Two months in the past, Jacob Eiting closed the Series B for his startup RevenueCat, which makes a platform for managing in-app subscriptions. The $40 million funding was meant to develop the corporate and, crucially, to rent extra folks. The 35-person startup hopes to increase to 50 staff by the tip of the yr, and 100 by the tip of subsequent yr. To court docket them, RevenueCat gives a suite of perks—limitless trip, a house workplace stipend—plus fairness and salaries on par with a few of the huge tech firms, regardless of geography.
Such gives had been much less frequent in startups two years in the past, earlier than the pandemic. Now a aggressive hiring market has pushed salaries increased, beefed up advantages, and inspired firms to supply extra flexibility to job candidates. “Part of it is like, ‘How can we stand out against the Googles of the world?’” says Eiting. “We take advantage of the strengths we have. We pay well if you’re out of the Bay Area—that’s how we stand out.” (Google, amongst different huge tech firms, has mentioned it could reduce salaries for distant staff.)
Like RevenueCat, startups the world over are in enlargement mode. The first half of 2021 marked a international file for enterprise capital spending, with $288 billion invested in startups worldwide. For most of them, an inflow of money means an inflow of staff, which has brought on the variety of out there startup jobs to swell. Engineers and software program builders, who’ve at all times been in demand, can now write their very own checks.
It’s not simply startups, both. In the primary quarter of 2021, total tech job postings elevated 16 %, in accordance with a report from Dice, an business profession database. While the large tech firms are at all times rising, a yr of Zoom conferences, telehealth, and restaurant menus with QR codes has pushed demand for software program programmers and engineers extra broadly. Between March and July, there have been greater than 323,000 job openings for software program engineers, in accordance with the analytics agency Emsi Burning Glass, which follows job development and labor market tendencies. That’s 13 % increased than in 2016. Postings for different tech jobs, like knowledge engineers, have grown 312 % in the final 5 years, suggesting a better curiosity in these jobs over time.
All of this has created what Silicon Valley insiders are calling probably the most frenzied hiring market because the dot-com growth of the 1990s. “The engineering market has gotten so competitive,” says Justine Moore, an investor who manages a job board on Pallet to advertise openings at startups and VC companies. “I’ve seen a lot of startups offering bonuses for referrals. I’d say $10,000 is a pretty standard referral fee, but I’ve heard of people who will do up to $50,000.”
Other startups have used extra inventive techniques to search out referrals, or a minimum of to face out amongst different job postings. One seed-stage startup posted to Moore’s Pallet board providing 4 tarot readings, two containers of succulents, a large piñata of “mystery goods,” plus a $3,000 money prize, for anybody who refers a job candidate who stays on the firm for a minimum of six months. Another startup supplied a yr’s provide of cookies from Levain Bakery to referrals. (A present field of 4 of the bakery’s signature chocolate chip walnut treats sells for $27 online—or $6.75 per cookie.) On Twitter, the founding father of a cellular recreation firm offered to “personally pay one Bitcoin”—value $44,500—for a referral that resulted in a rent.
A yr in the past, job-seekers most well-liked the steadiness of Big Tech to startups, which skilled extra volatility in the pandemic, however smaller firms might have an edge in the present market. One study, which checked out AngelList searches between February and May of 2020, discovered that job candidates had been 20 % extra prone to apply for jobs at firms with greater than 500 staff, like Apple and Google. Now, extra job-seekers are prioritizing flexibility and distant work advantages, in accordance with a current survey of US-based tech staff. That survey additionally discovered that technologists skilled excessive ranges of burnout final quarter, and that 48 % had been in altering firms this yr—up from 32 % the identical time final yr.
Smaller firms might have a likelihood to seize a few of that expertise in transition, by providing the issues job-seekers say they now care about most. “Startups are getting smarter about targeting other companies that are going to be interesting places to hire from,” says Hunter Walk, associate on the seed-stage VC fund Homebrew. As CEOs create new insurance policies about working from the workplace, or speaking out on social issues throughout work, there’ll naturally be attrition from individuals who disagree. For startups, Walk says, there’s a chance to recruit these people. “What I’m seeing is that more candidates are thinking about a mission they want to be a part of, or the culture of the company they work at, and that’s a larger factor in the decision making.”