The booming crypto firms are struggling to find skilled talents for many open positions around the globe, including Singapore. Faced with a dire talent shortage while competing with traditional tech companies in securing top developers, crypto companies are urged to come up with a strategy to win the talent war. Don Guo, CEO and Co-founder of the Broctagon Fintech Group, shares his take on this pressing matter. Read on..
Answer: Back in 2019, the fintech sector was already growing at a fast rate, but what the pandemic did was act as a catalyst for its progress. According to KPMG, investments in Singapore’s fintech sector alone have climbed 59% to reach USD 3.94 billion in 2021, which underscores the positive future outlook. The sector will certainly continue to boom, more so because people, especially in the emerging markets, were pushed towards digital banking and e-wallets, leading to a rise in their adoption rose significantly. And there is no going back from there. These new digital behaviors and financial habits are here to stay and will only evolve into something bigger.
Answer: Singapore has been facing an acute shortage of fintech talent with over one-third switching jobs in the past year. Moreover, more than 70% of companies in Singapore are expecting double-digit headcount growth over the next 1-2 years according to a FinTech Talent Report 2021 released by Singapore FinTech Association and Accenture Singapore. Singapore needs to nurture and produce top-quality and future-ready talent through education and learning at different levels of a Singaporean’s journey – from being a student to a tenured professional with upskilling needs. Building a talent pool is one of the primary building blocks for a digital economy, and more so to sustain Singapore’s reputation as a center for financial technology.
Answer: With the advancement of technologies, labor-intensive jobs will be replaced by automated processes that are more efficient, freeing people to do higher-level tasks. Skills like programming and coding will become increasingly in demand in the future, especially for fast-growing sectors such as regtech, fintech, and edutech.
With digitalization, the role of the middle man or agents will start to change as well. For example, the insurance industry is increasingly relying on insurtech to do tedious paperwork, rather than using insurance agents to do the same work. These agents can then instead focus on adding value and providing better services to their customers. In a similar vein, decentralized finance, which cuts out the banking or legal intermediaries, is gaining momentum and the financial sector is increasingly embracing it. Using blockchain technology, transactions are verified quickly and securely, which lowers the cost for users as well. This sector will continue to grow with momentum shaping newer roles and responsibilities.
Another notable trend spurred by the pandemic, which is here to stay, is remote work. According to Gartner, Inc, 51% of knowledge workers – professionals in knowledge-intensive jobs like accountants and engineers – were working remotely in 2021, an increase from just 27 percent in 2019. This has opened new talent horizons for companies who are looking beyond borders to hire people with the right skillsets.
Answer: Not only in fintech but across industries, companies are embracing creativity and innovation. The next generation of talents is looking for a company that will inspire them and the world. These tech-savvy individuals expect things to be efficient and no longer want to spend their precious time on laborious tasks if these can be automated. This is why companies are vying to be at the forefront of technology innovations and adopt operational best practices to stay ahead of the curve.
Upskilling while on the job has become a key priority for talents as they look to reinvent themselves. Companies that offer such opportunities to help them do more, and be more with time, invoke a favorable response from potential employees. The ability to adapt to new situations is also a key to both professional and personal success, which is why they are also focusing on developing soft skills.
Answer: Skills like blockchain, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence are in hot demand. The latest buzz in the tech world is around web3 where the need for talent has surged. Web3 uses blockchain-backed technologies to create a decentralized version of the web. Companies developing apps and Web3 platforms require blockchain specialists, app developers, machine learning experts, front-end and back-end developers, user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) designers, data analytics professionals, and content writers. This is creating more jobs and opportunities, while at the same time enhancing the tension due to the lack of skilled talent.
Answer: Most companies in the cryptocurrency sector are facing the challenge of identifying and hiring the best talent, while there is fierce competition in terms of who in the tech industry is offering better salary and benefits for the pool available. Apart from coding and software skills which are sought after, hiring skilled project management is a pertinent challenge. According to PMI Talent Gap Report 2021, by 2030, 25 million new project management professionals will be required worldwide, indicating projects and their successful management will be essential to industry and economic growth.
Answer: I think the core focus for companies in the sector should be to build trust and credibility among their stakeholders, which include potential employees or aspiring fintech talents. Due to the crypto boom, there are numerous firms that have mushroomed in Singapore and around the world, which is why differentiation is a must. Having a great company culture that is collaborative, and nurtures an innovation mindset can also set the company apart. It is important for leaders to believe in the purpose of their companies so that they are able to onboard the right talents who share that vision.
The industry is grappling with the challenge of making crypto mainstream – the more liquidity in the crypto markets, the more trust and stability the industry would gather. This is why Broctagon is helping to do so by supporting crypto firms and exchanges with our technology NEXUS 2.0, which fuels crypto liquidity by modeling after traditional forex’s interbank network. It will be a long journey, and change will not happen overnight, but the good news is that we are making headway and younger candidates are more and more excited to join the industry.
Don Guo is the Co-Founder and CEO of Broctagon Fintech Group, a licensed multi-asset liquidity and technology solutions provider headquartered in Singapore. Broctagon has over 10 years of an established global presence and is supporting clients from the finance and brokerage industry across 50 countries.
He co-founded Broctagon Fintech Group in 2009 after identifying a gap in the brokerage industry for a holistic solution complete with CRM, liquidity, and customized plugins. Don is passionate about advancing and disrupting the traditional financial world through blockchain. As a veteran in the retail forex brokerage industry, Don has seen the traditional financial markets evolve over the years. His journey has taken him across more than 150 cities globally where he has built expertise and established the importance of liquidity in those markets.
Connect with him on LinkedIn.
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