7 Chicago companies we want to work for right now (and they're hiring!)

Sam Dewey

If you haven’t heard by now, Chicago’s tech scene is becoming a veritable force of industry, economy and innovation. Now’s a good a time as ever to get in on the action and start your career at a company rooted in the ways of the future.

Need some help launching that job search? Here are a few excellent places to start: 

What they do: The team at Yello, one of Chicago’s fastest-growing tech companies, is the collective brainchild behind technologies that are modernizing the way companies big and small go about finding and hiring talent.

Coolest perks: All the basics (health, dental, vision, 401k, and unlimited vacation) with a few cherries thrown on top, including office-sponsored sports leagues, discounted Chicago Athletic Club memberships, catered lunches and a fully stocked kitchen.

Note from the boss: “Our perfect engineering candidate is passionate about both recruiting and technology. They have a strong desire to build game-changing enterprise applications using innovative technical approaches,” said Jason Allen, Chief Technology Officer at Yello. “We’re not satisfied with the status quo and potential hires shouldn’t be either.”

“We look for candidates who embody our core values: they’re reliable, know that nothing is impossible, own their personality and always enjoy the journey,” added Heather Redisch, the company's vice president of talent acquisition. "Our company is comprised of exemplary individuals who make up exceptional teams, all working toward one goal: providing outstanding talent acquisition software and service to our clients."


What they do: Gesture’s technology is disrupting the antiquated way in which charity events are run. Among other capabilities, their platform moves the bidding experience at silent auctions online, freeing up attendees to bid as much as they want, when they want. So far, Gesture has helped organizations raise more than $275 million at events across the country.

Coolest perks: On top of standard 401k and benefits packages available to all employees, Gesture’s perks also include casual work attire, a kitchen stocked with snacks, the ability to work from home and the chance to work fundraisers for additional pay. Add to that equation a few happy hours, intramural sports teams, an open office layout and occasional catered lunches, and you’ve got a pretty great place to meet some new best friends.

Note from the boss: "Passion, compassion and a competitive drive are three of the top things we look for in potential candidates," Jim Alvarez, CEO and founder of Gesture, said. "We're looking for people who are willing to dedicate their time to helping our charity partners raise more money for their causes."


What they do: At Trunk Club, high tech and high fashion meet in style. The company’s tech platform pairs consumers with real-life fashion consultants who, after an assessment of personal tastes, curate and ship a trunk of contemporary clothes he or she can try on (and ultimately choose to buy), all from home.

Coolest perks: Besides a suite of traditional benefits, Trunk Club employees enjoy an on-site coffee bar with a barista and snacks, a full bar, and an awesome rooftop with some of the best views in town.

Note from the boss: "We’re looking for smart and passionate engineers. People who feel comfortable helping to drive the direction of the products they work on," said Engineering Manager Jean Bahnik. "We want skilled developers that can thrive in an environment where they’re in the driver’s seat to create something amazing.”


What they do: Changes in how you purchase goods, facilitated by on-demand delivery services like Amazon Prime Now, have influenced and strained the physical supply chain. Ultimately this has made it more difficult for retailers, suppliers and transportation networks to meet rapidly evolving and immediate needs. project44’s enterprise SaaS integration platform is changing that through a networked platform built to connect the global supply chain with intelligent web service APIs.

Coolest perks: In today’s cubicle-phobic working world, working from a state-of-the-art space is a perk in and of itself. At project44, that’s exactly what you can expect: a brand new Loop office built to inspire creativity, foster both communication and a casual working environment, and enhance both sides of the work hard, play hard model.

Note from the boss: “We aren’t your average company and we don’t hire average people. We tackle the hardest problems at the heart of the global supply chain — problems that have been plaguing this industry forever. We move fast and with purpose. We’re looking for individuals with a contagious passion and insatiable determination to continuously improve. It takes grit and hard work, but we succeed when we all bleed project44 blue,” said CEO and co-founder Jett McCandless.


What they do: Enova is a Chicago-based provider of financial services that leans heavily on technology and analytics. Since its founding more than a decade ago, the company has provided online loans to more than four million people across the globe.

Coolest perks: The company has an impressive offering of traditional and out-of-the-box perks, but some of our favorites include a sabbatical program, summer hours, on-site discounted services (like yoga, dry cleaning, manicures, haircuts and massages), after-hours food delivery and commuting reimbursements, and pet insurance.

Note from the boss: "Here at Enova, we're always looking for bright individuals with a passion for learning, who thrive in a collaborative environment,” said Mira Anderson, Talent Acquisition Manager. “Problem solving is key here, and we've found our teams work best when built on a foundation of varying perspectives and ideas."


What they do: iLoan has one common goal: make borrowing better. Their team of engineers, product managers and marketers come from different backgrounds and industries but share the same passion for success. As a relatively new division of OneMain Financial, they operate with the agility of a startup and the financial backing of one of the nation’s largest personal loan lenders.

Coolest perks: Employees at iLoan are offered daily catered lunches, ample vacation time, an annual learning budget, and their pick of computer hardware, keyboard, and headphones. iLoan employees spend time together outside working hours, too, with biweekly on-site happy hours and off-site adventures to Whirlyball or Skybridge rooftop for BBQ parties. Their next event? A team dragon boat race on the Chicago River.

Note from the boss: "We’re looking for passionate, collaborative people who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves to accomplish something great,” said Lee VanEtten, a senior technical recruiter at iLoan. “Experience in a startup environment is a plus because we move quickly from one goal to the next. We expect a lot out of our employees and thrive in a culture of accountability that motivates the entire team."

What they do: Optiver is an electronic market maker that provides liquidity on major financial markets around the world. They compete with other market making firms to provide the best possible prices in financial instruments listed on the exchanges. Optiver helps make markets more competitive, more efficient, and more transparent.
Coolest perks: Catered breakfast and lunch daily, weekly in-house chair massages, fully paid health insurance premiums for employees, generous 401(k) match, and 25 days of paid vacation.
Note from the boss: “To remain a winner in this highly competitive domain, we need technologists that are smart enough to build, evolve and manage trading systems that need to run smoothly, day in and day out,” said Pierre Salverda, CTO of Optiver US. “We hire real engineers: craftsmen with a passion for building and managing computer systems that solve real problems.”
Images via featured companies. 
What's your company's story? Shoot us an email or follow us on Twitter @BuiltInChicago.

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