Braintrust Network Update: December 2023

Adam Jackson
Adam Jackson


As we close out the calendar year, I wanted to provide a quick temperature check on the broader macroeconomic climate based on what we’re seeing from the front lines at Braintrust: 


  • In November we had the highest number of enterprise customers posting jobs in 2023; a positive indicator that hiring is (slowly) coming back. 
  • That said, the macro environment remains choppy & competitive, with volume of opportunities down across the board.
  • Those who are hiring are looking for contract/ freelance talent (unsurprisingly, for the flexibility and cost savings) and are being highly selective with the vendors they use.
  • We are still seeing ~50% of our customers on a company wide hiring freeze (down from 75% in May), but are expecting a pick up in Q1 when enterprises get their budgets delivered and start staffing again.
  • In years past, we’d get some “use it or lose it” dollars before the end of the year - that is NOT happening this year.
  • In EOY / 2024 planning calls we’re getting feedback that budgets are likely to open up early in the New Year.
  • In an effort to reduce the impact of recessionary cycles to the business, we’ve been building sophisticated AI tools that will allow us to more easily increase our share of wallet with clients so we’re able to continue to grow regardless of the macro environment.


Now, on to our updates.


Automation and improvements to drive efficiency: 


  • Automated Matching: Our new matching algorithm has been tested and verified with a 90% accuracy rate. It contains 4+ years of talent and customer data, and has been trained by the human recruiters who have been doing this work. It’s in the final stages of deployment and we expect to roll it out in the new year. This will be a dramatic improvement for customers, who will now be matched instantly with the top 5 candidates for the role, and remove a ton of manual labor from our core team.
  • Automated Screening: With automated matching within reach, we’re working our way to the top of the funnel on our mission to automate everything. The next thing we’ll tackle is talent screening, which today is primarily async, but fairly clunky. We’ll be looking to streamline this process to make it easier for talent to sign up and be verified, the goal being fewer steps, fewer humans, and better results.
  • Referrals: Now that we’ve narrowed in on the qualities that make a successful connector, we’re testing different incentive mechanisms to drive results, and seeing some promising early results. We’ve been able to 2x+ our top of funnel conversion rates 3 months in a row by offering incentives earlier in the funnel to complete intros. We are still testing, but have found that offering Connectors ~500 BTRST tokens when they complete 100 LinkedIn intros seems to be compelling for most to actually complete. As a result, we’ve seen the number of client intros increase by more than 2x MoM (Oct = ~200 intros, Nov = ~500, Dec = 1200+).  

Client (demand) side performance:


  • Direct Hire: Despite the broader macro trend being to hire freelancers, we had a great month in Direct Hire, filling the most direct hire roles in a single month to date.
  • Enterprise: We’re pacing behind on adding new customers, but showing strong traction with our current customers. This month a large banking client renewed 45+ contractors for 6 months, and we also successfully expanded an existing enterprise customer (Nestle) to add another distinguished logo - Blue Bottle Coffee - to our roster.
  • Mid Market: We’re making a concerted effort to break into the mid market segment, as we think it could be a sweet spot for our offering. 
  • AI: We’ve continued our work with a large AI company, filling another 40+ roles for them this month, and fielding their desire for us to 10X the volume in 2024.  

Talent (supply) side performance:


  • Token: We’ve begun the massive user wallet migration to Base (Coinbase’s L2), starting with a small number of wallets to test and manually verify there are no issues before migrating ~34k wallets to the new blockchain. Assuming there are no issues with the initial set of wallets, we should be able to complete this before the end of the year.  In Q4+, we are testing dozens of new ways users can use BTRST to enhance their experience on the marketplace + professional network. 
  • Milestones: This month we celebrated that our talent community has exceeded 500,000 members (currently 535,083) and we have facilitated over $200 million in cumulative earnings for talent around the globe. Just one year ago, we celebrated putting $100M back in the hands of talent. At that time, we had ¼  of the number of community members - 128,467 total talent - that we do today. This means that in one year, we 2Xed earnings for our talent and 4Xed the community members around the globe on the platform with the potential to earn in the future. We put together a blog article and video to celebrate and would love if you shared through your networks!


Other highlights and ways you can help:


  • Referrals: We can always, ALWAYS use referrals to additional prospective customers. If the adjustments we’re making to the referral program (mentioned above) piqued your interest, reply to this email and we can get you enrolled.
  • Press: 


Best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season, and I look forward to sharing some exciting new initiatives we’ve been working on in the New Year!


All the best,




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