Hiring Now: 10 Chicago Companies Looking for Top Tech Talent to Join Their Growing Teams

Before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season arrives, don’t miss out on these top career opportunities.
Written by Lucas Dean
November 17, 2022Updated: January 29, 2024

The new year is drawing ever closer and favorite holiday activities — from ice skating in Millennium Park and shopping at Cristkindlmarket in Daley Plaza to visiting the Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden — will once again spark joy and capture our attention. Ten of Chicago’s top companies are offering a different kind of unmissable opportunity. 

These companies span different industries but have one thing in common — they are all searching for top engineers, data scientists, product managers and so on to join their growing teams as they approach 2023 and prepare to tackle new challenges. 

What qualities and skills are they looking for in candidates? The answers offer various useful insights that can guide applicants who are trying to secure their dream job. 

“A successful candidate would be highly self-motivated, passionate towards the role, embrace ongoing learning, a team player and someone who owns and learns from mistakes and failures,” Sree Talluri, senior director of product engineering and cloud operations at Zoro, said. Talluri explained that as tech evolves at a rapid pace, she needs someone who is willing to learn, unlearn and relearn. 

Stephen Rylander, SVP and global head of engineering at DFIN, similarly noted that successful candidates will be flexible. “Building software is not a point-to-point process; it’s built on a changing understanding of the problem at hand,” Rylander explained. “Flexibility in mindset, attitude, skills and approaches will serve you well here and in life.”

Built In Chicago interviewed these leaders and eight others to learn more about what they look for in candidates and what their teams will be working on in 2023.

 

Three Capital One employees cheerily chat while glancing at a computer.
Capital One

 

Nikita Steals
VP of Tech Talent Acquisition • Capital One

Capital One is a bank holding company that aims to bring greater accessibility to the financial system. Founded more than 25 years ago, the company uses digital fluency to transform the customer experience. 

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

The most important set of skills for my team members include the ability to effectively collaborate within our team and horizontally to achieve outstanding results. They must have a true knack for leveraging data to shape and define continuous improvement opportunities and, most importantly, a numbers-driven yet heart-centered drive to build and enable Capital One’s growth aspirations by engaging the market’s tech talent. 

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for Capital One’s overall success?

Overall, Capital One’s tech talent acquisition team will continue to enhance our candidate delivery model by refining, enhancing and simplifying every step of the talent lifecycle, from attraction to application to retention. We are excited about the tech hiring success achieved so far in 2022 and will build upon this energy mightily in 2023 through a north star strategy that allows us to continue to build the Capital One tech organization.

Despite the high degree of tech talent competition and overall market challenges, 2022 has been a transformative and high-growth year for my team.”

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word, and why would you choose that word?

I am proud of my team’s collaborative spirit, strong business partnership focus and results-oriented nature. Despite the high degree of tech talent competition and overall market challenges, 2022 has been a transformative and high-growth year for my team. Our focus on innovation and continuous improvement has made 2022 such an exciting year, and it will be that, along with our human-based way of empowering and inspiring each other, that will make 2023 even more successful.

 

 

Discover team members gather in a communal area.
Discover

 

Divya Shampur
Senior Manager, Software Engineering • Discover

Discover is a direct banking and payment services company that offers customers financial solutions — credit cards, home loans, student loans, savings accounts and more — that build a brighter future. 

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

Problem solver. During interviews, I like to present hypothetical scenarios to gauge the candidate’s problem-solving approach. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. I keep the questions vague on purpose because I want candidates to be curious about the problem. I expect candidates to ask clarifying questions. I look for questions about the target audience, scalability, performance and auto-recoverability of systems, to name a few. 

These are things we deal with on a daily basis. It is prudent to question the why, the how and the why now of any solution we are implementing. A problem-solver mindset is critical to implement a continuous improvement cycle that ensures stable and robust products.

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for Discover’s overall success?

We are rolling out products that standardize data ingestion and dissemination across Discover. This includes building full-stack products all the way from UI, APIs and micro-services to database and data warehousing. 

Our products are business agnostic — we partner with all of Discover’s lines of business and build generic products that can be used across a wide swathe of applications and processes that support various Discover businesses. Data is ingested from internal applications and systems as well as external sources.

We have to collaborate internally as a team to identify the best approach to design and implementation and also help each other out when we encounter blockers.”

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word, and why would you choose that word?

“Collaboration.” Any product built out is not done by one individual hacking away in the middle of the night to build a stable and robust product to support Discover’s various businesses. We have to collaborate internally as a team to identify the best approach to design and implementation and also help each other out when we encounter blockers. 

We also rely on a gamut of infrastructure and platform teams on which our products are hosted and secured. We collaborate with reliability engineering teams to try to achieve four-nines availability. We partner with operations teams to implement automation in failure recovery. We thrive on collaboration.

 

 

Brent Steffen
eCommerce Digital Product Manager • Caterpillar

Cat Digital, the digital and technology arm of Caterpillar, is on a mission to help build a more sustainable world by connecting its 1.2 million assets worldwide to a centralized data hub, in turn providing developers with deep data and predictive analytics. 

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

Inquisitive. We encourage our entire team — from product managers to solution architects to software engineers — to really empathize and understand our end customers, their businesses and what makes them successful. When we understand the trigger events that cause our customers to need aftermarket services and support, the steps our customers take to resolve them and the outcomes our customers are after, we put ourselves in the best position to design and develop digital solutions our customers will benefit from and enjoy using. 

Pairing inquisitiveness with a bias towards action, our team makes significant contributions to our end customers that help improve their productivity and reduce owning and operating costs while also driving brand loyalty to Caterpillar.

We are in the process of a major e-commerce transformation as we’ve continued to increase our investments in our digital capabilities.”

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for Caterpillar’s overall success?

We are in the process of a major e-commerce transformation, as we’ve continued to increase our investments in our digital capabilities. We are modernizing our end-to-end e-commerce technology stack, including taking all our platforms to the cloud, upgrading our UI framework, designing and deploying a new design system for use across mobile and web, and introducing our first-ever native app for e-commerce. We are upping our game in creating meaningful digital content for our customers, expanding our digital marketing, SEO and paid media capabilities, and using data analytics and insights to drive our product roadmap and conversion rates.

Delivering a significantly improved e-commerce experience, spanning from our retail customers with only one-to-three machines, to our large fleet customers with dedicated aftermarket parts procurement staff, is critical to Caterpillar’s services growth strategy. Today, Caterpillar dealers do $10 million in dealer parts sales to users through e-commerce per business day. 

And we have very significant growth ambitions. Ensuring our customers have the best e-commerce experience is what our team works on every day. It is rewarding to directly see how we contribute to our customer’s success and our enterprise goals.

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word, and why would you choose that word?

“Connected.” Within Cat Digital and our e-commerce teams, we work hard to build a connected culture in many definitions of the word. Connected to the customer means helping our team members understand our customers and their workflow, what defines their success and how we can contribute. Connected to our goals and strategy means our teams perform best when they understand how their work contributes to Caterpillar’s strategic objectives. Connected to the digital industry and the latest tech trends means we empower our teams to participate in industry events and test new technologies to find ways to continuously innovate in digital. 

Connected to each other in ways that best work for each individual means we’ve fully embraced a hybrid workplace and are finding ways to mix in-person and virtual events to support critical projects, team-building events and career growth and development opportunities to help each of our team members grow. And I must say connected to our equipment because, with over 1.2 million IoT-connected assets sharing data daily, we are always finding new ways to create value through insights and analytics from our connected population.

 

 

Two Zoro employees cross paths in the office.
Zoro
Sree Talluri
Sr.Director, Product Engineering and Cloud Operations • Zoro

Zoro’s e-commerce website sells over 10 million supplies, tools and equipment that help customers maintain their businesses.

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

“Attitude.”

Why? Technology is evolving at a faster pace. More than ever, there is a higher need to learn, re-learn and unlearn constantly. To unpack attitude further, a successful candidate, in my opinion, would be highly self-motivated, passionate towards the role, embraces ongoing learning, a team player and someone who owns and learns from mistakes and failures. 

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for Zoro’s overall success?

We have exciting platform evolution and migration initiatives in 2023, some of which are: assortment management, headless commerce, real-time analytics, onsite search and recommendations, as well as enhancing product information.

We strive to build an endless assortment of MRO products and beyond to make our customers’ lives easier. The investments in technology will help us continue to generate consistent profitable growth.

We are open and honest about why we exist, what we do, how we succeed, what is important for us to focus and how we will measure our success.”

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word, and why would you choose that word?

“Transparent.” 

It happens to be one of our company values as well. In my opinion, a company that believes in transparency creates a culture of trust and belonging. We are open and honest about why we exist, what we do, how we succeed, what is important for us to focus and how we will measure our success.

 

 

Stephen Rylander
SVP, Global Head of Engineering • DFIN

Fintech company DFIN is a leading global risk and compliance solutions organization that provides clients with domain expertise, software and data analytics to support every stage of the business and investment lifecycle. 

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

“Flexibility.” Building software is not a point-to-point process; it’s built on a changing understanding of the problem at hand. If we knew exactly how any given product should work, it would be encoded in an afternoon. This isn’t part of the process. Instead, flexibility in mindset, attitude, skills and approaches will serve you well here and in life.

We have a significant rewrite of a large platform moving to the cloud in 2023, which will reduce the cost of maintaining the product and allow uber-fast software deliveries.”

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for DFIN’s overall success?

We have a significant rewrite of a large platform moving to the cloud in 2023. Why is this important? There is the usual “now we can do this stuff in the cloud.” But, come on, it’s almost 2023 — the cloud isn’t cool anymore.

This project is important because it will drastically reduce the cost of maintaining the product and allow uber-fast software deliveries. Now that’s fun!

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word, and why would you choose that word?

“Respectful.” This team includes a lot of newer folks — one to three years — and a bunch in the 10- to 15-year range. This is an ideal mix of new and old, and we work hard to cultivate a culture of respect for others’ ideas, backgrounds and who they are.

 

 

Ashley Menger
VP of Product Design • Arrive Logistics

Arrive Logistics, a multimodal transportation and technology company, provides data-driven digital solutions that are tailored to the needs of shippers and carriers. 

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

Curiosity is the key trait to being a successful UX designer on my team, especially in the freight industry. We ask the business to bring us problems or pain points in their experience; from there, strategy and technology determine the solution. Because freight logistics is a wide ecosystem of people, software and sometimes manual processes, the problems we’re trying to solve often span many silos. Our job is to discover these connections through research sessions with people at our company, map their workflows, ask all of the why’s and find opportunities for software solutions. It is a fascinating journey of discovery for those who are truly curious. 

I have worked at Arrive Logistics for over three years and am still learning new things every time I ask, “Why?” Ultimately, all of this discovery leads to designing new service models and user-centered interfaces, which we then continue to test within our company by the people who will ultimately be using it.

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for Arrive Logistics’ overall success?

For the UX design team, building and operationalizing our UI component system is our biggest project for 2023. This will help ensure a consistent experience for our users, enable our designers to build with fewer variations and questions, enable our front-end developers to build faster with preconfigured pieces, and reduce our code footprint. 

We formed a centralized, dedicated team of engineers, a product manager and a design operations manager to lead the effort across design and front-end developers. This will be an ongoing effort as we build out our basic components and more specialized ones over time. In addition, the UX design team is formalizing and documenting patterns to help maintain consistency as we scale our UI and onboard more members of our team.

Each of us holds the pieces to get a project across the finish line, and we work together as a team to get there.”

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word, and why would you choose that word?

Our team culture is collaborative. Working at an enterprise level of software, no single person has all of the answers. Each of us holds the pieces to get a project across the finish line, and we work together as a team to get there. 

Collaboration happens across disciplines on a team, as well as across teams. We have a concept of team pods so that related teams remain aligned and meet to share context or dependencies that impact each other. We also document our work in Confluence, create project decks and write and share feature specs. 

At Arrive, no one hesitates to ask a question, and we actively share knowledge to win together as one team.

 

 

Rob Gillman
Managing Director, Application Development • Inspira Financial

Inspira Financial provides its more than 5 million clients with innovative financial wellness solutions to plan, save and invest — no matter where they are in their retirement journey. 

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

Every candidate and team member will bring their unique skills, abilities, experiences, preferences, interactions styles and ways of thinking to any team or community they join. In a healthy and engaging environment, everyone learns from and compliments everyone else, making for better outcomes overall. 

With that as a backdrop, one thing I am always looking to learn about a candidate is their ability to collaborate in cross-functional teams and how they go about capturing opportunities or solving complex problems by breaking things down into fundamental components and using discovery, framing, experimentation and evidence-based observations to drive value capture.

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for Inspira’s overall success?

Inspira continues to build on its track record of sustainable growth with the recent acquisition of PayFlex, a consumer-directed benefits provider, to create a holistic, personalized approach to financial wellness. 

In addition to continuously improving how we serve our consumers’ needs with new or enhanced offerings, we are also executing the integration of people, processes and technology systems into the new combined, unified company structure.

Everyone I have met is extraordinarily supportive and welcoming. Not just to me as a new person but equally to each other.”

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word, and why would you choose that word?

Having just celebrated my one-month anniversary, it would be premature to try and describe the team culture especially given I have only met a small fraction of the highly distributed technology team. 

I can say without hesitation that everyone I have met is extraordinarily supportive and welcoming. Not just to me as a new person but equally to each other. I have found this to be truly remarkable.

 

 

The Ocient team gathers outdoors.
Ocient

 

Ginny McCright
Sr. Engineering Manager • Ocient

Ocient is a data analytics solutions company that connects clients with hyperscale data solutions, which enable them to transform, load data directly and return massive queries in seconds. 

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

Our coding challenge is pretty tough by design, meaning we evaluate each candidate’s core skills at the beginning of our recruiting process. Aside from that, we’re looking for candidates who are passionate about building something new and different that will disrupt a number of legacy solutions and lay the groundwork for the next 10 to 20 years of innovation in our industry.

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for Ocient’s overall success?

We’re developing additional geospatial and machine learning capabilities that enable customers to enrich their datasets and empower more data science use cases. We’re seeing a growing demand for location-based intelligence, weather and climate data analysis, and machine learning models running on hyperscale data sets. We’ll be extending our capabilities to help customers test, validate and launch new capabilities in these areas.

We’re building hyperscale data analytics solutions that ingest firehouses of data, analyze trillions of data records and return results in seconds.”

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word, and why would you choose that word?

If I had to choose one word to describe our culture, I would say we are “craft-driven.” We’re building hyperscale data analytics solutions that ingest firehouses of data, analyze trillions of data records and return results in seconds. It takes incredible skill, dedication and persistence to reach new engineering feats in our field and enable customers to do previously infeasible things. 

The level of efficiency we reach to ensure our solutions unlock new capabilities while cutting costs means every line of code has to work as hard as possible to deliver on our promise to customers. Building next-generation solutions requires a craft-driven team motivated by excellence and colleagues who won’t back down from a tough engineering challenge.

 

 

Jimmy Malhan
Engineering Manager • HealthJoy

HealthJoy’s navigation platform guides members to high-quality healthcare through a simplified, unified digital experience, connecting employees to the right care and reducing HR burden. 

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

Intellectual curiosity.

Technology vastly changes year over year. Curiosity is invaluable for uncovering essential and unexpected information that shapes engineering solutions to their maximum potential.

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for HealthJoy’s overall success?

We are reliably launching Teladoc’s products so we can diversify into an ample market in healthcare and help out our users in utmost need.

I want to ensure that when new hires start on the team, they immediately feel included and part of the team culture. Engineers’ ideas and contributions are all truly valued.”

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word, and why would you choose that word?

“Diversity.” When I think about diversity, I think about diversity, equity and inclusion altogether. 

Focusing on diverse hiring without considering equity and inclusion can lead to significant attrition. So I want to ensure that when new hires start on the team, they immediately feel included and part of the team culture. Engineers’ ideas, presences and contributions are all truly valued and taken seriously at HealthJoy.

 

 

Steve Kos
AVP, Solution Architecture • Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, one of the United States’ twelve regional reserve banks, was established by Congress in 1913 to foster a strong economy and financial stability. 

 

What’s one character trait or skill set that a successful candidate should have to land a spot on your team?

To be an architect in our organization, you have to have more than just technical knowledge; you also need to have the drive to want to make things better for our customers. The process by which you can actually make things better will require you to be a good listener, to be pragmatic over perfect and to be able to influence others throughout the organization — not just your peer architects or other technologists.

 

What’s the biggest project your technical teams are planning for 2023, and why is it important for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s overall success?

Our biggest objective for 2023 will be “scaling up.” Our organization is only a few months old, as we are composed of what was previously four separate organizations. Now that we are combined into one under the same executive leadership corps, we need to figure out how to operate together. 

At the same time, we need to increase the velocity of our product delivery to accommodate new product demands and to increase the capacity and resiliency of our product portfolio to meet the demands of our customers in a very competitive marketplace of financial services.

For all the bumps in the road that we’ve endured in the past couple of years, we can never be knocked down completely.”

 

How would you describe your tech team culture in a single word, and why would you choose that word?

“Resilient.” 

For all the bumps in the road that we’ve endured in the past couple of years, we can never be knocked down completely. This team gets right back up and pushes forward again the next day.

 

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