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+12% since April

over 1 year ago 2 mins read
Adam Schoenfeld
Adam Schoenfeld

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Welcome back to my weekly newsletter where I share data and examples to help you study B2B sales and marketing.*

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Twitter, Stripe, Lyft, and now Meta have announced layoffs.

Apple and Amazon paused hiring.

That’s big tech.

What about *our* world?

B2B.

Growth and startups.

We've been tracking hiring since April.

I just **posted summary deck here** with 6-months of data.

Clearly we’re not immune.

Scott Leese is petitioning for B2B tech sales to be considered an Olympic sport.

**But there’s another side to the story…**

Despite the negative news, the B2B Software Index employs 59,074 more people in October than April.

That's +12% in six months across 1,436 SaaS companies with 5 to 5K employees.

*Source:**PeerSignal.org (browse the B2B Hiring Tracker free)**​*

It’s not that B2B tech isn’t growing.

It’s that it’s not growing at the break-neck pace we’ve come to expect.

And unfortunately, many orgs didn’t slow down for the yellow light until it was too late.

Silver lining: Tech companies still hiring compensate for the ones making cuts.

**Here’s the mix of headcount direction for the last few months:**

*Source:**PeerSignal.org (browse the B2B Hiring Tracker free)**​*

While the number of B2B companies decreasing headcount did jump up to 23%, a 7% hike going into Q3, small and mid-sized SaaS looks to be stabilizing.

Headcount decreases are back down to H2 workforce reduction rates.

Notably, early-stage startups (<100 employees) have grown much slower than 100 to 5K companies.

However, headcount remains net positive across all stages in our B2B Software Index.

<https://app.peersignal.org/datasets/hiring-tracker> *Source:**PeerSignal.org (browse the B2B Hiring Tracker free)**​*

Open roles remain consistent across the B2B Software Index the last few months, with sales and marketing seeing a small dip in October.

*Source:**PeerSignal.org (browse the B2B Hiring Tracker free)**​*

But steady startup recruiting doesn’t make headlines.

So let’s compare what we’re seeing in the startup tech world to big tech workforce trends.

**How B2B SaaS startup hiring growth stacks up against big tech:**

Over the past six months, B2B Software Index startups (5 to 5K) grew their workforce by 11.6%, significantly faster than the 4.8% increase in the 7 big B2B software leaders that we used for comparison.

Of course, 10% layoffs at a 50-person startup has a very different impact than 13% layoffs at 87K-person tech giants like Meta.

*Source:**PeerSignal.org (browse the B2B Hiring Tracker free)**​*

A limited sample size, but this aligns with what we’d expect to see in an economic downturn — established companies mitigate risk, opting to protect what they have.

Short-term, they can survive on retention and brand alone.

Startups don't have that luxury.

They evolve quickly or die.

**What does this mean for tech workers?**

According to the Wall Street Journal, startups plan to take advantage of big tech cuts by pursuing recently laid off tech workers they could not have attracted a few years ago.

Suddenly, startups and big tech are on a more level playing ground.

Big tech doesn’t look as shiny.

Small tech doesn’t look as risky.

As career coach Austin Belcak reminded in his LinkedIn post this week, “dream company” is relative.

It doesn’t mean Fortune 500.

It’s anywhere you have freedom to grow sustainably — personally and professionally.

Don’t let the loudest tech leaders steer your startup — or career — off course.

The tech giants hedging now are the same ones that swung for the fences in previous recessions.

Now, like your parents, they’re resistant to change.

Despite the looming recession, we recently 3Xed our team this year (+4 people 😉).

No regrets.

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Best,

Adam