More than a job: 7 Chicago tech companies where you can launch a career

September 7, 2017

Don’t worry if you recently pressed pause on your job search. Chicago’s tech community is growing by the day and actively seeking new talent. So dust off that resume and check out the awesome opportunities these tech companies have to offer.

 

What they do: Guaranteed Rate is working to bring home buying into the tech age. Its digital mortgage matches buyers with the right loan and streamlines the application process, with approval possible in as little as 30 minutes. And yes, they sponsor the Chicago White Sox’s stadium.

What they look for: “For the Liftoff training program for the online division of Guaranteed Rate, we look for people who thrive in a competitive environment but who also like to have a lot of fun and enjoy working within a collaborative team,” said president of online Scott Stephen. “We expect a lot of our sales team but we give a lot in return. This program really invests in our people with initial and continued training.”

Sweet perks: The company’s perks go far beyond the healthcare, 401(k) match and public transit benefits offered. Those looking to stay fit can use the office’s onsite gym or take a yoga or CrossFit class. If you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s an in-house chef who cooks up healthy meals, and Guaranteed Rate even gives out turkeys to employees around the holidays.

 

What they do: Morningstar is an independent financial research firm and one of Chicago’s biggest tech companies, with more than 1,000 Chicagoland employees. Since launching in 1984, the company has also opened offices in 27 countries.

What they look for: “Passion is contagious, and we are looking for individuals who are passionate, aim high and believe that technology is the most powerful tool to help users reach their financial goals,” said director of engineering Thulasi Kethini. “Great solutions are built by strong teams. Engineers who are good team players and love to be part of growing teams will enjoy working at Morningstar.”

Sweet perks: Morningstar offers medical, dental and vision coverage, and allows employees to take time off whenever work allows. The office has a casual dress code and social events throughout the year. To help everyone get over the mid-week hump, Wednesdays are designated bagel days.

 

What they do: Braintree, a PayPal company, helps businesses of all types and sizes implement payment solutions. The platform also offers reporting services to help merchants track purchases and better understand their customers.

What they look for: "At Braintree we look to hire people, not just skill-sets,” said head of talent acquisition Shana Sternstein. “We seek out candidates who are naturally curious, have experience working on complex projects, are passionate about their craft and excited about Braintree's mission. Each hire we make has a direct impact on our culture and production, so we invest a lot of time in choosing the next group of Braintreeps!"

Sweet perks: Braintree offers medical, dental and vision plans, as well as paid parental and family leave. Lifelong learners will want to take advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement, and commuters its transit benefits. Each employee’s workstation features a Mac and standing desk, and the Braintree office is filled with decorative conference rooms to make meetings more fun.

 

What they do: SPINS provides consulting and retail consumer insights and analytics for the natural, organics and speciality products industry. The company works across the natural and organic product industry, with solutions for brands, retailers and partners.

What they look for: “At SPINS, we are passionate about our mission and our craft,” said VP of engineering Deepika Duggirala. “We look for people that are not only skilled in the craft of software development but are also creative thinkers who are energized by the opportunity presented by a path not paved. We pride ourselves on our vibrant work culture and a team that makes building innovative solutions to scale for our customers’ needs enjoyable.”

Sweet perks: SPINS offers healthcare, flexible scheduling and paid maternity and paternity leave. There’s also a kitchen stocked with natural and organic snacks. The company wellness program, Vibrancy 360, helps promote a good work-life balance with events like chef-led cooking demonstrations, yoga and personal training sessions at the in-office gym.

 

What they do: Jellyvision helps employees make smarter decisions about important life choices, like picking a health plan and saving for retirement. It does this via an engaging and educational software program dubbed ALEX.

What they look for: “Jellyvision is in the business of helping people navigate life’s most confusing and stressful decisions –– from picking healthcare benefits to setting up a retirement plan –– yet in a non-boring, ultra informative way,” said director of business development Sara Colombo. “Our Jellyvision employees are just as personable, supportive and humble as our product ALEX is.”

Sweet perks: Those who don’t use tobacco are eligible to have 100 percent of the cost of their medical, dental, vision and life insurance covered by Jellyvision. The company also offers flexible work hours, including a yearly company-wide remote work week. Those who like to socialize can join one of the intramural sports teams or even play in the Jellyvision band.

 

What they do: On-demand parking spot startup ParkWhiz wants drivers to never have to search for a spot again. Its platform is home to thousands of parking spots spread out across 200 cities, all of which can be reserved with just a few taps on an app.

What they look for: “At ParkWhiz, we're looking for a combination of raw talent and an aptitude for lifelong learning,” said CTO Jeff Judge. “We're tackling the large-scale, rapidly evolving challenge of mobility. Cities will look dramatically different over the next 20 years, and we want to be the company driving net positive change for society. To do so, we need people who instinctively refer to themselves as a Swiss Army Knife –– they know how to get the job done, they're reliable and they know when to adapt.”

Sweet perks: Health, dental and vision insurance are all offered, as is a 401(k) plan and stock options. The office features indoor bike parking and the kitchen is stocked full of snacks and has cold brew coffee on tap. And yes, there is discounted ParkWhiz parking for employees!

 

What they do: Payformance Solutions is working to build transformative payment solutions for the healthcare industry through its value-based reimbursement software, TrustHub. The platform is designed to increase efficiency, predictability and consistency between payers and providers.

What they look for: “We look for people who love to push the boundaries to solve complex business problems innovatively, people who want to address both the cost and quality issues facing today’s healthcare market,” said CTO Kevin D. Mehta. “Prospective candidates will have a passion for improving healthcare in the United States. They understand that healthcare reform isn't a matter of politics but alignment of incentives and value versus volume, not left versus right.”

Sweet perks: Healthcare options covered in full by the company are available, as are free gym memberships. The office also keeps flexible working hours and there’s the opportunity to work from home once a week after three months. Payformance Solutions is also big on team-building events, including Thirsty Thursdays.

 

Images via featured companies and Shutterstock. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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