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Transformation and inspired growth in fintech recruitment & industry trends

Posted on April 2022


The fintech industry is poised in a state of transformation. Last year saw rampant growth across most fintech verticals, with the third quarter of 2021 up by a staggering 147% year-on-year. What’s more, with funding continuing to be pumped into the sector, amplifying to $132bn last year, the fintech space is certainly garnering attention from a wide pool of investors and high-caliber talent alike.

However, while bringing in new tech and following a growth trajectory are critical components to fintech’s, securing industry-leading talent is no easy feat. Demand is outstripping supply, which simultaneously creates a crunch for skilled talent in an already candidate-driven market. Businesses are therefore faced with a crucial juncture in the form of talent retention, acquisition, and management.

We sat down with our fintech recruiters Ashton Morlote, Vice President at Selby Jennings, and Suraj Sharma, Senior Vice President at Selby Jennings, who reveal the top market factors and exclusive talent trends impacting the fintech space in 2022 and beyond.

Cryptocurrency & blockchain

The crypto and blockchain space has reached unchartered territory this year. In the ground-breaking market that we find ourselves in, fintech recruitment efforts have frankly blown up. With the large volume of headcount organizations are aiming to fill in 2022, this will undoubtedly bleed into the next, thus working alongside a specialist talent partner like Selby Jennings is crucial, particularly as we’ve been helping firms build a future-proofed 2-year hiring roadmap strategy.

In a highly competitive market, we’ve been advising our clients to keep an open mind. Flexible working is a huge factor impacting the career-defining next steps for engineers, with many Big Techs offering this business model. Interestingly, within the crypto and blockchain niche, businesses are more open to securing professionals that come from tech backgrounds with no prior financial services experience, a trend that won’t necessarily exist on the traditional side.

Many fintech firms have been working with us to adjust their bands and make them more appropriate. However, to remain at the cutting-edge, being able to articulate and communicate mission statements in an attractive way is incredibly important. With talent having all the bargaining chips, aligning this cohort to your organization's ethos and how they can make a real impact will be the differentiator. Additionally, we recommend compiling general market data points to prospective candidates to better represent risk profiles and your viewpoint of the market.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year and into 2023, we expect blockchain data-focused firms and blockchain data analytics firms to grow aggressively. We forecast blockchain firms to continue their current growth trajectory on the back of institutional investors entering the space, particularly as they will need clear insights on different blockchain transactions and what they can do for regulatory purposes.

Infrastructure technology

From fintech providers, bankers, to buyside hedge funds, every single vertical is hiring right now. During the onset of the world health crisis, we witnessed a large uptick from the larger funds scooping up talent from failing funds, but today every sector is thriving. Crypto has taken off, both from a tech and quants standpoint, with hiring endeavors actively happening within. But it’s the big sector that’s hot, and the Selby Jennings team expects this massive push to sustain throughout 2022 and into next year.

At the peak of the global pandemic, activity in the help desk and trading support space accelerated to facilitate to the remote working paradigm. Since then, a greater shift has been happening over the past few years which, spurred by the global pandemic, saw a move to the cloud to embrace a fully virtualized environment. Within infrastructure technology, transferring data storage entities onto the cloud has resulted in costs plummeting but security levels rising.

Looking ahead, we project the cloud, site reliability engineering, DevOps verticals, and crypto to be an exuberant space. On the infrastructure side, crypto is yet to find its way into the market, but we anticipate this to change, especially as firms will require more back-end support.

Fintech talent trends

In-demand job titles

In cryptocurrency and blockchain, professionals with strong data-focused acumen, software engineers, or engineers with a background in building out scalable products are the highest priority in the market.

On the infrastructure technology side, software engineers with proficiency in the cloud, Java, and AWS are a hot commodity. We have observed many organizations search for talent with a strategic mindset in software development and business technology, or specifically, seek out cloud engineers and solutions architects.

Established & emerging locations

In the crypto and blockchain industry, New York tops the list as the major district for the blend of finance and tech. Miami also emerges as a lucrative location, perhaps indicative of the influx of tax incentives for companies to set up shop there and for business-critical talent interested in relocating to a tax-free state.

In similarity to crypto, New York remains the hub for infrastructure technology. However, we’ve seen a lot of finance firms and big hedge funds make moves to lower cost of living areas including Charlotte, Tampa, Miami, Texas, and even Montreal and Toronto in Canada. A lot of notable funds are using their Florida location as a second North American headquarter, with many fleshing out their offices there.

Candidate-driven market in the spotlight: how can businesses be on a front footing?

In today’s market that is highly skewed towards candidates, with talent having a higher leverage on career decisions and their role in the workplace, having a competitive offering and attractive compensation package is vital. Compensation has been steadily increasing across crypto, a trend that has been on the incline for over 2 years. Interestingly, we have seen many organizations use tokens to entice industry-leading talent to join. Similar to having equity in a company which goes up over time, tokens have been offered in compensation packages. Although there are nuances with this, such as taxes and their liquidity compared to equity, tokens can be used on any public or currency exchange, but just like equity you’d want to hold on to your tokens to see their value.

Looking at the infrastructure technology space, salary ranges have exponentially inflated. Funds are matching these salary brackets, but the banks are falling short typically because they are steadfast in their bandings, but certain teams are becoming more flexible. We’d advise hiring managers to act fast because talent is moving quickly. Candidates can be off the market within 2-3 weeks, so resume screening needs to be quick – sluggish and outdated processes will certainly leave you falling short. Condensing interview rounds and continuing virtual interviews helps keep the process moving speedily along.

For candidates in the crypto and blockchain space, there’s no better time to capitalize on the opportunities available. In an industry that’s been around for almost a decade, it’s nascent to see the opportunities for growth in this space, which you won’t find elsewhere. The same is true for infrastructure technology talent, if you’re passively looking or eager to jump ship, now is the time.

To discuss crypto & blockchain with Ashton Morlote, the latest infrastructure technology trends with Suraj Sharma, or to speak to the wider financial services specialist team, get in touch with us today.

For a detailed analysis of the 5 top trends in crypto, head over to The Rise of Crypto and Blockchain Companies.