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Crypto space ‘a really easy place to recruit talent,’ Revelio Labs CEO says

Revelio Labs CEO Ben Zweig joins Yahoo Finance Live’s Rachelle Akuffo to discuss how the crypto market slump is impacting industry jobs, the top industries former crypto employees turn to, and the outlook for the crypto space.

Video Transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Where have all the crypto bros gone? Now the industry already cut more than 2,000 jobs in just the first two months of 2023. But according to workforce intelligence company Revelio Labs, attrition from crypto companies started way back in July of 2021. Joining us now as part of our Crypto Corner, brought to you by Intuit TurboTax, is Ben Zweig, Revelio Labs CEO. Ben, thank you for joining me. So this is interesting--

BEN ZWEIG: Thanks for having me.

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RACHELLE AKUFFO: --because a lot of people wanted to put the blame on-- put the blame on the fallout from FTX. But this started way before the FTX fallout. So what was happening? What was the writing on the wall?

BEN ZWEIG: Yeah, we thought that was interesting also. I mean, I think the one thing that's changed the most is the business outlook. And we did a piece on what are the biggest predictors of attrition, and business outlook is the biggest by far. And that has been falling since the Terra Luna crash. I think it's really that there haven't been a lot of proven use cases within crypto. And I think that's been worrying a lot of the employees, a lot of the workers.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: So, Ben, where are they going then? Are they still sticking with some of these crypto companies or really expanding their horizons?

BEN ZWEIG: Some do go back to crypto. I mean, we've seen a lot of churn in the markets just with the Great Resignation continuing. But most of them have been going to tech companies. Surprisingly few have been going to other financial firms. But it's really those three segments. So it's big tech companies, other crypto firms, and other financial markets companies. But that third is smaller than I think I would have expected.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And so when you think of red flags, not just for, say, if you're hiring someone who's coming from a crypto company, but even in the postings that you're applying for, what should they be watching out for?

BEN ZWEIG: Yeah, yeah, we've seen a lot of red flag postings, really work hard, play hard, things like that that perhaps sound a little bit like there might be some hint of toxic culture or a sort of cavalier attitude toward work-life balance, toward benefits, toward just, like, a healthy relationship with work. So we've been seeing a lot of those with crypto companies as well. A lot of people, even in their Glassdoor reviews, have been mentioning keywords like "toxic," "leadership," "transparency." These are things that were worrisome, really, all throughout 2022.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And how receptive are employers to former crypto brokers who've worked at some-- especially it's a place that everyone has seen collapse. How tough is it for them?

BEN ZWEIG: I think it's not so tough. I mean, crypto has had a historic-- not historically, but a relatively low attrition rate, relative to other firms, especially within tech. It has been a really easy place to recruit talent. So crypto has this veneer of cutting edgeness. They're superfans. So it's got a committed audience. And as a result, they've been able to find engineers and talent that are perhaps more talented than their counterparts who are going to work at some company where there isn't that glamor.

So I think they've had an easy time recruiting talent and an easy time retaining talent. And now that things are kind of falling apart, I think there is this sense in the rest of the market that there are very talented people who work at crypto companies. That's a good place to find people. I mean, we're still in a very tight labor market, and that companies are eager to find talented people wherever they can find them. So I think the fact that crypto has collapsed, I don't know if a lot of blame goes to the engineers working on the technology.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And just quickly, what are some of the side effects? Obviously, a lot of companies downsizing and cutting costs, but especially for companies that are trying to be nimble like a crypto company, what are some of the unforeseen side effects of having to cut costs and laying off people at this pace?

BEN ZWEIG: I think the cultural effects are pretty severe. And it's really hard to recover from these layoffs because you start having a negative outlook, and then people leave. And that just reinforces itself. And this is an industry where people go in because they think they're joining a rocket ship. And without that, it's harder and harder to keep people excited. So I think the effects that these layoffs have on the culture is really hard to recover from.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: We'll certainly be keeping an eye on that. Thank you for joining us with your insights. Ben Zweig there, Revelio Labs CEO. Thank you for your time this morning.