Colton Kirkpatrick Joins Proof of Talent in Expansion to San Francisco

Rob “Crypto Bobby” Paone
4 min readFeb 24, 2020

When I set off in June 2019 to create Proof of Talent, I always had intentions to scale the business. But as a bootstrapped company, scaling needs to be a slow and intentional process.

Before even thinking about bringing on team members at Proof of Talent, I had to answer an important question for myself…

“Can I actually generate a reasonable living on my own with Proof of Talent?”

Turns out, the answer is a yes.

As time has gone on, Proof of Talent has grown from supporting the needs of a handful of companies in the blockchain & cryptocurrency industry to working with nearly 20 clients. Yet as our client roster has grown, our internal headcount has stayed the same. Me, myself and I.

As we approached the end of 2019, I knew it was time to bring on a capable recruiter to better support our clients and job seekers.

Enter Colton Kirkpatrick.

After appearing on Pomp’s “Off the Chain” podcast (simply the best), I received a LinkedIn connection request from Colton. As a good recruiter typically does, I gave Colton’s LinkedIn profile a quick stalk to see what his deal was, registered it in my brain and moved on to the daily activities.

In early December, I joined Clay Collins of Nomics for a live webinar on “How to Recruit (or Get Hired in Crypto) in 2020”. In the live chat, I noticed Colton asking a number of great questions about recruiting in the blockchain industry, my future plans for Proof of Talent and more. I figured with the quality of Colton’s questions, maybe, just maybe, he had some interest in recruiting in the Bitcoin & cryptocurrency world.

So as the great Wayne Gretzky/Michael Scott once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

As it turns out, Colton did have some interest in exploring a role at Proof of Talent.

When I envisioned the person I wanted to hire to begin scaling the business, my criteria were as follows:

  1. Someone who has prior recruiting experience with a reputable firm

2. Someone who is incredibly passionate about Bitcoin and the world of cryptocurrency/blockchain

3. Someone who has a desire to build a business from the ground-up

4. Someone I get along with

Over the course of numerous Zoom calls and eventually a trip to meet Colton in his home city of San Francisco, I found him to meet (and exceed) all of the criteria. Here’s why:

  1. Colton joins Proof of Talent from Betts Recruiting, the top software sales recruiting firm in the country. Not only did Colton work at Betts, but he exceeded performance expectations, bringing immense value to his candidates and clients. As a former software sales rep myself, I know the quality of the Betts Recruiting team and have immense respect for Carolyn Betts, who has grown the firm from 2 people to over 100 employees in less than 10 years, entirely bootstrapped.
  2. Colton is a Bitcoiner. The guy loves Tales from the Crypt (shout out Marty and Matt), Off the Chain and much more. He’s passionate about contributing to this emerging industry and growing a company that supports it.
  3. Colton is a true partner in the business. When I discussed my vision for Proof of Talent with Colton, we instantly saw eye-to-eye on it. We have the desire to grow something that provides a truly valuable service to an industry we love.
  4. Colton has an unconventional business background and I think it’s awesome. A former college football linebacker turned corrections officer and now recruiter/family man, Colton is hard-working and goal oriented. He’ll understand my poor moods on Mondays from September — December when the Jets are playing (losing).

Proof of Talent moving forward

So as a client or job seeker with Proof of Talent, what can you expect in the future now that Colton is a part of the team?

Colton will be joining Proof of Talent as a Senior Recruiter, meaning he will be taking over the reins on sourcing, qualifying and providing career guidance to job seekers. This will allow me more time to work directly with hiring clients, while also continuing to support job seekers to a lesser extent.

Now physically covering NYC and SF

While being based in New York City has helped Proof of Talent immensely, we’ve been under-serving the west coast job market which is primarily located in San Francisco.

Colton’s home base in San Francisco will enable Proof of Talent to properly service SF-local job seekers and clients.

I’m incredibly excited to bring Colton on to the team at Proof of Talent. I have no doubt he will be a strong business partner, a fantastic recruiter and a passionate advocate for the world of Bitcoin & cryptocurrency.

If you’re interested in a job in the industry, make sure to connect with Colton Kirkpatrick on LinkedIn and shoot him a follow on Twitter as well!

Special thanks to our clients and job seekers who have entrusted Proof of Talent with their hiring and career needs so far. We look forward to upping the bar on quality of service in 2020 and beyond!



Rob “Crypto Bobby” Paone

Founder @ProofOfTalent, a blockchain recruiting firm. Buffalo chicken wrap connoisseur.