The missing talent link in blockchain

three-people-on-computer

Blockchain promises more efficient and effective data collection and management in a decentralised, efficient and transparent digital environment and companies in Thailand are eager to reap its benefits. Organisations in data intensive sectors, such as finance and logistics in particular, are already beginning to explore the adoption of blockchain solutions. However, one major challenge remains – talent. Julian Meissner, Manager, IT Division, Robert Walters Thailand shares his insights on the shortage of blockchain experts in Thailand, and how companies can overcome it. 

With the government announcing its own central bank digital currency, Thailand is now seen as one of the world’s fastest movers in blockchain, the underlying technology behind cryptocurrency. The Thai government has created a welcoming environment for the new technology, with relatively lax regulations for operating licenses and initial coin offerings (ICOs) for blockchain and cryptocurrency companies. This has encouraged the growth of local tech and fintech startups, as well as the entry of foreign companies with expertise in these fields.

The talent roadblock

However, one major speedbump remains as Thailand looks to accelerate its blockchain adoption – the shortage of skilled talent. We have seen the number of blockchain jobs increase by over 200% from last year to this year alone but the increase in supply has not matched the rise in demand.

Across all sectors, there is a strong demand for blockchain IT professionals who are able to leverage their technical expertise to improve operations and drive business objectives. This will require developers to have both expertise in blockchain – already a niche skill set – as well as familiarity with the industry they are developing applications for.

For example, in fintech, blockchain product owners, backend or front-end developers, and UX/UI designers are required to have some level of experience with e-wallet and online payment gateway solutions as well – making it hard for companies to find skilled candidates. The shortage of skilled talent has seen inflated salaries, with blockchain professionals commanding 30% higher salaries compared to other IT professionals.

Paving the way to blockchain success

So how can Thai companies, tech or non-tech, hire and secure the talent they need to fuel the adoption of blockchain technologies? Offering attractive salaries will be important, but a longer-term solution would be to invest in high potential talent. The good news is, there are many IT professionals who are looking to transition to becoming a blockchain specialist.

Instead of seeking to hire someone who fits all the requirements for a position, employers should consider hiring candidates who demonstrate strong potential and invest in their learning and development. For blockchain professionals who lack the required industry experience, this may involve providing them with training to help them familiarise themselves with the necessary knowledge. For IT professionals who have are transitioning to a blockchain role, this may involve giving them time to pick up the more advanced skill sets and providing opportunities for training. 

When speaking to potential candidates, hiring managers will need to keep in mind that employer branding is highly important, particularly to this younger, emerging group of talent. Hiring managers will need to communicate the opportunities for growth and development, and highlight the exposure to the latest technologies. Companies will also need to position themselves as forward-thinking and innovative in order to appeal to this group of talent.

A trusted recruitment partner can assist companies in securing the blockchain talent they need, by helping to improve their employer proposition and identifying the candidates who are worth investing in for the long-term. With high-calibre candidates on board, companies will be best positioned to leverage blockchain technologies to enhance their operations and accelerate their business ahead of the competition.

To find out more on how you can secure the right blockchain talent, contact Julian Meissner at julian.meissner@robertwalters.co.th.