We all think we know what drives professionals at technology startups: money, promises of money and dreams of money. However, the technology startup community seems to want to fill their hearts and minds as much as their wallets, according to the recent 2014 Dice Salary Survey. Cultural fit, company purpose and investments in personal growth all are included in the rewards startup professionals seek.
Tech professionals working at startups saw both their raises and average salaries lag behind peers in more traditional companies. Startup based tech professionals earned an average salary of $85,655, up one percent year-over- year. That compares to the national average which jumped nearly three percent year-over-year to $87,811. In addition, slightly fewer tech startup employees received bonuses on top of their salaries, 30 percent in 2013 versus 32 percent a year ago.
Such raw dollar figures might suggest that tech pros at startups are less happy about their pay and career prospects heading into 2014. The exact opposite appears to be true: Nearly six out 10 tech startup employees (57%) described themselves as satisfied with their pay, compared to 54 percent for all tech professionals.
One explanation for this brighter, happier state of mind? Tech startups’ smaller head counts allow for a closer cultural fit between employer and employee and more one-of-a-kind workplace benefits. Sara Fleischman, a Senior Technical Recruiter at Concur Technologies, says startups personalization should begin from the first contact with a potential new recruit.
“If you’re a startup, you need to work a little harder with the talent you really want to hire,” says Fleischman. “I try to dig deeper, beyond their tech skills to learn more about their passions. I use tools (like Dice’s Open Web) to get insights into their personality that tell me if they’ll be a good fit for our company culture. We try to personalize what we do in a way that most other recruiters just don’t and it’s paid off handsomely.”
For Fleischman and Concur, that means touting their hip San Francisco Mission District office space with cool perks such as free popcorn, soda, beer Fridays and the luxury of enjoying a game of ping pong during the workday. Concur also takes pride in supporting local and national charitable organizations by embracing “Concur Cares Days” which allocates paid time for employees to volunteer at their favorite places. “We have these unique attributes and we do our best to leverage them against our competitors, especially locally,” says Fleischman. “We seek out professionals as one person to another instead of as an organization to a resume.”
Startups should plan to clearly communicate all of the rewards they offer professionals, including a technical challenge they are trying to solve.
For more ideas on how to personalize your recruitment search, visit www.dice.com/openweb.
President of Dice