In a small, well-lit meeting room, a promotional video playing on a flatscreen on the wall, a trio of hoodie-clad ICONLOOP employees sat across from a stream of curious visitors. The ICONLOOP guys gave their pitch, explaining the basics of blockchain and ICONLOOP’s role in the ecosystem. The visitors – some meticulously coifed and dressed in their interview day finest, others striking a more casual look – asked questions. Do you need to know coding? What kind of databases do you need to know? Do you need to be a tech professional to join?

That was the scene at the ICONLOOP booth at D-cruiting Day, the recruiting day of the DAYLI Financial Group’s subsidiary firms. Six members of the DAYLI family – including ICONLOOP – ran information booths at the event, held at the DAYLI Financial Group’s headquarters on the 18th floor of Three IFC on Yeouido. You might think with the cryptocurrency market plumbing the depths of the proverbial toilet, blockchain companies might have a tough time attracting interest, let alone talent.

From what we could see, however, blockchain still has an allure, with the booths of ICONLOOP and the crypto-exchange and distributed ledger-based remittance solution CoinOne drawing a steady number of visitors interested in blockchain technology and its potential.

DAYLI’s big day

D-cruiting Day gives potential recruits a chance to learn about the different members of the DAYLI Financial Group, one of Asia’s top fintech companies. The Seoul-based group provides solutions for the financial industry based on artificial intelligence, blockchain, robo advisors and cryptocurrency. Attending D-cruiting Day were six DAYLI subsidiaries: machine learning specialists Solidware, smart investment guide Newsy Stock, asset management platform DAYLI Marketplace, cryptocurrency exchange Coinone, insurance management solution d.LEMON, and ICONLOOP.

You could break the event down into two parts. The first were the information booths. Open throughout the entire event, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the booths – well, a mixture of booths and meeting rooms moonlighting as booths – dished out information to the attendees, sharing what the companies were about and answering any questions visitors might have. The staff manning the booths wore hoodies bearing the logos of their companies and adorned with name tags that read, “seonbae sawon,” or “senior employee.”

The second part was a company introduction, held in the main conference room from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. After DAYLI Financial Group CEO Sean Shin kicked off things by introducing his company’s vision, each of the six subsidiaries in attendance gave presentations of their own.

The mood throughout the evening was relaxed. The staff of participating companies mingled with not only potential recruits, but also one another, the evening serving as something of a group get-together. In this corridor or that, people in different hoodies stood around in groups of three or four, chatting and laughing away.

DAYLI tried to keep things fun and loose. Attendees were invited to throw a giant pair of fuzzy dice – you’d pick a number, and if you rolled it in one of three tries, you’d win a piece of corporate swag (including, if you were really lucky, one of ICON’s tres chic teal blue eco bags). DAYLI sprung for a buffet dinner in the lounge, and DAYLI staff kept the company cafe’s espresso machines running, serving up a free beverage to each attendee. Potential recruits were given a tour of the corporate headquarters. The really hardcore could complete a so-called “stamp tour,” collecting stamps from all the participants and events to win a small gift at the end of the evening.

If nothing else, you could take in the spectacular views of the skyscrapers of Yeouido, Seoul’s Manhattan, through the plate glass walls of the lounge. 

Still want to work in blockchain, do you?

Truth be told, the evening started a bit slow for ICONLOOP, but as the evening progressed, more and more potential recruits turned up, especially after the corporate introduction session. Many were faces fresh out of some universities’ computer engineering department, though others were veterans with a particular interest in blockchain or simply looking for a change of place.

Yeongseo Park was one of the people who popped into ICONLOOP’s booth. “People have had constant interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency since they became an issue. People say you need to relax regulations on ICOs and other regulations to get innovation, but the launching point for cryptocurrency is blockchain,” she said. The government views blockchain positively, but looks negatively upon cryptocurrency. I’ve been curious about whether you could use blockchain elsewhere and how far the technology has come.”

Seolhee Lee was another visitor. He wasn’t letting the bear market get him down. You can’t help but be worried about it,” he said of the market. But I think the coin market needs some stability. To distribute coins, the price should be stable, but the prices are too unstable now. I wonder if perhaps the situation we face now might be an opportunity for the prices to stabilize.”

Tak Hyung-jin, head of ICONLOOP’s Human Resources department and one of the people manning the company’s booth, said people understand blockchain’s potential, regardless of current market conditions.People might not be quite sure about the cryptocurrency business, he said. “However, I personally believe a lot of people think that blockchain technology is crucial for future business. We found that from the Internet network, nowadays we find a lot of issues and problems. I think blockchain technology is the only solution that can resolve these issues from the Internet network.”