The market is shifting, and with it, hiring practices. What once was overwhelmingly in favour of candidates is now switching back to employers calling the shots.

Between 2020-2022 we were in a candidate-deprived market. There were more roles to fill than people wanting jobs, meaning candidates held the power simply because they were in such high demand. As a result, hiring managers prioritised speedy interview processes and were more willing to be flexible about what they offered to candidates.


In 2021, the average interview process for the SaaS scale-ups we partner with included 3 steps:


  • 30 min, 2-way street call with the hiring manager
  • 30 min call with another senior stakeholder
  • 1hr+ demo/presentation exercise with 3/4 stakeholders


Fast forward to today...

The market has shifted to a bear market. For employers, this means there’s more pressure on them to cut costs, and still show ROI. They will have a smaller/non-existent hiring budget and less headcount.

Whether you’re actively or passively looking, things will look a little different when you get to the interview process. But there is a twist: there are positives for both the employer and the candidate.


This shift manifests in 3 ways:


Length of the process:

First and foremost, expect the interview process to be a lot lengthier than the 3x video interviews you might have experienced in 2021. The added pressures and financial restraints mean that managers must be highly confident that any hire is the absolute best choice for long-term success.

Additional stages aren’t just additional burdens for you as a candidate, but instead, opportunities for you to qualify your fit for a role, differentiate yourself from the competition and build champions throughout the business.



With fewer companies hiring and more talent available on the market, it's no surprise that the best roles are more competitive. To make matters difficult, the January/February months have the least number of job listings on LinkedIn, but according to APSCo, they are the most popular months to make a career switch. We've personally seen a massive increase in applicants for our advertised roles, with one position in particular receiving over 300 - Statista data says the tech industry average is 39. It is now perhaps more vital than ever to make an impression as early as possible and combat the massive competition.

Treat each interview the same as you would a sales cycle - after all, the interview is essentially a sales pitch of yourself. Build champions with the stakeholders you meet throughout the interview process, discover their pain/where you can add value, and look for every opportunity to differentiate yourself.


Negotiating power:

Budgets are tight and CFOs are watching spend through a magnifying glass, so don’t be surprised if you are struggling to find jobs that advertise salaries much above where you already are. The “war for talent” led to a meteoric rise in salaries but began to drop as soon as the markets started to shift.


Hiring managers won’t be keen, or able, to enter a bidding war to secure the best talent. They will be hamstrung by their budgets and have backup options if their offers are rejected by the first candidate. Chances are there will be someone else out there who will accept a lower offer.

A potential knock-on effect here can also be seen in the flexible working arrangements. With remote or hybrid working roles so popular but still a minority, candidates will also have to be more open to returning to the office if they need to secure a new role.


Long term...

The hiring market situation isn’t all doom and gloom - there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hiring managers are now making more informed decisions meaning that long-term, everyone will be more successful, helping to regulate the market. A bull market and aggressive hiring go hand in hand. As start-ups learn to operate in a leaner way, the profits and valuations will soon start bouncing back.

As a final heads up, keep an eye out for companies who haven’t yet adapted to the shifted market. The “last in first out” approach to company restructuring skews the risk of joining a new company towards those who were victims of unwise hiring. Interview processes are 2-way streets, do your due diligence and beware of the laissez-faire hiring mentality from employers.

Remembering your interview best practice is more important now than ever – even if you don’t have a Recruitment Wingman in your corner, you can take a look at high-level hints and tips here: How to win in a SaaS sales interview.

If you need to touch up your resume and give it a little TLC, check out our best practices here.