What 8 LA Tech Companies are Doing to Stand Out From the Crowd
The fight for tech talent is real and made even more intense by the fierce competition between employers. As a tech recruiter, it’s your job to find the best and brightest, spark their interest in your organization and ultimately get them hired. Piece of cake, right?
In all seriousness, recruiters today are up against a major talent shortage with the tech industry sitting at a shocking 1.3% unemployment rate — a 20-year low. Job seekers are blessed with a candidate’s market, which means highly sought-after individuals will have their pick of offers. Since elite candidates can wait for the best opportunity, recruiters need to quickly prove their organization’s value.
With 7.5% of the entire Los Angeles-area workforce employed in tech, standing out among the crowd is a tall order. However, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to do so. Grab the attention of qualified professionals and get them excited about joining your team by promoting your company culture, employee benefits and creative office space. Not sure where to start? Use the following eight examples of LA tech companies for inspiration.
Make Your Leaders Visible
65% of employees would rather have a new boss than a pay raise, so it’s safe to assume that a large number of current job seekers had a bad experience with a former or current manager. As a result, they’ll be extra critical of leadership philosophy and management style when evaluating your organization as a potential employer.
Give job seekers more visibility into your leadership team by attending industry events, hosting company-sponsored webinars and featuring employee spotlights on your careers page. Encourage members of your leadership team to talk about the company’s early beginnings, long-term goals and overarching mission. Why? 67% of employees would rather work at an organization with a mission they believe in than at one that pays better.
Take a look at how we put these two leaders in the LA tech scene front and center for candidates to admire.
PatientPop’s Transparent Culture
Luke Kervin, Co-founder and Co-CEO of PatientPop, continually advocates for transparency in the workplace. The leadership team makes a serious effort to keep employees informed about the business, sharing most board meeting decks and strategic planning docs with the entire company. “We believe the more information we can give employees, the more empowered they’ll be to help us succeed,” adds Kervin.
PatientPop also provides employees with several opportunities to share their feedback directly with the team’s leaders. “One thing we adopted is a practice known as 'retrospectives' for engineers,” Kervin says. “After every release, we get everybody in a room to talk about what went well, what didn't go well and ideas for change.” During retrospectives, employees share their feedback by tacking sticky notes to a board, encouraging all employees — including those who are more reserved — to share their thoughts.
Hallmark Labs’ Immediate Impact
Hallmark Labs is the driving digital force behind Hallmark Cards, Inc. Albert Lai, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Hallmark Labs, has big aspirations for the organization and is prioritizing his people along the way: “I want to elevate the team professionally while maintaining a healthy and balanced work-home relationship,” he explains.
His goal is that every employee will feel fulfilled by their work. “I want to challenge them to be better professionals and make them feel they are learning and contributing every day, but they should also feel proud that their investment of time, effort and intellect helps millions of consumers live a more meaningful and connected life,” says Lai.
Lai’s leadership philosophy echoes his management style: “I want to help my colleagues navigate challenges with confidence and the acceptance that success — and failure — will be frequent, but both help move us forward to the common vision.”
Show Off Your Office Space
Cool offices are the norm now, but that doesn’t mean job seekers care less about the physical work environment. In fact, 21% of employees would take a pay cut for a job in a nicer office space. If you’ve recently restructured your floor plan, or raised a round of funding that will enable you to do so, give prospective employees a peek at where they might be working.
Show off your space and let job seekers know how its design will contribute to positive relationships with colleagues, a great company culture and a stellar employee experience. Check out how we gave Edmunds a leg up on the recruiting competition by spotlighting its culture-inspired space.
Edmunds’ Office-Free Office
Edmunds is a pioneer in tech, and its Santa Monica workspace was designed to showcase its unique history. As the first car company to go digital, the Edmunds office features classic automotive elements with a futuristic flair. “Our office is the physical manifestation of the Edmunds brand and our unique culture, and was designed to be a place our employees are proud of and feel excited to spend time in,” says Avi Steinlauf, CEO of Edmunds.
“From a functional point of view, our main priority was on fostering collaboration,” he adds. The first floor is entirely dedicated to group work with conference rooms and communal spaces. “While everyone has a dedicated workspace on the second floor, it’s an open environment where no one has an office (including me!), so it’s easy to have a quick conversation or find someone to help solve a challenge,” says Steinlauf.
The space pays homage to Edmunds’ long history in the automotive industry with wheel-to-wheel Corvettes parked at reception and a 1948 Cadillac Fleetwood that’s been repurposed as a coffee-bar. The teams’ favorite perk? “The most talked about feature in our office has to be the 32-foot-long custom stainless-steel twisty slide between our first and second floors,” says Steinlauf.
Highlight Your Career Growth Opportunities
Professional development is a big deal to job seekers. For one, they want to know that they won’t plateau in their role and get right back on the job hunt. More importantly, though, they want to work for a company that invests in and values its people.
65% of employees believe the opportunity for advancement within the company is an essential component of a good job. To create a desirable employer brand and stand out among the fierce competition, promote your professional development opportunities. Doing so will draw top talent in and make them eager to join your ranks. See how we did just that for these two tech companies.
Scorpion’s Push Mentality
Because of the breakneck speed at which the tech industry evolves, it’s no surprise that most companies focus on innovation. Scorpion, a tech marketing agency, goes a step further by making it personal. “I tell people who want to work at Scorpion that you’ll fit right in if you’re the kind of person who loves the push: pushing the envelope, pushing yourself, pushing your peers and pushing for the next best thing,” says Julia Cook, Chief Client Success Officer at Scorpion.
To ensure the team is constantly developing their skills, Scorpion makes it easy for employees. “Scorpion offers a lot of personal and professional growth opportunities, like ‘Scorpion University’ courses, online training, in-person seminars and coaching — really anything you can think of,” adds Cook.
In the 11 years Cook’s been at Scorpion, the team has exploded from 10 employees to more than 800. “I usually tell people that they’ll grow more in one year at Scorpion than they would in three years anywhere else because we really focus on growing our people. We know they’re our most important asset.”
SnackNation’s “Better Every Day” Motto
As a tech leader in the snack industry, SnackNation is always looking for ways to grow, especially on a personal level. “Our culture of personal and professional development is what sets us apart,” says Sean Kelly, Co-founder and CEO of SnackNation.
Kelly believes a strong culture is key to realizing the company’s mission of inspiring more conscious decisions. “We know there’s a direct connection between the growth of team members and the company’s success because it’s our people who create all the value in our organization,” he adds. “Our ‘better every day’ ethos and emphasis on professional and personal development translates into a world-class member experience and brings us one step closer to realizing our mission.”
Promote Your Unique Perks
Your perks and benefits speak volumes about your core values and how you treat employees. Job seekers today are looking for more than insurance benefits, and a robust perks package can be the difference between a good job and a great one.
In fact, one-third of American workers would leave their current employer for a job with better benefits, so it behooves you to show off your unique offerings. Take a look at how we promoted employee perks at these three LA tech companies to help them close the deal with elite candidates.
EZ Texting’s Maternity Leave
Empowering women in the workplace is a top priority for the team at EZ Texting, a mobile marketing platform based in Santa Monica. “A major challenge for women in tech is returning to work after maternity leave and maintaining the same level of expertise and influence,” explains Shannon Donohue, Director of Global Connectivity.
The Motherhood Tax, which suggests that new mothers return to work after maternity leave and are greeted with fewer professional opportunities, severely restricts female employees. EZ Texting, however, is working to change that, offering three months of maternity leave and four weeks of paid paternity leave for employees with at least one year of tenure.
“Having recently returned from maternity leave, I feel 100 percent supported at EZ Texting,” says Donohue. “Not only does our organization offer amazing benefits to new parents, but there is also a clear and conscious choice to support parents returning after leave.”
Inspire’s Motivating Mission
Don’t limit your reach by focusing on physical perks — intangible aspects of your organization can have a huge impact on employee satisfaction, so share those with job seekers. For the Inspire team, a greentech company in Santa Monica, the company mission is the backbone of success. “One of the best perks about Inspire is our company’s mission — the purpose behind the work we get to do,” says Travis Hatfield, Senior Associate of Talent Acquisition.
A motivation beyond profit margins boosts employee engagement, unifies colleagues and fosters a positive work culture. “Our team is driven by the collective desire to create something new — to test, learn and solve the tough problem,” adds Hatfield. “Not only do our products support our mission, but we’re taking strides outside of our core products to make an impact in our local communities and through charitable initiatives like ‘Do the Bright Thing.’”
INTELITY’s Freedom to Solve
Similarly, one of the most beloved perks at the hospitality technology platform INTELITY (formerly known as KEYPR) doesn’t come on tap. “The freedom to solve tough problems is my favorite perk,” says David Robinson, Director of Live Operations at INTELITY.
Unlike most tech companies that try to manage the creative process, INTELITY gives employees the chance to break the mold. “Here at INTELITY, you are often given highly complex and intractable technical problems to solve, and it becomes almost a reward,” Robinson adds. “It’s like being on a team with Lebron, and he gives you the last shot. If you are successful, they won’t think twice about giving you another opportunity to shine.”
Standing out from the crowd doesn’t mean having the coolest office or most unique perks package — although that will probably help. You’ll attract outstanding candidates by highlighting your company culture, passionate leaders and dedicated employees. Simply put, get serious about your employer branding strategy and you’ll receive a welcome influx of eager applicants.