Hiring Trends in SaaS

Like is the case for most industries, SaaS hiring over the past year has been defined by the Great Resignation. Talent is harder to both find and keep than it was a few short years ago, and company leaders have been left scrambling for ways to improve their SaaS recruiting practices and overcome the challenges of a tight labor market.  

Given this difficult environment, staying abreast of shifts in job seeker behavior and demands is more crucial than ever for hiring teams, especially those struggling to fill openings. Here are three current trends to follow for anyone hiring in the SaaS industry.

Flexibility is King for Top Candidates

In OpenView’s first annual State of SaaS Talent Report, 89% of current professionals work remotely for at least part of their work time. While widespread remote work may have started as a stop-gap during pandemic closures, it’s shifted into a top demand from professionals, who appreciate the added flexibility they get with remote and hybrid work styles.

Many companies are responding by adding more remote positions. In that same OpenView report, 86% of company leaders indicated they will remain at least partially remote in the long-term. This is reflected in the job openings companies are posting. In Foundry’s 2022 Future of Work study, 42% of respondents said the switch to remote work has made it easier to recruit talent, while 72% report a positive shift within their organization in support of permanent remote work. 

The truth is, when it comes to offering remote work, many companies may not have a choice. The average SaaS candidate interviews with 7.8 companies, and more than a third of candidates interviewed with 11 or more companies before making their decision. Scheduling flexibility and work-life balance are among the top things candidates consider when choosing an employer. That could leave companies with no remote work options struggling to fill openings as candidates instead accept offers from employers who give them that choice. 

A Strong Employer Brand Leads to Success

Candidates today evaluate potential employers differently than in the past. More than two-thirds of Millennials check prospective employers’ social media, and that practice isn’t limited to those 40 and younger—about half of Gen Xers (54%) and Boomers (48%) do the same thing. A similar survey conducted by Glassdoor found that 86% of job seekers evaluate a company’s online brand before deciding to apply for employment there. 

Today’s HR professionals increasingly find themselves turning to their marketing colleagues when they’re shaping talent acquisition strategies. It’s no longer enough to put up a job post and wait for applications. Job seekers want to know a workplace is a good match for their lifestyle and values before they submit an application, and effective employer branding can help show them your company is worth their effort. 

Smart Use of AI Reduces Long Times to Hire

Over the past year, the average time to hire has nearly doubled for companies that use external recruiting, from 68 days at the start of 2021 to 130 in 2022. Those that conduct searches internally have seen a more modest increase, with an average time to hire of 95 days in 2022, compared to 77 in 2021.

There are a variety of reasons it takes longer to hire today than in the past. The tight talent market certainly plays a role. With fewer qualified applicants to go around, it takes longer to find people with the skills for in-demand roles. That also makes it critical to shorten the hiring process in any way possible so that ideal candidates aren’t hired elsewhere before you can extend an offer.  

One solution many companies have found is integrating automation into their recruiting process. These tools aren’t just useful to streamline candidate screening and selection. They also allow companies to develop an ongoing talent pipeline they can draw on when they have openings, and enable more responsive communication with candidates. Poor communication is the number one frustration cited by job seekers, and companies that alleviate this frustration have the advantage when it comes to attracting top talent. 

Capitalizing on SaaS Hiring Trends

The SaaS industry has continued to grow rapidly even as other sectors cool, and this has only strained the talent pool further. As long as companies are competing for applicants, it will remain a job seeker’s market. The employers who offer the flexibility and culture candidates want will build a stronger team faster than those who ignore the current trends.

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