The State of Product Recruiting: Q1 2022

Happy New Year! We've wrapped up the crazy wonderful year that was 2021 and have started into 2022 amped-up for what lies ahead!

As the first few weeks of January fly by, it’s a time to reflect on the current state of the hiring market across North America; more specifically, the current state of Product Management hiring and recruiting.

Most of these trends should come as no surprise, but here are the top 9 trends that will continue to dominate the product hiring market this quarter: 

Candidate’s Market

In case you've been living under a rock, yes, it is still a Candidate’s Market. Employers, especially early-stage startups, are still feeling the pressure when it comes to attracting and hiring the talent they need. 

This frustration, confusion, and denial are universal across most tech organizations. If you’re struggling to hire product candidates, here are four lessons to help you compete in this very intense market. 

Rising Hiring Costs 

We all know salaries have increased. In Canada, $150 is the new $130 and there are record-breaking salaries being shared every week. In addition, companies are upping their competitiveness by adding in additional perks (gym stipends, WFH office allowances, benefit top-ups, course credits … the list goes on). From start to finish, the entire cost of hiring has surged. 

Remote First

Remote first is finally settling into the norm. At one point last year, it was not uncommon to meet employers who were so hopeful to have people back in office they were rolling out plans to 'ease back into the office' after Labor Day. As this return date gets pushed out further and further and Omicron continues to spread, it only cements that the WFH model is one here to stay.  

Borderless Hiring

As remote-first becomes the new normal so does borderless hiring. We’ve seen an increasing number of Canadian tech companies make decisions to hire their senior-most product leaders in the US. The playing field for talent is going global.  

Lack of Northern Opportunities

For the number of Canadian product leaders available or willing to engage in a move there lacks a sufficient number of senior leadership roles in Canada. On top of the aforementioned cross-border hiring happening between US candidates and Canadian companies. While it may be a candidate’s market, competition for Canadian candidates at the very top is still quite fierce. 

Position of Readiness

Product teams are looking to scale and hire fast so even passive candidates need to step into the interview ring ready to move in a fast-paced market. Candidates cannot afford to put little effort into resumes and interview preparation as the interview process will not slow down for them to catch up. 

See how one SaaS startup hired their VP Product in just 33 business days!

Product Priority 

What was once a misunderstood role that took a backseat to Marketing and Engineering is no more. Product and product departments continue to be front and center in the minds of leadership. Based on the hundreds of CEOs and Founders we spoke with last quarter, almost all cited product management and having strong product leadership as their number one priority and concern for 2022.

Giant Transformations

While Q1 hiring may be down for the US, hiring for product talent is not. Publicly traded tech giants are looking for opportunities to drive transformation through digital products and looking for native digital product talent to champion the next phase of growth through product. If you're in the world of tech then the hiring market is surging ahead. 


Product Led Growth (PLG) business models are no longer for SMB use cases. Even enterprises are looking to cash in on the adoption of self-serve platforms as a growth channel. This has led to the rise of growth-specific roles in product. The demand was high in 2021 and will only continue to increase in 2022. 

2022 is poised to be the year of Product Management! As businesses continue to shift their attention and budgets toward product and product management hiring. 

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