Are Passive Job-Seekers More Open to Working at a Startup This Year?

You don’t have to read back more than two-years to stumble across the seemingly endless stories on how great it is (or was) to work at a startup.

The sky-high salaries, the endless perks and future wealth! Then, companies like Dropbox started cutting perks, Theranos went from a $9B valuation to seemingly nothing and #DeleteUber set the stage for an expose into Uber’s toxic workplace culture.

The luster of working at a startup seems to be fading as the tone around technology coverage becomes less favorable.

To find out if that is really the case we asked 200 new passive job-seekers on the Anthology platform in February — from technology companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Snapchat and many more — How open are you to working at a startup this year versus a year ago?

Here’s what we found and how it compared to what we found last year when we asked the same question:

Much more open: Somewhat surprisingly, more respondents this year (28%) were much more open to working at a startup this year than when we asked the same question last year (25%).

So as it becomes abundantly clear that startups can giveth and taketh away all the value they promise in equity in them(Theranos), and shine a light on how difficult it can be to work within them daily (Uber), why is technical talent still interested?

Perhaps most technically-skilled folks understand that it is their responsibility to assess and the understand the risk in jumping to a startup.

Furthermore, while the current administration has caused issues for startups in cleantech and healthtech (hello Zenefits), the market as a whole has continued to climb higher. Consumer confidence remains high and that certainly translates into job-seeker confidence. Last year, the word ‘bubble’ was also being thrown a lot more often in talk about the state of Silicon Valley, so it’s likely that passive job-seekers were less optimistic about startup job opportunities then versus now.

More Open: Those that were just bit more open to looking at jumping to a startup this year rather than last year, remained the same at 26%.

The Same this Year as Last Year: 38% of respondents said there was no change in their interest in joining a startup this year versus last year. Last year this number was 40%.

Less Open: The group of respondents less interested in working for a smaller, high-growth company actually decreased from 6% to 5%.

Much Less Open: The small group less open to working at a startup this year vs. last year remained the same as the year prior at 3%. It’s somewhat surprising that this remains such a small subset of respondents given that technology professionals (nearly 84%) are typically attracted to the stable and structured environments of mid-sized and large firms. These are also the types of organizations that typically drive job growth.

Two-thirds of those exploring confidential job searches and surveyed by Anthology in February work at technology companies or hold technology roles in top hiring markets like San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, DC, Austin and Denver.

What are your thoughts? Are you more or less likely to consider jumping to a startup this year versus last year?

Interested in jumping to a startup this year? Check out Anthology today!

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