Flexible Work, Compensation Demands, and Hiring Trends: First Annual State of SaaS Talent Report

March 8, 2022

Today we released our first annual State of SaaS Talent Report. The report dives into the current state of hiring in the SaaS market to provide insights into what candidates are looking for in the hiring process, expectations for their prospective employers, and how companies can win the competition for talent. 

As roughly 47 million people quit their jobs in 2021, the imbalance of supply and demand in the job market became even more pronounced, translating into 42% of founders being kept up at night by concerns about hiring. As finding and retaining talent remains imperative for growing a successful business in SaaS, organizations need to find ways to stay ahead of the curve. 

The report provides insights and strategies for acquiring the best teams, including:

  • Meeting expectations for remote work—Today, nearly 90% of employees work remotely and the average company expects to be 86% fully or partially remote post-pandemic. While a 100% remote workforce may not be feasible for every business model, candidates expect a level of flexibility.
  • Increasing compensation to attract qualified candidates—86% of respondents reported seeing an increase in compensation expectations. It’s a job seeker’s market and the shortage of talent we’re seeing in the hiring market and the high competition for qualified candidates is reasonable cause for the increased expectation.
  • Planning farther ahead to avoid delays—Companies relying on external recruiting teams to source talent have seen this metric double—a 70-day process in prior years is now a 140-day process today. This means employers need to plan further ahead for making key hires to avoid delays in reaching goals tied to each function. 
  • Demonstrating a unified vision across the organization—74% of candidates cited “misalignment on the role and vision across interviewing teams” as a major red flag. Candidates might lose faith in a company’s direction or viability and ultimately be turned off from the opportunity. It is critical that organizations remember they aren’t just assessing the candidate. The candidate is taking the opportunity to assess the organization and its teams, so they need to be prepared to impress them as well. 

It is no longer enough for hiring teams to leverage traditional methods for acquiring talent. Organizations need to reconsider, reconstruct, and streamline their recruiting processes to win. A few out-of-the-box strategies to consider include getting more proactive with internal recruiting teams (ie. sending personalized notes to desirable candidates) and preparing a “sell deck” that details your company’s product and culture to meet candidates’ expectations for consistent messaging on the role and company vision.

Given New York’s strong startup ecosystem and emerging product-led growth (PLG) focus, we took a deeper dive into the New York City hiring landscape

Top trends include:

  • Hiring is a top priority – 64% of businesses plan on hiring even more people in 2022 than they did in 2021.
  • Remote work is less of the norm – 58% of open roles in New York City are advertised as fully remote. 
  • Hiring top talent in NYC is extremely competitive – Of those surveyed, 44% of New Yorkers interviewed with nearly 11+ companies before making their choice.

Some additional key findings from the full report include the average cost per hire, which has increased by more than $15,000–a nearly 20% increase from pre-2021 years. This makes it critical that organizations carefully plan throughout the process to maximize return. 

“Organizations should have a solid idea of their hiring timeline well before starting to reach out to candidates,” said Forrest Leighton, VP of Marketing at PERSUIT, an OpenView portfolio company. “Hiring fatigue is a real thing and hiring the best talent requires an efficient process that is candidate friendly and strikes a balance between getting to know the candidate and their level of expertise without taking them through weeks of interviews. You’ll lose them before you ever had them.”

To learn more about how your organizations can stand out among the pack on the journey to hiring, download the State of Saas Talent Report today.

Partner at OpenView

Steve works with OpenView portfolio companies to identify and recruit high-impact senior executives and board members. Prior to OV, Steve was a Principal at True Search, a globally retained executive search firm. At True, he led executive searches across scaling venture and private-equity backed technology companies. Steve started his career at Korn Ferry, the largest executive search firm in the world, focusing on CEO/Board and CFO searches for fortune 2000 companies.