tuning in. And thank you, David, for joining us and for your very useful insights.


It's a pleasure, please feel free to reach out to CB recruitment. If you're looking to hire or if you're looking for work, you know, our consultants would love to have a chat with you to find out, you know what it is exactly you need and to help you out. So just want to thank you again, poolside, and everyone else involved for having us on.


It's been a pleasure. Yeah, if you're curious about CV, recruitment and other job opportunities they might have for you, make sure to visit CV recruitment.com Or follow CB underscore recruitment underscore on Twitter. And if you have any topic or guests you would love to hear on the poolside podcast. Then just drop us a comment on Twitter with your suggestion and use hashtag poolside podcasts. In case you missed this entire live session. Make sure to subscribe on Spotify, Apple or Google podcasts and listen to this one and many other insightful episodes. I will see you next week. Bye David thanks guys bye bye