The death of Silicon Valley has been a widely debated topic in the media lately. Recent events in the news have helped to fuel such discussions, such as Tesla building its new headquarters in Austin and the rise of tech employees and companies located in Miami.
But how swiftly can tech companies reinvent their hiring strategies to rely less on experience and ambition associated with an established tech ecosystem which has been around for the last 20 years? Is there opportunity to be found for companies to leverage business advantage from shifting talent sourcing to other locations? Perhaps the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to proliferate the availability of remote work, making hiring outside of tech hubs a more viable strategy. If any type of company has the potential to adopt cutting edge strategies, it would be nimble startups.
Recently the CEO and co-founder of Stripe, a B2B financial software startup, posted a Tweet foreshadowing an increase in the company’s hiring outside of traditional tech hubs, specifically Seattle and San Francisco. He asserted that the company won’t only increase its hiring elsewhere, but will also focus on hiring remote workers. His announcement generated much excitement among other businesses, but is there more to the story than just hype?
How serious is Stripe about innovating on its hiring strategies? Will this company start funneling more of its hiring resources towards remote workers, with a more global focus? And will this really overtake their hiring efforts that have historically focused on large tech hubs, specifically Seattle and San Francisco? Let’s take a closer look at our data to add some color to the story.
First, let’s compartmentalize the data to see what Stripe’s recent hiring has looked like by location.
San Francisco and Seattle have historically been Stripe’s largest offices, with an estimated 2,470 and 1,180 employees respectively. Our data confirms that over the last 6 months, we see 70% of Stripe’s hiring was outside Seattle and San Francisco. From there, we can infer that the remaining 30% of their hiring in the last 6 months was specifically focused on those 2 tech hubs, which is notably less when compared to the 6-month timeframe prior to that, when 46% of their workforce was based in these cities.
Stripe’s decrease in hiring in Seattle and San Francisco is further supported by our data on where their employees are relocating. Looking at the net migration of Stripe employees who stayed with the company, Stripe saw a decline of 3.3% of their Bay Area employees who relocated elsewhere.
But so far, this is only part of the complete story. What does Stripe’s hiring look like outside of Seattle and San Francisco? Could less hiring in those cities create opportunities to hire more within their other offices? Let’s investigate.
When we took a look at which cities had the most hiring, our data confirmed that their top 5 office locations included not just San Francisco and Seattle, but also New York City, Dublin, and London. Currently, these locations collectively represent 55% of Stripe’s workforce. 6 months ago, they represented 65% of its entire workforce.
Does this mean that Stripe is de-centralizing hiring from their top 5 offices? Not necessarily. Our data confirms that the company is hiring less in Seattle and San Francisco. In fact, San Francisco only grew 8% and Seattle only grew 15% over the last 6 months. However in the meantime, Stripe is growing faster than average in their top 3 locations. We see through the data that Stripe is growing in Dublin by 22%, 32% in London, and a whopping 34% in New York City. Our data shows that New York City is the single largest location of hires for Stripe as a whole and is experiencing the most growth among the top 5 office locations.
After taking a look at our data, it’s clear that we should take the hype around Stripe shifting its hiring strategy with a grain of salt.
Our analysis confirms that Stripe is de-emphasizing hiring in the giant tech hubs of Seattle and San Francisco. The Bay Area is even experiencing the highest rate of employees relocating elsewhere compared to the other top 4 offices. However, the Seattle and San Francisco offices are still seeing growth in numbers of employees, suggesting that these offices aren’t going to disappear overnight.
When zooming out and studying the growth of Stripe’s top 5 office locations, it becomes evident that Stripe is expanding headcount internationally but continues to grow significantly in top 5 office locations. Taking a look at Stripe’s other offices also offers us a perspective on their intentions to hire remotely, or outside of their offices. While Stripe may be thinking of hiring remotely, it appears in practice they continue to concentrate a lot of hiring in their top office locations.