The SaaS industry has been booming. It is forecasted by Technavio that the industry will grow by a USD 60 billion figure between 2019 to 2023 alone! Keeping this development in mind, companies are ruthlessly hiring and firing employees depending on their work culture and niche.
According to a 2019 Annual SaaS Trends Report by Blissfully, on average, a company spends nearly 2884 US dollars per employee, which is more than the amount spent on digital infrastructure or paraphernalia like laptops and computers! Given this financial angle, it becomes clear that companies must make each and every hiring process count.
In this article, we will take a look at how the last decade has shaped the hiring in SaaS-based firms:
New and Upcoming SaaS-Related Trends That Have Emerged in the Past Decade
Whether companies are looking for AWS developers for hire or a brand developer, they are always on the lookout for budding talent that they can nurture and harness for growth. With this, the hiring patterns have changed in the following ways:
1. Demand for Specialization
There is an unscalable demand for employees that have worked on the differentiation of skills. Even though companies are willing to invest in the training of an employee, there is a marked preference for candidates who already fit that bracket. Naturally, someone who possesses a product manager certification will get picked over someone who is a complete fresher/
In addition to these industry-specific courses, tech-centric employees are also in demand. There is a widespread need for specialists who are masters of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), Big Data, and more. There is also a growing need for mobile-optimization, which highlights the need for mobile developers.
This trend is a result of the growth and maturation of SaaS companies in the past decade, which now puts them in a position to seek specialization and differentiation to access utility, audience, features, and verticals.
2. Vertical SaaS Applications
Horizontal SaaS comes into play for different businesses using the same or similar types of applications (such as an email marketing tool). On the other hand, vertical SaaS caters to customers that belong to a particular business sector (say, application for scheduling dental appointments).
In the past decade, companies are following the ‘riches lie in the niches’ approach to focus on Vertical SaaS and corresponding growth. It saves them on unnecessary operational costs and offers them scalable growth.
Given this leaning towards Vertical SaaS, it becomes even more crucial for companies to hire per their highly specific needs. Thus, they are looking for employees who can drive their efforts and measure, correct, and follow-up on them through analytics and data science.
As the competition heats up, broad positions will get replaced by niche roles.
3. Call for New and Improved Leadership
Companies are not only recruiting freshers and newbies but are also trying to fill up the upper echelons. The concept of ‘thought leader’ and ‘servant leader’ has also transformed the top slot. The key players within a company can no longer sit back and enjoy the fruits of others’ labors, but will, in fact, have to be the drivers of change and innovation.
They will coordinate all efforts, hand out pep talks, and make some hard decisions. So why should the company slack while hiring someone for this role? In addition to these internal tasks, they may have to take on additional roles that may help with brand development and visibility.
Thought leadership calls for the publication of content to educate and enlighten readers, who can be potential customers. Thus, these ‘leaders’ will be the face of the SaaS company and must participate in webinars, events, and other outlets for information dissemination. Alternatively, they can also pen down their thoughts in the form of blog posts and assert their domain expertise.
Keeping all the above responsibilities in mind, companies must put in a lot of thought and effort into recruiting for the top bench.
4. Role of Brand Developers
Previously, SaaS was largely an unexplored area due to which companies did not have to invest in branding or brand development. However, given that the SaaS landscape is already booming, companies are under extreme pressure to stand out or perish.
Thus, even though SaaS companies are highly technical in nature, it does not discount the importance of key business-related profiles, such as product managers, product marketers, and salespeople. They are the ones who will get your company on the map. Hence, companies have expanded their hiring considerations to include these positions as well.
In the current decade, companies must make brand expansion a top priority. Thus, hiring operations have started to focus on recruiting creative individuals for brand building and cultural development requirements.
5. Automation in the Hiring Processes
Regardless of the industrial sector, hiring is a drain on resources. Companies not only pay for it financially but also in the form of time and resource allocation. Furthermore, hiring for SaaS companies is even tougher than regular technical or non-technical recruitments.
As a result, companies are looking for ways to expedite the process. One of the hottest hiring trends that are catching up across the sector is the growth of hiring and recruitment software. These are highly customizable applications that allow companies to automate workflows that may be repetitive.
Thus, companies enjoy a streamlined hiring process while candidates no longer have to face longer wait times or other delays. Hence, the introduction of automation enhances the experience of either party.
At the same time, companies are also making an effort to ensure smoother onboarding, better employee retention, and lower churn rates.
From the above trends, it becomes clear that SaaS has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade. It has transitioned from a product-centered mindset to a customer-centric approach. Further, this growth of SaaS continues to display sustainability even in the longer run.
Therefore, companies are now shifting their attention to building a workforce that will push this growth. Hiring and nurturing talent for the future is the best way to stay relevant even in the years to come.