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Managing the talent landscape in the SaaS industry

by Mike Jones in SaaS 11/05/2022

The simplicity of integrating and the option to pay as you go are just two factors that have encouraged the accelerated adoption of SaaS products. While there are concerns regarding security, data privacy and limitations to customising software, the underlying benefits of scaling and cost have led to large-scale adoption. The software products marketplace typically comprises two sections: Companies which began on-premise but have transitioned to mainly SaaS but retained an on-premise option for customers preferring this method. The second concerns newer businesses that are predominantly SaaS. This format began with companies like Salesforce and quickly became a preferred choice for traditional on-premises CRM software. There are also an increasingly large number of tech-focused companies essentially working as SaaS businesses. Companies in the consumer service industry like trip advisor, or companies in the finance scene, such as Stripe, are examples of this. There is an emerging talent war within the SaaS space, with traditional enterprise software companies that have moved to SaaS are now competing for top talent with leading businesses like Salesforce, and Workday, who are similarly competing with the large internet companies like Amazon and Google. 

Technical and executive positions at technology companies have never been in such high demand. This is likely to rise as businesses embrace automation, AI, machine learning and data intelligence. For software product companies, people capabilities are accelerating quickly as businesses and operating systems utilise cloud and SaaS services. Today’s software leaders need to work with more innovation and be capable of making quick real-time decisions, determining which products to use and improving what is working. A structured talent and engagement strategy is critical for software companies to attract the best professionals within the current industry. There are various sources to search, including new and pure-focused SaaS businesses, tech-enabled businesses, transitioned software companies and consulting firms. The booming industry environment has made it considerably more challenging to attract executives to a new platform, mainly due to the success in their existing roles. Generating interest from a candidate means the opportunity has to stand out, be captivating and specifically targeted at each individual. 

The recruitment challenge is particularly challenging for businesses in a transition phase, than those focusing on pure growth. For companies trying to recover and move on from legacy technologies, hiring a leading professional is critical to enable them to attract other high-level candidates to their business. 

The SaaS industry is growing at a considerable pace. Software service providers and tech-focused businesses compete for the same leaders and skillsets. Hiring managers and their search partners need to understand the software industry and where successful leaders are working and remain agile to how the industry is progressing. Creating the most compelling proposition to attract the best industry talent is critical.