So one of the latest SaaStr surveys confirms what I’m seeing, and we’re seeing across many public SaaS companies. Hiring has way slowed down, but many folks are still hiring, albeit at a reduced rate. 56% of you aren’t hiring, or barely hiring. And very few of you are doubling headcount, vs everyone in 2021. But a good chunk of you are still hiring, albeit in moderation.
This is what we are starting to see across public SaaS leaders as well. Many did layoffs and capped hiring to get radically more efficient — and it worked. In just 1 year, everyone from Monday to HubSpot to Freshworks became radically more efficient, with much higher non-GAAP margins. In just a few quarters.
And they’re still growing at very strong rates, from 50% for Monday to 30% at HubSpot. So hiring is beginning again, albeit for now often mainly focused on engineering and product. You can see Monday, for example, held the line on headcount over the past 4 quarters, but now is slowly hiring in R&D and product:
And HubSpot’s revenue is up 30%, while headcount is up just 10%:
I’d expect that to continue through most of the year, and then as margin targets are hit, the pace of hiring should pick up for 2024. You can grow at top-tier rates for a year or so even pausing hiring. But probably not two years. There’s just so much more revenue to close. Eventually, efficiency in sales and marketing hits its limits. And you do just need more plain humans taking the calls, doing the demos, and closing the bigger deals.