With ping pong tables and in-office kegs becoming increasingly synonymous with startup life, it's no wonder that recent graduates and seasoned job seekers alike are flocking to join the ranks of the entrepreneurial.
Though there are both pros and cons to working for startups, a few of the perks truly stand out: Flexible schedules, enviable work/life balance and the chance to work with the best and the brightest in your field, to name a few.
Below, we spoke with a few notable startups that are currently hiring.
ZocDoc is a free service that helps patients find and book appointments with local doctors instantly online or via mobile app. Responses below are by Chief People Officer Netta Samroengraja.
Headquarters located in: New York, New York. Currently hiring globally.
The open-door communication policy creates a culture in which speaking up is not only strongly encouraged, but expected.The open-door communication policy creates a culture in which speaking up is not only strongly encouraged, but expected.
Core values: "Make work fun." From challenging your manager to a mid-day game of ping pong to our weekly company all-hands meetings, we try to infuse elements of fun into our work every day.
Company perks: A casual atmosphere, the flexibility to move and grow within the company and open access to leadership. As the company grows, there are ample opportunities to take on more responsibility, assume ownership of projects that impact the company and gain valuable, hands-on experience.
Ideal candidate profile: Candidates who are passionate about the company mission, have a track record of success and have strong instincts. We specifically seek candidates with soft skills like "humbition" — a mixture of humbleness and ambition — that can be difficult to teach.
- Be able to convey passion for the organization.
- "Break through the noise" — show off their personality in the application/resume/cover letter/interview.
- Do their homework.
- Come to the table with ideas on how to improve the company.
Hiring process: We found one employee who was fantastic server at a restaurant, another while sitting next to [the person] on a plane. We’ve hired professional athletes, musicians, stage actors, scientists, street canvassers and so on –- because we hire primarily for intrinsics and know great people are everywhere. We take this hunt for great people so seriously that if anyone refers a candidate who gets hired by ZocDoc, we’ll send them an iPad!
Pivotal is at the intersection of big data, platform as a service (PaaS) and agile development; it helps companies transform into great software companies. Responses below are by Vice President of People Joe Militello.
Headquarters located in: San Francisco, California. Currently hiring globally.
Working at Pivotal is like playing on an all-star team.Working at Pivotal is like playing on an all-star team. We take the idea of a collaborative work environment very literally. In fact, many of our programmers work in pairs, using two keyboards, two mice and one computer at each workstation to build the same piece of software. This is called pair programming, and it’s meant to be a focused, seamless conversation in which two brains work as one, and all code is touched by at least two people. This allows engineers to learn from one another (solutions to problems, programming languages, etc.) while greatly streamlining the coding process.
Company mantra: Our CEO Paul Maritz inspires us to be on a path to “give more than we take,” and to pay attention to "not just what we do, but how we do it."
Perks: One of the coolest things about Pivotal is that we’ve been able to provide our employees with the best of both worlds. We have the characteristics of a startup, where everyone believes we are on a mission to change the world, along with the potential of an IPO. We also have some of the benefits of a much larger company as a result of the financial backing of our investors (EMC, GE and VMware). We have greater financial stability than your typical startup and tremendous market reach.
Our people come to work every day knowing they can make an impact. And, of course, it’s great to be able to participate in the free daily breakfasts and snacks, regular happy hours, on-site yoga, a dog-friendly working environment, etc. These things all help to keep our startup heart intact.
Ideal candidate profile: Passionate, intelligent and empathetic.
- Be creative.
- Possess excellent collaboration skills.
- Be passionate and seek a challenge.
- Be articulate in their passion and enthusiasm for ambitious work.
- Be willing to take risks.
- Know how to express a different view or take an informed risk to think about problem solving from new perspectives.
Hiring process: The candidates we seek have many options, and we know that. Meaningful conversations with candidates throughout the interview process that hone in on what we expect our people to achieve are an important part of the dialogue. Also, if candidates are not ready to make a move now, we like to maintain a longer-term relationship until the timing is better for them.
Our Executive Outreach Program has been a big success: Every one of our senior executives is willing to place a call to a candidate and meet with them, or even fly anywhere the recruiters ask in order to engage with candidates. It has been super powerful because it represents how committed and passionate our executive team is about the opportunity in front of us.
Airware is building the Aerial Information Platform for the development and safe operation of commercial drones. Responses below are by Head of Talent Lisa Rogers.
Headquarters located in: San Francisco, California. Currently hiring in San Francisco.
Company culture: Airware is aerospace meets drones meets tech — we have a team of software, hardware, aerospace and firmware experts with big ideas and the experience and talent to pull them off. It’s a unique mix of talented people, and unlike anything I’ve seen in other Bay Area startups to date.
We have an environment of respect, collaboration and continuous learning.We have an environment of respect, collaboration and continuous learning. There’s a feeling of, "We’re all in this together and what we’re building is going to be big."
Our core values are ownership, excellence, community and continuous improvement. We live these every day and look for people to join our team who exemplify them.
Ideal candidate profile: We hire people who we can learn from, who never tire of growing, who take ownership of their work and who would be a lot of fun on our company vacation. We look for people who truly collaborate with the team, and who have an enthusiasm for getting things done regardless of their particular job function.
- Strive to continuously improve and learn new things.
- Contribute to a variety of projects and evolve along with the company.
- Showcase relevant projects and accomplishments, and explain what excites them.
- Showcase competitions, other contributions in the tech community or aerospace industry, projects and work that shows a propensity for achieving difficult goals.
Coinbase is an international digital wallet that allows you to securely buy, use and accept Bitcoin. Responses below are by Chief of Staff Nathalie McGrath.
Headquarters located in: San Francisco, California. Currently hiring in San Francisco, and U.S. remote work opportunities available.
Company culture: Our culture demonstrates passion for the Bitcoin space, and we find that Bitcoin is a common thread among the staff and culture. For instance, we pay for our snacks with Bitcoin, furnish our office with furniture bought using Bitcoin on Overstock.com and discuss Bitcoin over our daily family-style lunches and dinners.
Coinbase is a collaborative and productive environment: We participate in weekly team activities, including a weekly team meeting, rock climbing every Wednesday and happy hour every Friday.
Company perks: Flexible hours and work locations, tasty in-office food, a nap room, a game room, full healthcare benefits, gym membership and top-of-the-line equipment and tools.
We want employees to be successful, and provide them the resources to accomplish this.We want employees to be successful, and provide them the resources to accomplish this.
A number of our employees get paid in Bitcoin, further showcasing our belief in the new currency. New employees are given $50 in Bitcoin to share with friends and family who do not own Bitcoin. We are builders and we value creation. It's our job to provide a productive environment for all employees.
Ideal candidate profile: Smart, productive and easy to work with. Candidates should be passionate about the opportunity to work on a big idea that is changing the world, and to have an impact during the stage when that idea is actually taking shape. This is what gets us coming to work each and every day.
- Have a great portfolio of their prior work.
- Maintain energy toward learning.
- Possess a passion for Bitcoin.
New Relic is a software analytics company that makes sense of billions of metrics across millions of apps. Responses below are by Vice President of People Operations Steve McElfresh.
Headquarters located in: San Francisco, California. Additional offices in Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and Dublin, Ireland. Currently hiring globally.
Company culture: We grapple with some of the toughest problems in software. New Relic is a place where we want people be able to do their greatest work, where they are inspired to reach further than they thought possible and, while doing that, are able to team with the best in the business. And have fun, too!
New Relic is creating a revolution in the way applications, mobile and browser, are created and managed around the world.
These are big, messy problems that few people get to tackle in their careersThese are big, messy problems that few people get to tackle in their careers -– and almost never at established, traditional companies.
Ideal candidate profile: We hire people who are natural-born collaborators, who constantly learn and renew themselves, and who see opportunity where others fear to go.
- Do their homework, researching exactly what the company does and what it's about.
- Understand the product.
- Come prepared with insightful questions about the company and the job.
- Be prepared to collaborate real-time on a problem.
- Showcase humor, a zest for life outside of work and a genuine interest in the success of others.
Lyft is a mobile app for affordable rides. Responses below are by Director of Product Design Frank Yoo.
Headquarters located in: San Francisco, California. Currently hiring in San Francisco and New York.
Company culture: When you step in the door at Lyft headquarters, it’s immediately buzzing with activity. The atmosphere is intense — always exciting — and it’s a place where everyone is empowered to make an impact. Like a family, we're open and honest with each other — we celebrate the highs and take on challenges collectively as a team.
Meaningful friendships are being cultivated through Lyft, and I can't imagine working on anything more rewarding.Meaningful friendships are being cultivated through Lyft, and I can't imagine working on anything more rewarding.Lyft culture is a product of our community, and it's integral to every decision we make. We're fired-up over here.
Ideal candidate profile: Candidates should showcase a mastery of tools and special skills, and an ability to communicate effectively beyond their area of expertise. Authentic excitement and healthy attitude score points.
- Have a strong, polished portfolio; it’s a reflection of you and an indicator of your attention to detail.
- Be prepared to make a short, outstanding presentation.
- Expect to be challenged. You don’t have to have all the answers, but you should be able to respond to feedback and communicate on the fly.
- Know how to manage your time.
- Be versatile, but know your super powers and play to your strengths.
- Bring something new to the team — not just be another cog in the machine.
- Study the product, use it, and have a point of view.
Pinterest is a visual discovery tool for finding ideas for projects and interests. Responses below are by Technical Recruiting Manager Adam Ward.
Headquarters located in: San Francisco, California. Currently hiring in the U.S. (primarily California, Chicago and New York).
Company culture: The culture at Pinterest is a collaborative community of thoughtful and hardworking employees who are passionate about helping millions of people feel more inspired in their everyday lives. We organize our teams and build products focused on what’s best for Pinners.
Ideal candidate profile: Candidates should possess intellectual curiosity — we want [to hire] people who embody what we're trying to create in the world, which is a product that helps people discover the things they love. Similarly, we look for people who are using their talents to pursue the things they love. We also look for authenticity and an innovative spirit.
- Be able to talk through their approach to giving feedback. Giving someone feedback that they may not want to hear isn't easy for most people, so we're on the lookout for people who are brave enough to put themselves out there.
- Showcase excitement and curiosity about the product.
- Be authentic: Candidates who try to be someone they’re not typically interview poorly.
- Be smart, genuine and curious.
Hiring process: We’re a mission-driven company with clearly defined core values. Our onsite interviews include an interview by someone on another team who evaluates the candidate and their cultural fit for Pinterest by looking for ways they’ve demonstrated these values. The candidates who always leave a good impression give great examples of coming up with a new idea and taking ownership to put it to action. We hire people who are approachable, and really enjoy solving tough problems.
Rent the Runway
Rent the Runway is a one-stop shop to rent dresses and accessories by famous designers. Responses below are by Director of Talent and Culture Aja Deodato.
Headquarters located in: New York, New York. Currently hiring in the U.S. (primarily New York, New Jersey and Las Vegas).
Company culture: Despite the fact that Rent the Runway has seen significant growth as an organization since launching in 2009 –- we’re now at 250 employees -– the company culture has remained a close-knit one that feels very much like a family. It is a supportive community that encourages and empowers everyone from entry-level hires to C-suite-level employees to "dream big and go after it," as one of our core values states, and to do so together.
Ideal candidate profile: First and foremost, we are looking for a candidate who has an entrepreneurial spirit. Ideally, he or she questions the status quo, and is an independent thinker who is ready to build something on his or her own.
Due to the collaborative nature of Rent the Runway, we also look for someone who works well in a team setting and thrives in a dynamic environment.Due to the collaborative nature of Rent the Runway, we also look for someone who works well in a team setting and thrives in a dynamic environment. Lastly, we are looking for someone who is kind — someone who will contribute to our community and continue to make it an enjoyable and engaging place for everyone.
- Appear willing to take on anything with a positive attitude — and even a bit of scrappiness.
- Embrace and show his or her unique personality.
- Show passion for the business.
Hiring process: In addition to the typical interview process, every candidate who interviews with Rent the Runway goes through a cultural interview with a human resources team member or a senior-level employee who is specifically evaluating the candidate on whether he or she would be a cultural fit within the organization. Just as important to us as someone’s skills and past experience is whether he or she would fit in well with the rest of our team.