Betts Recruiting

Get free real-time compensation insights, with Comp Engine.


Hiring & Recruiting Trends for Different Industries in Tech

The Betts Team
June 20, 2024

There are a growing number of tech startups serving different industries, from AI to Fintech, but hiring trends differ considerably between each market and often even from company to company. In this blog, we will go over the most consistent patterns we found for each industry served by the technology sector. We’ll cover what this means for recruiting trends for go-to-market (GTM) throughout the rest of 2024 and beyond. Overall, while everyone but the new firms emerging in the Generative AI space have slowed down their pace of talent acquisition, many organizations are still actively looking for new candidates – just with different skills and more experience.

Here are the top developments we have seen for hiring trends throughout different industry markets of tech, and the biggest factors driving them:

State of Tech Hiring in 2024

The technology sector is going through a time of significant change, many parts upheaval but with rays of opportunity still shining through the cloudy forecasts. You can read our latest updates for the Betts Compensation Guide and Betts Executive Compensation Guide to get a better big picture look at some of the major trends we found influencing recruiting for GTM roles, as well as our individual breakdowns for positions like Account Executives (AEs), Sales Development Representatives (SDRs), Customer Success Managers (CSMs), Sales Engineers (SEs) and Demand Generation Managers.

The short version is that the current state of talent acquisition in tech is one of reevaluation, consolidation and disruption from multiple sides. Startups that have gotten past their first few rounds of funding are restructuring their sales motions to face emerging challenges, even as new players arrive and upend the status quo. Above all, everyone is redefining what their ideal sales candidate looks like amidst the changes in the market.

The Rise of AI

Everyone is talking about the current phase of artificial intelligence, and for better or for worse it is definitely a topic that is not going away anytime soon since more and more companies providing AI solutions appear almost every day. We have seen more startups recruiting in this space than ever have before, at many times constituting the majority of organizations actively sourcing candidates for GTM jobs. Obviously, this will have short- and long-term effects on the tech sector, including the level of competition over the available talent pool for roles that require certain skill sets.

SaaS on a Slow Upswing

Even while Gen AI is taking the top spot for talent acquisition in the technology sector, we found that other parts of the industry are slowly picking up their hiring searches on the aggregate. While SaaS startups were hit hard by the economic challenges of the past few years, more established firms are finding their footing and scaling their sales and marketing outreach back up. 

The Demand for Unicorn Sellers

The biggest trends driving tech recruiting in 2024 by far is the search for who we call the “unicorn seller” – unique to nearly every company, this is someone who is already experienced with the org’s target market(s) and aligns with their existing sales motion and culture. A lot of boxes have to be checked for a candidate to fit this bill perfectly, making talent acquisition that much more strenuous and often more competitive between companies that sell into the same industries.

Industry-Specific Hiring and Recruiting Trends for Tech

Below we will go over some of the top recruiting trends we have seen among our network when divided by which industry each segment sells into, from general SaaS to specific verticals or functions like finance, human resources or cybersecurity:

AI Hiring and Recruiting Trends

We have already pointed out that AI is the new popular kid on the block, with new solutions and companies emerging constantly, contributing to the biggest level of growth seen in tech over the past year. Obviously, this means that startups in this space are actively seeking to build out their workforces; however, while artificial intelligence companies are doggedly sourcing candidates, we have seen signs that are being nearly as selective about who they hire just like the rest of the sector. Given that Gen AI is in its beginning stages compared to more mature solution categories, finding technically-savvy sellers in this space will be a challenge for the next few years.

SaaS Hiring and Recruiting Trends

As a broad category, SaaS companies still represent a large chunk of the tech startup space that is actively recruiting, and while the overall numbers are below the rates of 2020 and 2021 many of these firms continue to seek to fill go-to-market positions. The rules and priorities have changed, however, centered around the search for unicorn sellers – there remain so many generalists in the talent pool that their compensation rates are dropping by around 10%, while specialists that are closer to the given requirement can ask for up to 20% above the average rate. 

FinTech Hiring and Recruiting Trends

FinTech recruiting trends continue to be one of the more relatively stable patterns in SaaS in the face of the challenges facing the market, with many in the financial services industry still turning towards technology automation to scale operations. However, we have still seen many of the same trends impacting recruiting here, including a greater demand for candidates that bring proven soft skills in their repertoire.

HR Tech Hiring and Recruiting Trends

HR Tech is an interesting case for a SaaS market, as the focus on “doing more with less” in other parts of the technology sector means that most require some mix of human resource management solutions to make up for the smaller, more consolidated workforces. We have seen quite a few orgs in the human resource technology space making large recruiting pushes that rival the volumes of AI companies hiring this year, yet this still remains more of the exception than the norm.

Cybersecurity Hiring and Recruiting Trends

The cybersecurity, infosec (informational security), cloud security, and other related industries in the tech space have been constantly growing markets over the past few years, and have only become more important as the whole world migrates to an increasingly digitized world. However, despite this, we are still seeing a general slowdown in recruiting for security SaaS that while not quite a freeze, still shows a very cautious approach to talent acquisition that prioritizes sourcing candidates with the right technical skills.

HealthTech Hiring and Recruiting Trends

The HealthTech sector has a healthier (no pun intended) jobs outlook than many other parts of the industry, though many firms are still contending with the same challenges that other technology startups are facing. Many have focused on scaling technical teams so far, although we are starting to see more traction on hiring for senior-level and executive GTM roles in the space.

Climate Tech Hiring and Recruiting Trends

Climate Tech recruiting over the past year or so has been focused more on jobs such as field technicians or engineers, but the growing number of startups and the migration of laid off applicants with tech sales and marketing backgrounds are helping to expand talent acquisition towards the GTM side again. We have not seen a major shift yet, but there have been signs of a few hiring pushes from larger orgs in the market. 

EdTech Hiring and Recruiting Trends

EdTech recruiting is at a crossroads, with the market looking poised to continue growing significantly in spite of external economic uncertainties, but most startups in the sector showing trepidation about overhiring. While quite a few companies here are still actively sourcing candidates, they are remaining selective and focusing primarily on the quality of each hire.

Find the Tech Unicorn Seller for Your Industry with Betts

While your perfect unicorn seller is unique to you, your competitors in your industry space are looking at the same available talent pool of experienced GTM candidates with the backgrounds they need, making it take that much longer to secure your right fit. Betts Recruiting and our market-leading hiring platform, Connect, can help – you gain access to the latest data and trends on top talent, including real-time compensation data with our new Comp Engine.

Sign up for the Betts Comp Engine here and gain access to real-time salary data that will help you refine your talent acquisition to source your ideal unicorn seller faster.