How startups compete for talent in a tight job market

Shortly after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the social media management software was started neutral He made a drastic change: It turned into a four-day work week.

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The decision came as a result of the pandemic and feedback from the team’s engagement surveys. The pandemic and the shutdowns that came with it have affected employees, especially parents who now make up about 30 percent of the company.

So Buffer switched to the four-day workweek, in part to help the parents on the team, but really to relieve burnout across the company. One of the company’s newest perks, the abbreviated workweek is now one of the perks that helps Buffer stand out in the competitive hiring market.

“It’s come up a lot in hiring, and we’ve had a couple of seniors that we’ve hired recently,” Hailey Greaves, head of public relations at Boover, said in an interview. “It’s a really competitive talent market right now, so a four-day work week is a different factor.”

Startups are hiring in a highly competitive talent market. The unemployment rate in the United States fell to 3.6 percent in March, the lowest level in two years, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Startups poured in cash after a record year of venture investment, making employment targets lofty, but they face stiffer competition amid the “Great Resignation”.

This means that the typical perks of a startup — ping-pong tables and daily lunches in the office — no longer cut it for companies that want to attract the best workers.

Technology’s reputation for easy benefits and high wages has helped the industry stand out among other sectors. But tech companies still need to up their game to compete for talent in a tight job market in 2022, and many are responding by offering higher salaries, flexible schedules, paid vacation and, increasingly, employer subsidies for things like fertility services and lounge memberships. sports. Caring for children and the elderly.

“If you’re not showing work from anywhere, if you’re not offering unlimited PTOs, if you’re not celebrating that PTO and making sure that people actually use it… you’re lagging behind,” Jordan peaceCEO of Lifestyle Benefits Market margin. “They went from being indispensable to table stakes very quickly.”

Tech employees’ salaries are rising rapidly

A “widespread hunger for talent” raised the average technologist’s salary in the United States by 6.9 percent between 2020 and 2021, to $104,566, according to the tech job site. DiceTechnical salary report for 2022.

This number represents The highest salary the report has ever recorded, and “a positive sign for technologists in terms of the current and future potential value of their skills and experience.”

The CIO, CIO, CTO, or similar positions had the highest average salary in 2021, at about $152,000. Systems engineers and architects/engineers came in second and third in terms of salary, earning on average about $148,000 and $141,000, respectively.

Web developers saw the highest jump in average salary between 2020 and 2021, with workers in the profession earning nearly $99,000 annually, a 21 percent increase over the average salary in 2020.

Salaries are rising across the country, not just in tech hubs like San Francisco and New York. Pittsburgh and Atlanta posted some of the fastest growing salary increases, with wages up about 14 percent year over year, per dice. The average tech salary for Pittsburgh was about $98,000 in 2021, the average salary for Atlanta was about $108,000, while the average salary for Silicon Valley was about $133,000.

Perks, not just pay

Technical staff don’t just want more money. They also want benefits that encourage work-life balance.

About 27 percent of tech workers cited child and elder care as an important benefit, but only 10 percent said they receive the benefit, according to Dice. This demand is partly because more employees have come of age to look after their parents and children.

Remote work has also become a priority for talent, and the labor market reflects the following: Percentage of paid vacancies LinkedIn The offer of remote work jumped 357 percent between 2020 and 2021, with media and technology having the highest concentration of remote job advertisements on the platform, for each company.

The “most important advantage” really varies from employee to employee, and even changes for an employee over the course of their tenure, according to Peace. A monthly fitness stipend, for example, can be an important benefit for an employee who enjoys exercise, but may not be as beneficial for an employee recovering from surgery.

The Fringe Marketplace allows employers to allocate points for employees to use for any benefit they want. For example, an employee can use the points the employer has awarded for a fitness membership or Airbnb credit.

Top tier employees on the Fringe platform constantly choose to use their points for food: DoorDash Orders, meal combinations from blue apronGrocery deliveries, coffee subscriptions, and the like. This makes sense since everyone needs food, but beyond that, the perks the employees choose are different.

For example, in March 2022, employees chose the top sellers on the platform DoorDash and Uber Eatsfollowed by Airbnb and Uber. Neither Airbnb nor Uber were in the top 10 places employees chose to spend their points in April 2020, given the pandemic.

Offering these options to workers is important, Salam said. “When you don’t limit people, you’re not saying you should take care of health, you should use that money to pay off the student loan,” he said.

Support the whole person

sales platform seismic It made a “very important overhaul” of its benefits through 2022, according to Linda isChief of Staff of the Company.

The San Diego-based company has employees in seven countries, so it’s playing catch-up when it comes to providing the benefits other countries require.

The company’s decision to offer egg freezing services and IVF benefits through its insurance provider proved to be one of the most tumultuous of changes.

Hu said Seismic is evaluating its benefits about six to nine months before the end of the calendar year and is surveying the demographics of its employees and what they might want. Employees were particularly interested in the decision to offer fertility benefits, a rare offering for a company the size of Seismic with about 1,500 workers.

Hu said Seismic has looked at its competitors while considering the perks it offers to attract talent. But she stressed the desire of employees to obtain support in more than one way.

“One benefit will not attract and retain employees,” Hu said.

She said Seismic wanted to “spur growth” both professionally and personally. This means supporting employees in a comprehensive way – such as whether they want to start a family now or later.

“There is an expectation now, and rightly so, that employers must manage and support the whole person,” Hu said. “Employers who don’t get involved will be the employers that a big resignation will affect.”

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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