What Keeps Tech Workers at a Company for the Long Haul?

If you’re ready to stop job hopping and start building a career then these are the companies you need to know.
Written by Michael Hines
November 21, 2022Updated: November 30, 2022

Just because shorter tenures have become the norm doesn’t mean people aren’t still putting down roots at companies. 

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 27 percent of the American workforce has 10 years or more of tenure with their current employer. Christine Jordan, the controller at IT consultancy and managed services provider SDI Presence, is one of these people. 

While job hopping is common in tech, Jordan has spent her entire 11-year career at SDI in large part because the company has fostered a growth environment.

“I found managers here who pushed me to grow and learn, and I found that the leadership was willing to grow as well,” Jordan said.

Dave Blazek hasn’t quite reached 10 years at Avant yet but is only a few months away. Blazek, who joined the fintech company through a staffing agency and is now a director, said that growth opportunities and the ability to make an impact is also what’s kept him around.

“As soon as I started, it was clear that I had the ability to make a difference,” Blazek said. “My feedback was taken seriously even though I was in an entry-level position, which felt very empowering.”

Built In Chicago spoke with Jordan, Schaen and a handful of other tech workers who’ve decided to stay with their companies for the long haul about what motivated their decisions. In addition, each tenured tech worker shared their tips for getting a job at their companies, all of which are hiring.

 

Dave Blazek
Director, Compliance Advisory • Avant

Avant was founded in 2012 as a financial technology company that specialized in helping people who couldn’t access credit through traditional means. Since then, the fintech company has branched out and now offers access to credit cards as well.

 

How long have you been at Avant?

I’ve been with Avant for more than nine-and-a-half years and in that time I’ve held more than seven different roles.

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at Avant and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

I actually connected with Avant through a staffing agency. Avant was only a few months old when I interviewed for my first role as a customer service specialist and it seemed like an amazing opportunity to start on the ground floor. Avant has given me many reasons to stay. As soon as I started it was clear that I had the ability to make a difference. My feedback was taken seriously and resulted in multiple different operational changes even though I was in an entry-level position, which felt very empowering. Avant also offered tons of opportunities for advancement.

After about nine months, I moved into the compliance department where I helped build Avant’s compliance management system. The environment is constantly changing and provides new challenges every day and really keeps my job interesting. Finally, the people I’ve worked with have been smart and hardworking and I continue to learn from them every day. It also helps that Avant provides great benefits, such as generous paid parental leave, which I recently was able to use.

The environment is constantly changing and provides new challenges every day and really keeps my job interesting.

 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

Be ready to flex your problem-solving skills. We’re looking for people who aren’t afraid of a challenge and are willing to share their ideas. Although Avant is almost 10 years old, we’re still a relatively young company with tons of opportunities for motivated individuals to come in and build something of their own.

Being able to adapt to change is critical. Projects don’t always go as planned but that doesn’t mean we give up. We look for creative solutions and make adjustments. Things move quickly, and we’re constantly evaluating the best options for achieving our goals. Our ability to pivot is actually one of our biggest advantages as a company.

 

 

Jessie Richardson
Senior Product Manager • ReviewTrackers

Companies use ReviewTrackers’ software to manage, monitor and analyze reviews left on Google, Facebook and Grubhub among others. The platform also includes tools for analyzing reviews of competing companies, boosting SEO performance and engaging with customers.

 

How long have you been at ReviewTrackers?

Three years.

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at ReviewTrackers and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

As a consumer, I’ve always had a vested interest in reviews and have been very opinionated about how I can effectively communicate the value of a business to potential patrons and vice versa. I saw ReviewTrackers as an opportunity to solve these problems, and that was very exciting to me because it’s something I naturally think about a lot.

I stayed with ReviewTrackers because of the autonomy I’ve been given to explore any and all product opportunities, even if they fall outside of my team’s domain. The company culture also happens to be excellent and I genuinely admire and respect everyone I work with for all of their unique talents.

I genuinely admire and respect everyone I work with for all of their unique talents.

 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

Try to practice getting in the mindset of identifying product problems and how they translate to user pain points. Don’t get married to a single solution. If you thoroughly understand the problem, the right solution will ultimately reveal itself when evaluating all your options. Be prepared to defend your thinking.

 

 

James Cababa
Software Engineer I • Home Chef

Home Chef is a meal kit delivery company founded in 2013. In 2018 the company was acquired by grocery giant Kroger and, since late 2019, its meal kits have been available in over 2,500 grocery stores.

 

How long have you been at Home Chef?

Four years with a career transition from R&D chef to software engineer.

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at Home Chef and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

My time before Home Chef was spent at companies with less-than-stellar employee cultures. Home Chef flew me out for an interview and everyone was very kind, focused and casual, and that really stuck with me. I loved the culture so much that I was happy to make the four-hour round-trip daily commute from Milwaukee to Chicago. From then on, my time has been wonderful, with everyone in the company being genuinely nice and possessing a drive to do their job well. I can cold ping anyone and am certain their response will be prompt, friendly and that they will make a real effort to help me with whatever I need. 

Another reason is that Home Chef is a forward-thinking company with its future and, most importantly, its employees. They invest in their employees in so many ways and I feel like our voices are heard. I feel like I am part of Home Chef’s success, and for a company to be able to instill that has had an incredible impact on me.

Home Chef is a forward-thinking company with its future and, most importantly, its employees.


What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

You will be happy here. Not only will you be challenged in your role, but you will also be encouraged to develop your career and given the tools to do so. Anyone I have encountered in a management role possesses the skills of mentorship, which is very important in not only the upward trajectory of your career but also in accountability. 

Home Chef also encourages internal transfers. If you want to make a career change, management will help you achieve it. They truly care about your career, even if losing you may negatively impact their team. Any goals you have are achievable! Finally, Home Chef is aware of work-life balance, and it exists for real here.

 

 

Emilie Harvey
Director, Human Resources • Traffic Tech

Traffic Tech is a third-party logistics company (3PL) that helps businesses around the world move cargo by land, sea and air. Along with getting cargo to the right place the company also offers warehousing services and supply chain consulting. 

 

How long have you been at Traffic Tech?

I recently began my ninth year at Traffic Tech, but it feels like it was just yesterday that I had my first interview. In the last few years, I have had the pleasure of growing with Traffic Tech as it has gone from 20 to 45 offices, from 650 to 2,000 employees and from being located in three countries to now 12. I am extremely excited to continue moving forward with Traffic Tech!

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at Traffic Tech and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

To be extremely honest, I did not know or understand what a 3PL was before the interview process, so Traffic Tech’s industry training was a real blessing when I started. That said, it was the initial company description that caught my eye at first. Who doesn’t want to work in a fun and dynamic environment? I can 100 percent say that it was fully accurate: All of my colleagues, wherever they are in the world, have been an absolute pleasure to work with and I’ve built long-lasting professional relationships.

It’s important for me to be able to learn something new on a daily basis and to grow both personally and professionally while helping the company achieve new heights. Learning and mastering employment standards in several countries has been a positive challenge, and I am glad to be learning from such a fantastic team globally.

All of my colleagues, wherever they are in the world, have been an absolute pleasure to work with and I’ve built long-lasting professional relationships.


What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

My advice to all new team members would be to start by building positive professional relationships with coworkers and customers, if applicable. Once those relationships are established, it is so much easier to listen and learn from your team. When you keep an open mind and learn to empower the people around you, the sky is the limit here.

 

 

Christine Jordan
Controller • SDI Presence

SDI Presence is an IT consultancy and managed services provider whose areas of expertise include ServiceNow implementation, hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure solutions and digital transformation. SDI’s clients include city governments, grocery store chains and utility companies.

 

How long have you been at SDI Presence?

I’ve been an SDI employee for 10 years, but I was a temp here for a year before that, so it’s been 11 years total. I started as an accountant and now I am the controller.

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at SDI Presence and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

When I started, I really enjoyed the people at SDI and I was able to learn from my peers. I also found people who were willing to invest in me. I have been treated as though I matter and so have my opinions. I found managers here who pushed me to grow and learn, and I found that the leadership was willing to grow as well. My team has been amazing over the years and we’re still going strong; the camaraderie and respect we have for each other make our work more fun and we fully support each other.

My team has been amazing over the years and we’re still going strong.


What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

My advice would be to thoroughly explore the culture of the team to make sure that we are a good fit for you. In my opinion, the culture at your workplace should be one of the most important deciding factors in where you go. At the end of the day, you need to enjoy not only what you do but who you do it for and with. People in the job market tend to look for more money and great benefits, but sometimes after you get into a role, the stated culture of the company and the management style don’t match up.

 

 

Jennifer Schaen
SVP, Basis Customer Experience • Basis Technologies

Basis Technologies’ enterprise marketing automation software is designed to help marketers save time by consolidating tools and automating time-consuming and complex processes. Along with tech, Basis also provides staffing and consulting services.

 

How long have you been at Basis Technologies?

I’ve been with Basis Technologies for 15 years. 

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at Basis Technologies and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

When I first joined Basis Technologies — then known as Centro — I was hired onto the product team to help build the publisher-facing platform. I was new to the world of product management and was excited to apply my experience to a new function. I had little hesitation in accepting my offer after having met so many smart, thoughtful and welcoming people during the interview process.  

Learning and adding value are two of my main motivators, and I learn something new at Basis every day and continue to be given the opportunity to add value. To this day, I am challenged and never feel alone or unsupported. I love Basis, believe in what we are doing and am grateful for all it has afforded me over the years. Being able to build a team and providing them the tools and support to also be successful is incredibly rewarding. 

Today I am a happy, fulfilled person who wakes up and does what I love every day. Basis has helped me become the kind of person, employee and leader I can be proud of. Although it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows, it was well worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing.

I learn something new at Basis every day and continue to be given the opportunity to add value.

 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

My advice would be to spend the time researching and understanding not only what the company does and its culture but also what is expected from each person in their identified role. I look for people who can come in, do a good job, have a voice, provide a unique perspective, bring a solid work ethic and want to grow with us.

 

 

Anna Seethaler
Senior Account Executive, Team Lead • Spark Hire

Spark Hire is a video interviewing platform that enables companies to both conduct interviews remotely and share and review the footage with colleagues. More than 6,000 companies use Spark Hire, including Ikea, Volkswagen and Love’s.

 

How long have you been at Spark Hire?

I’ve worked at Spark Hire since July 2020.

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at Spark Hire and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

My manager at a previous company took a job here at the height of the pandemic, and I was open to new opportunities and saw that even during the chaos of 2020, Spark Hire was still aggressively hiring. The main thing that interested me was the product itself. I’d been involved with the hiring process and had firsthand experience with the challenges Spark Hire’s platform addresses. I knew I would have confidence in selling this product. 

There are two main reasons that I’ve continued to stay at Spark Hire. First, I have a lot of autonomy in my day to day as well as a great work-life balance. I’m free to work from home, build my own schedule and have flexible hours. I really respect and appreciate that when we hit our targets, leadership allows us freedom and time off so I never feel burnt out. This role enables me to work from anywhere and never turn down a trip.  

The second reason is that I’ve been given the opportunity to participate in strategic conversations. Even as a sales rep, I am frequently involved in brainstorming sessions, asked to give my opinion on new ideas and utilized as a resource during strategic planning. This makes me feel valued as an employee and more committed to the company and provides opportunities to break away from my day-to-day job functions and gain experience and knowledge I can use in the future. Both of these elements are equal contributors to my job satisfaction at Spark Hire.

I have a lot of autonomy in my day to day as well as a great work-life balance.

 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

Do it! I joined Spark Hire having no experience selling software. After leaving my previous role, I knew I wanted to get into SaaS because of the immense opportunity. Because Spark Hire isn’t a massive company, I’ve had much more insight into what other departments are doing and have learned so much about how software functions and what makes a successful software company in a very short period of time. 

If you’re looking to get involved in an organization that is growing and evolving, Spark Hire is a great place for you. Be ready to learn and adapt to the ever-changing hiring environment that Spark Hire’s customers are part of.

 

 

Andres Rose
Team Lead, Renewals Manager • Machinio

Machinio is a marketplace for used heavy equipment, including construction and agricultural vehicles, machine tools and printing presses. Along with operating a marketplace, the company also offers web development services to machinery dealers.

 

How long have you been at Machinio?

I have been working at Machinio for four-and-a-half years.

 

What drew you to apply for and accept a role at Machinion and, looking back, what have been the most important reasons for staying as long as you have?

What attracted me to Machinio was the perfect mix of a young and innovative company and a solid business model that allowed for constant growth. Once I started, I found a company that always keeps the well-being and work-life balance of their employees in mind and the health of the business at the center of its decision-making. I believe this is one of the main reasons people stay at Machinio for years. 

We all feel respected and part of a team that is working together to accomplish great things while also creating an awesome work culture that allows people to really enjoy their daily tasks. Management listens to the employees and when something is asked it is taken seriously and received with a solution-driven mindset for the company and the employee.

I found a company that always keeps the well-being and work-life balance of their employees in mind.”

 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about applying for an open role on your team?

What I look for when interviewing is proactiveness, a hands-on approach and the ability to be a great team player. With the independence and freedom our account managers have to deal with the daily workload, we need to have people who really identify with our mission of giving the best possible experience to our clients and collaborate with the team to keep improving every single aspect of client retention. I recommend candidates highlight the ways they have taken an extra step to help a client or their team and how they have managed to come up with innovative and efficient client-focused solutions.

 

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