Here’s a fun fact: The nickname “Silicon Valley” originated in the 1970s as a reference to the element used to manufacture semiconductors for building computers. Today, we all know Silicon Valley as the most famous tech epicenter in the United States—perhaps even the world. Companies like Google, Yahoo, Mozilla, Facebook, Adobe, eBay, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Symantec—the list goes on—all call Silicon Valley home. Moreover, these companies have garnered a reputation for being some pretty great places to work, boasting perks like “baby cash,” slides alongside stairs, free food all day, free childcare, and unlimited paid vacation.
But here’s another fun fact: Silicon Valley isn’t the only place in America to find a tech job with awesome perks. We’ve highlighted three booming tech markets that will make you think twice about relocating to the Golden State.
#1: Boston, MA
If you check out Boston’s list of Top Workplaces, as ranked by the Boston Globe, you’ll find quite a few tech companies, including Kronos at the top spot in the Large Workplace category and MeYou Health at the top spot in the Small Workplace category. MeYou Health, a health care software firm, hasn’t had a single engineer quit since the company’s inception in 2009; and at Kronos, an HR management software company, Thanksgiving lunch is served to all employees each year by the executives.
Other tech companies named to Boston’s list of top workplaces are boasting some mega perks too. Hubspot, a marketing technology platform, has rooms dedicated to “nap time,” complete with hammocks and pictures of palm trees. Employees reserve the rooms for 30-minute “meetings” to give them a chance to recharge during the day. Meanwhile, NaviNet, a health care software business, hosts weekly “brew your own beer” happy hours every Friday.
#2: Austin, TX
Austin’s been gaining a lot of cool points since being named one of the top cities for millennials by Forbes. It’s also the host of the annual SXSW conference—an event that, in part, celebrates up and coming technology and innovation. So it won’t surprise most people to find that many of Austin’s top workplaces, as ranked by the Austin American-Statesman, are technology companies. Accruent, a real-estate software company, is known for its commitment to ethics and work/life flexibility; and ASI, an IT consulting company, boasts a generous PTO policy and stock options.
Banker’s Toolbox, a banking software company, offers its employees free breakfast, lunch and snacks every day. Employees can get to know one another while enjoying time in the “fun room” full of arcade games, video gaming systems, and a ping pong table. And if all the free food is affecting any employee’s waistline, he or she can burn some calories in the fully equipped office gym.
#3: Atlanta, GA
We might be a little biased, but we at The Centrics Group think our hometown HQ is a pretty special technology hot spot. Atlanta is a thriving city with great weather and great culture, and there is a multitude of technology companies located in the metro-surrounding area. The most recent ranking of Atlanta’s top workplaces, as published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, saw at least one technology company rank among the top five in each of the three categories (small, midsize, and large).
Atlanta’s top mid-sized workplace is a software company called eVestment. The company touts its culture as collaborative and casual. Employees enjoy a number of untraditional perks, like pet insurance and unlimited PTO.
Our sister company, CentricsIT, also has a reputation as a technology company with great perks. With a casual dress code, regularly catered lunches, a ping pong table in the break room, and an onsite gym, employees enjoy the collegiate environment. And the occasional surprise luau, complete with frozen drinks, is always a welcome distraction, as the team at CentricsIT has cultivated a “work hard, play hard” company culture. (By the way, CentricsIT is hiring!)
While Silicon Valley might have inspired tech employers in other cities to begin offering incredible perks, many still keep the competition in mind when coming up with new ways to wow and attract top IT talent. “Companies outside the Valley know they are still competing with those companies for talent,” says TCG Managing Partner Kevin Raxter in a recent interview posted on Monster.com.
With the increasing need for talent and the relatively small pool of top IT candidates, we expect the perks to keep getting better at technology companies across the country. What do you think? What kind of perks would you like to enjoy at your next IT job? Let us know by connecting with us in the comments below!