The source of truth for current and future product and engineering headcount is this spreadsheet.
Access is currently restricted to product/eng directors, engineering managers, and relevant people in people ops, talent, and finance.
Our goal is to have an approximate 1 year rolling headcount plan for budgeting and high-level planning purposes.
Department level headcount totals need to be approved by the board of directors, so any headcount that has not been approved is merely a forecast.
Even after headcount is approved by the board of directors, it is subject to reallocation within product and engineering subject to our evolving needs and priorities. Our goal is to start hiring for roles 3 months before we want someone to start, so we will finalize team allocations of approved headcount 1 quarter in advance.
In general, the lifecycle of a headcount is: unapproved -> approved -> ready to start hiring.
While it is possible to request new headcount from the board throughout the year, our goal is to not have to do that so that we have a stable financial plan we can operate against.
When a new quarter is about to start, hiring managers should be prepared to provide brief/lightweight justifications for headcount increases (any roles we want to start hiring for) for the quarter after the quarter that is about to start. This includes justifications for headcount that has already been tentatively allocated.
After the board meeting (generally ~3 weeks into the new quarter), headcount allocations will be finalized and hiring managers can work with the talent team to open hiring pipelines for the following quarter (the quarter after the one that just started).