Venture capital investment in technology startups continued to grow in 2021. The shift to cloud services and the opening up of the public markets due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic led the way. Early-stage startups doubled their funding in 2021, but they still have to prove to investors that they have their eyes on bigger milestones.
Building a successful product and reaching new markets requires quality talent, but the tech jobs market is overheated. Companies want to hire the best engineers to join their teams. Therefore, it’s important to offer competitive employee benefits packages to attract the highest quality applicants. As the resources of Series A startups are limited, entrepreneurs must come up with smarter ways to bring critical skills to the team.
For this article, we went through the full-time software engineer job openings on AngelList to outline the most popular benefits and perks tech industry startups provide.
Typical non-financial benefits for tech talent
Employee non-financial compensation is weighted less heavily than their salary or health insurance benefits—but they reveal more about a company’s culture and values. However, in some cases, a friendly team or flexible work schedule can be a deciding factor for job seekers when choosing from among companies with similar financial-benefit packages.
According to job postings on AngelList, the leading job perks and benefits, 57% of Series A startups indicate equal rights and an inclusive environment as an integral part of their code of ethics. While 19% of the startups focus on well-being and healthy team relationships, offering passionate and caring teammates.
Our study shows that 34% of companies allow flexible work schedules and offer remote working and hybrid options. To reinforce a team mentality, 29% of businesses organize fun corporate events, while 26% offer a flexible vacation policy. To keep team members educated on the latest technology and industry standards, 23% of startups offer professional development and career advancement opportunities, allowing developers access to internal learning tools and resources.
In some cases, startups attract candidates with incentives such as the ownership of the code, financial stability, or Q&A panels where tech talent can chat openly with co-founders to make it easier for engineers to align their goals and objectives with those of the company. Often businesses attract tech professionals with different job tasks and project opportunities to prevent burnout and boost career development.
One of the startups, a healthcare software development company, presented the vision of developer’s growth, highlighting quarterly achievements. For example, annual progress reports may read, the developer “has launched major product initiatives and improved existing systems to be more robust and secure”.
What employee benefits and perks Series A startups are offering tech candidates in 2022
Employees contemplate the overall employment offer, including the benefits package. For some potential hires, the perks and benefits are more important than the salary, which means that they may be willing to accept a lower salary in exchange for a gym membership, commuter benefits, or health insurance subsidies for their children.
The AngelList job postings reveal that 87% of companies cover between 90%-100%of an employee’s health insurance while 11% provide health insurance contributions for dependents. Additionally, 59% of startups offer—and match contributions—to company-sponsored retirement accounts to help employees save for their later years. Half of the surveyed companies include stock options as part of the compensation package to help build company loyalty.
The study shows that 34% of companies offer paid parental leaves, while 29% provide unlimited paid time off (PTO) to attract the best quality employees. 17% of startups offer commuter benefits, while 4% provide the flexibility and the opportunity to volunteer during the workday—while still getting paid.
Among non-wage benefits, startups cite free lunches (28%) or a kitchen with organic snacks and coffee drinks (27%), as well as onsite or online mental health therapy (8%), gym options, or wellness subsidy (22%). Wellness stipends attract employees who find it more comfortable to visit their favorite fitness club, especially those who work remotely.
To maintain the highest-quality workforce, 20% of companies contribute toward student loan repayment or provide a professional development stipend for continuing education, while 12% reimburse the employee for home office equipment.
In some cases, startups offer bonus “recharge trips” after three years and monthly cell and internet reimbursement. One of the tech companies even offers compensation for the first two weeks of in-person onboarding for remote workers to cover travel and lodging expenses.
There’s even a startup that makes software for restaurants that pays for any food-related tattoos; another, a professional photo and video service, offers “really badass headshots”. It’s a reminder that you can look at what makes your startup stand out and come up with benefits that resonate with your company’s culture and activities.
What benefits are valued the most by top tech talent
Employee salaries will remain an essential aspect of any job offer. However, beyond salary, healthcare, or stock options, let’s have a look at what else employees want in a benefits package while landing a new job in 2022.
Building skills and a portfolio
Candidate requirements are increasingly less focused on earning a degree but instead, emphasize creating a portfolio of skills to appeal to employers and show that employees are interested in more than simply climbing a rigid “career ladder”. Acquiring skills makes developers more mobile and productive, as well as more employable.
Communication and transparency
Professionals trust their employers and feel more competent and valuable when the company has a decent level of communication and transparency. Developers want businesses to lay out clear career paths and explain not only what an employee must do to advance their career but also how the company will help them achieve that goal.
According to Stack Overflow, 46% of tech professionals call a coworker or friend when they get stuck. A company of engaged and experienced team members who take responsibility for their positions and are willing to build communication with their colleagues is always an advantage.
Mental health workshops and subsidies
Almost 10% of professional developers indicate they deal with some level of anxiety. Some companies already offer mental health mornings and monthly workshops. Unlimited PTO and a flexible work schedule will also be crucial benefits for those struggling with anxiety or emotional disorders.
Equal rights and diversity
According to a 2021 Stack Overflow survey, 11.5% of respondents identify as something other than straight/heterosexual, with 6.5% preferring not to identify with any orientation. People of color are also underrepresented among professional developers. There’s still so much work to be done to ensure the developer community is more inclusive, and your startup can attract more talent if the company culture promotes equal rights.
As demand for software engineers increases, employers are trying to offer the most attractive package within their limited resources while leaving room for an employee’s growth and boosting retention. For some potential hires, the perks and benefits are more important than the salary, which means they may accept a lower salary in exchange for a better work-life balance.
Most Series A startups offer health insurance and tax savings plans for retirement, with equal opportunities, team-building events, and flexible schedules among the most cited non-financial benefits. Building a portfolio of skills, greater communication, and transparency, as well as mental health subsidies, will remain the most valuable offerings among professional developers.