What 8 Boston Tech Companies Are Doing to Stand Out From the Crowd
Despite the tech industry’s rapid growth over the past few years, recruiters are struggling to find qualified candidates to fill their open roles. In reality, this should come as no surprise — there were 3.7 million tech job postings in 2018 alone.
Tech recruiters are eager to find out what makes their ideal candidates tick, and job offers today are no longer entirely salary driven. It’s a candidate’s market, which means highly sought-after, experienced professionals can wait for their perfect job. Not only that, but they’re rating potential employers on ancillary qualities like company culture, benefits packages and office space.
The key is to focus on your employer brand and use your company’s uniqueness to your advantage. Promote the engaging aspects of your organization to job seekers and get them excited about your company as their next great career opportunity. To get inspired, take a look at how we helped eight of the biggest names in Boston tech highlight their stand-out qualities.
Feature Your Volunteer Opportunities
Job seekers are extremely interested in working for employers that sponsor volunteer opportunities; 82% of companies say their employees want to engage in community service with colleagues as part of an employer-sponsored event. Even 61% of millennials, who rarely volunteer on their own, consider an organization’s philanthropic commitment when evaluating potential employers.
If you’d describe your company culture as philanthropic, promote this to pique the interest of talented professionals with a passion for giving back. Check out how we helped the Boston-based company CrunchTime! promote its volunteer opportunities to prospective candidates.
CrunchTime!’s Community-Focused Culture
For the team at CrunchTime!, a restaurant management software, volunteerism is a top priority. “CrunchTime makes it extremely easy to give back,” says Elizabeth Russo, Senior Marketing Specialist. The company offers volunteer opportunities during work hours, ranging from serving lunch to the residents of the New England Center and Home for Veterans to donating blood at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“We always try to be the ‘heroes in our community’,” adds Russo. CrunchTime encourages employees to volunteer in an area of their own interest and sets up opportunities on a monthly basis. “CrunchTime truly values the humble contributions from our team that better our community, and we believe those efforts extend outside of the workplace,” Russo says.
Spotlight Your Unique Culture and Perks
A strong company culture is one of the most coveted and highly sought-after aspects of a potential employer. In fact, 56% of adults say a great company culture is more important to job satisfaction than salary.
Employee perks and benefits are a direct reflection of your company culture. If you offer your team members unique benefits and thoughtfully create a positive work culture, share that information with prospects to close the deal with a qualified candidate faster. Take a look at how we helped these two Boston tech companies attract top talent by promoting their culture-driven perks.
CloudHealth by VMware’s Flexible PTO
CloudHealth by VMware, a cloud-environment optimization platform, values employee contributions over timecards. “Our employees invest a lot of time both in and outside of the office as they solve tough challenges and make contributions at CloudHealth that they can be proud of,” says Kristen Tronsky, Director of Human Resources. “We wanted to emphasize the importance of making a business impact, versus how much time team members spend in the office.”
As a result, the CloudHealth team implemented a flexible PTO policy back in 2016. “When it comes to work-life balance, we trust people to find the right mix for themselves while keeping deliverables on the right track,” Tronsky adds. The team at CloudHealth by VMware knows that company culture is something that can’t be phoned in. “Our CEO recently wrote a blog post about how “culture” is about more than just having a pet-friendly office or free beer on tap — it’s about having a belief system that’s embodied by your employees,” says Tronsky.
FareHarbor’s Family Mantra
Employee benefits aren’t just about the tangible aspects of your company; a positive culture is considered a huge plus. For employees at FareHarbor, a tour and activity reservation platform in Boston, the company’s motto is one of the most beloved perks. “One of FareHarbor's mantras is “Ohana,” which means family,” says Jeff Landry, Senior Account Executive. “This is at the core of what we do, and my favorite perk about working at FareHarbor.”
Anchoring business objectives to a positive mantra is what makes the work enjoyable and culture engaging. “Every single employee — at every level — is willing to stop and take time to help you solve issues, develop pitches and improve your workflow,” adds Landry. A team of employees who love what they do and are eager to help one another is the greatest perk of all.
Leverage Your Leadership Team
A company’s vision and mission is a job seeker’s third-highest priority when evaluating a potential employer. Who better to articulate your organization’s long-term objectives than your fearless leaders themselves? Give candidates access to your leadership team by having your founders and members of the C-suite attend industry conferences, lecture at a local networking event or simply feature an article about them on your careers page.
Candidates care about who they might be working for, so encourage management to showcase their leadership style and promote the company’s mission. Not sure how to start? Take a look at how we featured two trailblazers in Boston tech to increase the company’s visibility and draw in top talent.
Indigo’s "Build for Tomorrow" Mindset
Lauren Moores, Vice President of Data Science and Data Strategy at Indigo, tackles obstacles with a forward-thinking mentality. “The best way to overcome the foundational challenges is to constantly think ahead about what products or information is needed today to build for tomorrow,” says Moores.
To ensure her team is tracking on the company’s aggressive growth goals, Moores seeks out creative problem-solvers and prioritizes communication. “It is essential to be as transparent as possible with your team about company goals and strategy, providing the context for what we’re working on,” adds Moores. “We find that regular department meetings, cross-functional check-ins and frequent off-sites allow us to solve larger challenges collaboratively.”
SHYFT Analytics’ People-Centered Culture
As a leading provider of cloud-based data solutions for pharmaceutical and life science companies, SHYFT Analytics, a Medidata Company, has scaled quickly. The team’s still-massive growth goals skyrocketed when SHYFT was acquired by Medidata in 2018.
Zack King, Founder and President of SHYFT Analytics and EVP at Medidata, is excited about what lies ahead. “Together, we’ve created the first company in life sciences that can close the loop on clinical and commercial insights,” says King on the acquisition. “Medidata’s global scale allows us to operate at a level we’ve never experienced before.”
Despite the company’s impressive trajectory, King is prioritizing his current workforce and the initial company culture. “We have a politics-free, collaborative culture where people can do amazing, smart and challenging work in a fun environment,” King explains. “We put our customers and each other at the center of everything we do. Our team is what makes SHYFT such a great place to work.”
Promote Your Professional Development Program
Professional development is important to job seekers, especially in the tech industry — with the field constantly evolving, individuals need to continually hone their skills to stay well-informed and relevant. In fact, 18% of job seekers are specifically looking for more professional development opportunities in their next role.
The possibility of career growth signals to candidates that the role won’t be stagnant and that people are valued at the company. This speaks volumes about your culture and core values, so don’t shy away from weaving development opportunities into your employer branding strategy; promote it to job seekers like we did for Everbridge.
Everbridge’s Focus on Career Transformation
Everbridge, a critical event management solutions platform, believes that offering professional development opportunities makes the C-suite more accessible and visible, encourages individual growth and improves employee engagement. “We want our employees to feel excited and passionate about our important mission, industry-leading platform and ever-growing customer base,” says Brandon McAllister, Vice President of Enterprise Sales for North America.
“My personal leadership mission is to positively impact people at scale, something embraced here at Everbridge,” McAllister states. Opportunities for growth are available to employees at every level. “I’ve taken advantage of having mentors from our executive team, collaborating cross functionally and taking on projects outside of my sphere to grow my skills. This is something we deploy across the entire organization.”
“When you focus on professional development,” he adds, “you help people find the best version of themselves and create upward mobility, stronger collaboration and better outcomes for all involved.”
Showcase Your Space
Have an enviable office space? Show it off to prospective employees and don’t wait until an on-site interview to do so — job seekers want to know where they might be working. The physical work environment influences an individual’s decision to pursue an open role. In fact, 72% of job seekers decide if they want to work for a company based on their first impression of the office space.
Employees today expect more than a standing desk and cold brew on tap. Take a look around your office and highlight the unique elements that make your company stand out. See how we helped these two ultra-cool Boston offices shine.
Drift’s Five-Star Office
The team at Drift, a sales-driven communications platform, designed its office space with people in mind. “Our founders, David Cancel and Elias Torres, strongly believe that a company is 99.9 percent about the people — the team, the customer and the users,” said Becky Garber, Manager of Experience at Drift.
“We wanted the office to be collaborative and comfortable in order to make anyone who enters, whether they are an employee or customer, feel at home.” To achieve this, Drift incorporated soft textures and a neutral color palette as design elements. “We tried to make the lobby a five-star hotel experience with inviting chairs, couches, swag and books that matter to us,” says Garber.
But the lobby isn’t the only part of the space Drift employees enjoy. “Our ‘backyard’ area — a big open space near the kitchen — is also an employee favorite,” Garber adds. “The space is where we gather as a team at the beginning and end of each week to share our goals and work. That’s also where we host happy hours, new employee parties and movie nights.”
Cantina’s Collaborative Space
The Cantina office isn’t your average tech startup environment. “We have a studio makerspace, which is an area for exploration and innovation,” says Alice Chiang, Lead Designer at Cantina. “It is an area where people can prototype and experiment with foam core, paper, 3D printers and any other materials on hand.”
For a strategic design and development agency like Cantina, creating an environment that encourages inventiveness was a must. “This unique space reflects our “experiment and fail” mentality and how Cantina encourages us to explore and expand our knowledge,” adds Chiang.
However, the team’s favorite space is the Cantina Lounge. “It’s a communal area where we host internal events, meetings and our weekly design talks,” she says. “You’ll often see us there every Friday afternoon hanging out after a design talk, having a beer and discussing various topics about design and tech!”
Standing out within the competitive tech space doesn’t mean you need to overhaul your perks package or redesign your office space. Instead, up your employer branding efforts and start promoting the already-great aspects of your company. Pulling back the curtain and showing job seekers what it’s truly like to work at your company will make them eager to join your team.