Now Hiring: 9 Chicago Companies Gearing Up for Fall
What are the standout qualities that make a workplace great?
Some of the most crucial elements include an environment where creativity and hard work are valued and recognized, and employees feel like they truly belong. But having a few standout products and benefits that are unique to the organization doesn’t hurt either.
For job seekers tracking down their ideal match in the Windy City, there are many factors to consider, including the quality and culture of the company, the scale of tools available, and the number of interesting and challenging projects at hand. We sat down with eight growing Chicago tech companies to let members of their team share insights about why they accepted the roles, their most interesting projects and what exactly makes their teams so special.
Sittercity connects busy parents in need of child care with qualified babysitters nationwide.
Respectful recognition: “Sittercity showed a lot of respect toward me while I was interviewing for this role in terms of support for remote interviewing, clear expectations for the entire interview process, candor about upcoming challenges that the company faces and acknowledgement that I have commitments outside of work and interviewing,” Miles said.
“The consistently high level of respect shown while I was a candidate being introduced to Sittercity made it clear that I could expect the same when I actually joined the team. That made my decision to join the company much easier. I’m am excited to be a part of bringing a better solution to the complex issues of childcare. I care deeply about providing safe, enriching memorable services for families. I can feel the impact my work has as an individual contributor at Sittercity.”
Individual influence: “What’s exciting to me about the next couple of years at Sittercity is how it’s organizing its teams as the company grows: Each team has a set of specific business metrics that they are responsible for targeting and improving.
“I enjoy being a full-stack developer and implementing solutions across all parts of the technology stack. At previous companies though, my full-stack work was pretty distantly removed from the actual business results. So I’m excited to have more direct ownership over how our product translates into business performance, while still being able to approach problems using a full-stack toolset. In addition, leadership has given each of these teams the autonomy to make decisions about the tech stack in order to best improve our target business metrics. It’s an exciting opportunity to have influence on the direction of the technology at the company.”
Pampered Chef offers a collection of kitchen tools, small appliances and pantry items in an effort to make cooking simpler and more accessible.
Continuous learning: “I am excited to come to work because of the various learning opportunities to develop new knowledge and skills, and the people I get to create and innovate with each and every day,” Lindemulder said. “As a continuous learner, I am passionate about solving new problems in the ways we work while expanding my knowledge in platforms and systems. Because the company has invested in staying contemporary in our technology platforms, we can begin exploring new ways of thinking that not only help our consultants and coworkers, but Pampered Chef’s ability to grow and help others in making their mealtime journey fun, exciting and simple.”
Inspiring leadership: “I have also had the pleasure of learning from a few great mentors who have challenged, encouraged and sponsored me along the way. They continue to inspire me to look beyond what I see, seek challenging projects and continue to mentor and teach others as they have done for me. Pampered Chef is a place where you not only support a great mission, but a place where you will grow and develop throughout your career journey.”
Users can trade options, stock and futures via tastyworks, the brokerage companion of parent company tastytrade.
Opportunities abound: “The deciding factor for me in making the move over to tastyworks was the opportunity for challenging and exciting work,” Petro said. “During the interview process, every person I spoke to seemed so engaged and proud of the work they are doing. And now into my first five months here, I can say that the initial assessment was accurate — the team is extremely bright and thrives on the challenges brought forth in the new-ish retail trading brokerage world. If you are a self-starter and enjoy a fast-paced environment, tastyworks is the place for you. We have come a long way, and have so much to look forward to in our future.”
Most exciting project on the horizon: “Our partnership with IG, additional product rollouts, and an ever-expanding customer base are what get me excited about our future. It is going to be a wild ride, and I personally cannot wait!”
KPI Sense works closely with SaaS customers to build financial models and dashboards that help them clearly understand the state of their business.
Making an impact: “Accepting the job offer from KPI Sense was a no-brainer for me for so many reasons,” Witanen said. “First off, the team is awesome and has a diverse set of experiences, and I knew I would learn a lot from them. I’ve always been drawn to entrepreneurship and the startup world, and at KPI Sense, not only would I work for a startup but all of my clients would be startups, giving me a ton of exposure to this world. Additionally, I love the fact that one can have a direct impact when working with smaller companies. For example, if I have a good idea for our product, it can easily become a reality.
“This role was also a good way to combine my interests and skill sets. I have an accounting and finance degree, so I always wanted to use and experience both sides. At KPI Sense, it definitely helps our clients to know both, as bookkeeping questions frequently arise as businesses grow and become more complex. Lastly, I really liked the idea of a family-like atmosphere of KPI Sense. We’re a small team who knows everyone by name.”
Multifaceted roles: “What excites me most about the work that KPI Sense is doing is being able to help founders, CEOs and their teams unlock further value from their businesses while also directly making contributions to growing KPI Sense. More specifically, one of the primary goals we are working toward is automating some of the more mechanical aspects of SaaS finance so that we can spend more time critically analyzing our clients’ businesses and sharing strategic insights.
“My role on the client delivery team is pretty unique in that it combines financial modeling, making sense of big data, business advising and product implementation. SaaS finance is continually changing, and so we’re always able to find new ways to offer value. We have the opportunity to work with our clients in meeting their financial needs and helping them grow, while at the same time using these hands-on experiences to develop our own product that will benefit our future KPI Sense clients.”
Fast Radius is a manufacturing company that provides automotive, medical devices and consumer goods businesses with the tools they need to scale.
Endless potential: “I wanted to work for a company that not only benefits from my manufacturing and design experience but also helps me learn and grow as a mechanical engineer,” Bollito said. “Fast Radius offers so much in terms of manufacturing and engineering services, I know the professional experience I gain here is invaluable. The company culture I felt throughout the interviews was very welcoming but nothing compared to what it actually is here at Fast Radius. I have never felt such positive energy in a work environment or had so much support right at my fingertips.”
Customer driven: “We provide parts for almost every industry and with that much variety comes some pretty innovative projects. I am thrilled to be part of such a motivated team that helps so many customers bring their visions to life. As one of the customer application engineers, I am able to work through design iterations with customers to ensure they optimize the manufacturing process, which will lead to durable and high quality parts for their projects. Our customers and internal teams are a brilliant bunch and I cannot wait to see what new things we make possible next.”
SpotOn is a fintech company offering business owners software and payment solutions to help them run their businesses.
Why did you accept the job: “The culture,” Rodriguez said. “It’s easy for any interviewer to say you’ll matter at this company and have all the support you need. Our recruiters took it one step further by showing it with their actions. They stuck to their timelines and followed up when they said they would, which meant a lot to me. I could also tell that they were passionate about the company. Their excitement about the role I could potentially be filling made it an easy choice. Overall, the benefits and cultural fit all matched what I was looking for, especially during the pandemic with a lot of uncertainty still ahead. It was an easy choice to accept the offer from SpotOn because everything felt right.”
Everyday rewards: “The most exciting thing right now is how quickly we’re growing. Sometimes companies lose what makes them special as they ramp up speed. Since joining, I’ve seen first-hand how much SpotOn values our people and the passion that they bring to the table. The trust from leadership and my peers has been the most rewarding thing so far.”
Braviant Holdings uses advanced analytics and big data to solve difficult lending decisions.
Reasons for joining the team: “Everyone at the company whom I talked to seemed very passionate about what they were doing and they appeared to genuinely enjoy and endorse it,” Jensen said. “They also talked about being driven by data and about making decisions that are backed by data, and as a data scientist, that is something that is truly important to me.
“Secondly, I felt that this was a place where I could use my experience building out a more regimented data science function over time. As more people are added to the team, it becomes more important to have processes and standards for how and when things are done, and I saw a chance to be an instrumental part of that effort. As a consultant, I have helped numerous companies — both big and small — to structure and build internal data science teams, and this job offered me a way to contribute to that and to be there for the follow-through.”
Making a difference: “The mission of offering credit to consumers who are otherwise underserved in the financial space and to support them on a path toward prime credit is something that I believe can be incredibly powerful for consumers who are impacted by traditional credit barriers.
“I am excited about how we can find new ways to utilize the data that is available to best support that mission and I have already seen how ideas generated at any level in the organization are considered and evaluated based on how they might support that mission. It is amazing to see how an idea or a project proposal can be developed, get adopted, and almost immediately have an impact on the business and on our customers.”
Showpad is a marketing and sales platform delivering a better buyer experience through content management, analytics and sales engagement.
Accelerated career growth: “Showpad is the type of place where, if you raise your hand and say you want to do something, try something or step up into more responsibility, you’re going to get the opportunity to do so,” Dean said. “If you’re an ambitious and passionate professional, these company attributes make for an incredibly rare and valuable chance to accelerate your career growth. Since I joined in 2018, I have been constantly learning, challenging myself and growing and have been recognized by the company at every step.”
Industry innovation: “We’re in a position to create a category-defining product at Showpad – to basically win revenue enablement. To have such a tangible goal in front of us, to have the kind of product and engineering talent we do, and to have a leadership team that is totally dialed into what we need to be successful — you can’t create a more perfect or exciting opportunity than that. Plus, at a software company, product and engineering are fundamentally responsible for the product we produce, and therefore, in many ways the most responsible for outcomes. This is why I’m so excited to be doing what I’m doing with Showpad.”
Duck Creek Technologies provides core system solutions and professional services to the insurance industry.
What makes work great: “Duck Creek has continuously offered me the opportunity to lead and grow in my career, presenting me with new challenges and autonomy to solve challenges creatively,” Aman said. “I have been able to build a team of amazingly talented individuals who are passionate about creating delightful experiences for our users. I have enjoyed the relationships and partnerships I have made with other talented leaders to solve complex business challenges together. I have also greatly appreciated the flexibility and support that I have had over the years to manage my work and my family.”