What 8 Colorado Tech Companies Are Doing to Stand Out From the Crowd
Recruiters understand how difficult it is to find qualified candidates and get them to accept an offer before a competitor comes along. Tech recruiters, however, are up against a real beast as they battle fierce competition in the midst of a serious talent shortage.
The tech industry recently reached a 20-year low in unemployment and currently sits at a jaw-dropping 1.3%. If that’s not bad enough, every day a tech role remains vacant, thousands of dollars fly out the door in lost productivity and project delays.
Proving your value as a potential employer is vital to filling vacant roles. Remember, it’s a candidate’s market, which means job seekers will carefully evaluate every aspect of each opportunity and wait until the right one comes along. Highlight your compelling company culture, unique perks and inspiring leadership team to close the deal with elite candidates. Use these eight examples from Colorado tech companies as inspiration to get started.
Showcase Your Custom Office
The physical work environment greatly influences employee engagement. In fact, 93% of tech employees would stay at a company longer if the employer offered healthier work benefits, like sit-stand desks, fitness benefits, healthy food options, ergonomic seating and wellness rooms.
The tech industry is no stranger to cool offices, so promote your unique space and show prospective employees what it’s like to be a part of your team. If you’re planning on revamping your space after a successful round of funding, share this update on your website or careers page so job seekers know big things are on the horizon.
See how we helped SpotX, Wunder Capital and ShapeShift show off their workspaces to draw in more qualified tech candidates.
SpotX’s Flexible Environment
To accommodate its 300-person team, Broomfield-based advertising platform SpotX created a one-of-a-kind office space. “Our office is designed to support all work styles,” says Kali MacKenzie, Experiences Manager at SpotX. “The space is a true representation of SpotX’s collaborative work culture that in many ways feels like family.”
The fourth floor of the SpotX office features an open-concept layout with tables, couches and a massive kitchen where breakfast is served every Friday. “For those that prefer a quiet, independent work environment, we have a number of phone booths and small conference rooms available for all team members,” says MacKenzie.
However, the team’s favorite part of the office is the large training room. “As part of our company-wide commitment to professional development, we have a huge space that is bookable by all employees for small or large groups,” explains MacKenzie.
The space has been home to karaoke nights, holiday parties, global town hall meetings and new hire lunches. “Bringing our team members together for such a wide variety of events inspires creativity, teamwork and collaboration.”
Wunder Capital’s Mission-Driven Space
Wunder Capital’s Boulder office is fitting for a greentech leader striving to make the renewable energy industry more efficient. “Inspired by Wunder’s important mission, our office’s design features 15-foot indoor trees, lots of plants throughout and enlarged photos of the projects that our team has helped develop,” says Sam Beaudin, Managing Director at Wunder Capital.
The building boasts an unconventional history as the former residence of the 1970s Boulder Bath House. “While the jacuzzis may now be long gone, this building’s groovy pedigree provides us with funky floor plans, 60-foot glass walls and tons of natural light,” adds Beaudin. “Favorite features include our custom shuffleboard table, 30-foot long dining table and our own rooftop solar system.”
ShapeShift’s Balanced Office
As a platform for secure cryptocurrency exchange and storage, ShapeShift wanted its office to reflect both its large public presence and regard for privacy. “Our challenge was to balance privacy and security with a sense of openness,” said Erik Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift.
Achieving such a tactful design aesthetic is no easy feat. “We did this by obscuring the office from visitors and strangers, but once inside the office, it is very light and open,” explains Voorhees. “If we want to be poetic about it, we could say this dichotomy is yet another binary relationship for a company involved with lots of ones and zeros. I think our office achieves a beautiful balance.”
Highlight Your Coolest Perks
Top candidates are only on the market for 10 days, so quickly proving your team’s value as a potential employer is crucial. Offering a solid employee perks package can help sweeten the deal and make it easier for a candidate to sign with you.
Promote your team’s favorite in-office and intangible perks — like your core values or company culture — to build your reputation as a premier employer and show off your highly engaged workforce. See how we made this happen for two Colorado tech companies.
Trineo’s Free Hour
As an organization that digitally transforms companies to help them evolve, it comes as no surprise that Trineo takes a progressive approach to employee perks.
“It amazes me how much one hour of free time can do for your soul,” says Michael Gutierrez, Software Engineer at Trineo. Called “whitespace,” the perk gives employees one hour each week to do whatever helps them unwind.
“Whitespace is a shining example of what makes Trineo such a special place to work,” says Gutierrez. “After an hour of hiking, biking or playing some guitar with friends, I’m more than happy to get back in the office and put in some quality work.”
Active Oversight’s Four-Day Work Week
Yes, you read that right: Golden-based Active Oversight rounds out every week at an even four days. “This is not your average 10-hours-per-day four-day work week that most people would assume,” says Kimberly Gant, Senior Product Manager. “It’s a 32-hour week that gives all employees Fridays off.”
The adjusted work week is part of how Active Oversight encourages its employees’ work-life balance. Gant, a mother of two, calls it a “win-win.” “Being able to focus on my family and enjoy all of my youngsters’ milestones has brought such joy and less stress in my life,” she says.
“The emotional well-being of that work-life balance has a direct impact on what type of employee I am. I am less distracted at work, more creative, exceptionally motivated to meet the high productivity requirements of a small startup, and even look forward to Mondays (crazy, right?).”
Focus on Your Leaders
Recruiting elite tech candidates requires an all-hands-on-deck mentality, especially for rapidly growing startups. Leveraging your leadership team to share your company’s mission boosts your employer brand, increases awareness of your organization and helps retain the top talent you already have on your team; employees who believe their organization has broader goals outside of profit margins are 27% more likely to stay at the company.
While industry events and conferences are great ways to organically build your talent pipeline, creating company spotlights about members of your C-suite is an effective, low-cost solution to make your leaders more visible. Use the following two examples to get inspired and create your own employee spotlights.
Ibotta’s Compelling Vision
For a company that’s scaling as quickly as Ibotta, an eCommerce platform that helps consumers earn cash back on their everyday purchases, a clear vision is key to maintaining its growth — especially when that company is one of Colorado’s few unicorns.
Ibotta’s leadership team doesn’t stray from the course in order to propel the company forward. “One of Ibotta’s core values is that a good idea can come from anywhere,” says Laura Spencer, Vice President of Analytics at Ibotta. “This inspires the team to continue learning and pushing the boundaries of our technology because they have seen others’ ideas implemented and they are driven by the opportunity to make an impact for the business.”
Spencer understands the role her team plays in the company’s long-term strategy, and she uses this to guide their work. “The work that we prioritize directly correlates with the larger company goals to effectively and efficiently grow the business,” she explains. “We focus on developing new and better experiences with our product counterparts, driving efficient user acquisition and retention with our marketing partners, and proving the value of our platform for our clients.”
Healthgrades’ Empowering Leadership Philosophy
As Senior Vice President of Data Engineering at Healthgrades, Beata Puncevic heads up several teams and does not believe in micromanaging. “I think my role is to hire the right people, point them in the right direction and mostly get myself and other obstacles out of the way,” she says. “I think leadership is about empowering people and creating a runway for them to excel.”
Puncevic believes in aggressive goal-setting to help push her team further. Just two years ago, Healthgrades’ data engineer teams were limited to SQL and Microsoft stack skills. Now, engineers profess a combination of skills in Python, Scala and Node.js, to name a few. “I believe my team should know everything that I know, understand the rationale for each decision, and be keenly aware of all pros and cons,” adds Puncevic.
Core values are a guiding force for the Healthgrades’ team. “For me, a favorite principle is that we set the bar for what quality looks like and raise it continuously,” Puncevic says. “Another is humility: We honestly self-reflect and learn from each experience. Continuous improvement is our religion.”
Play Up Your Professional Development Opportunities
One of the most important items on a job seeker’s potential-employer checklist is access to professional development opportunities. 76% of employees want and seek out paths for career growth, so sharing information about how your team supports employee development can attract great candidates.
Take a look at how we helped Broomfield-based Conga showcase its learning and development opportunities.
Conga’s Culture-Driven Opportunities
Conga, a software solutions provider, managed to scale from 10 employees to 500 in just nine years — all without disrupting its culture. Paola DiPalma, Vice President of Customer Success, believes in the core values of transparency, empowerment and adaptability, and leans on them to grow her team's skills.
“We see failures as an opportunity for growth and have created a safe place for people to take risks,” says DiPalma. “We encourage people to make decisions that support our customers as well as the business.” Conga’s leadership team also encourages continual learning, giving every employee $1,200 annually for skill development.
“Our team members use this in various ways including attending conferences, obtaining certifications, increasing their emotional intelligence and soft skills, and subscribing to business publications — to name a few,” explains DiPalma. “We also pay for employees to take Salesforce certification exams and provide a $500 bonus when they become certified.”
The fight for tech talent is real, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come out on top. Leverage your engaged employees and passionate leaders to boost your recruiting efforts. Dedicate the time to create a solid employer branding strategy, so you stay top of mind with candidates, even if they don’t become your next hire.