How a tech company CEO’s politics impacts the decision of potential hires


SpaceX, Netflix, Hulu, and the “inspirational” Elon Musk get the highest ratings in their categories, revealed Hired’s 2020 Brand Health Report.

Image: iStock/Andrei Stanescu

Given the economical and social climate of the US, it shouldn’t be surprising that 54% of job-seeking tech workers believe that the company CEO’s political beliefs have a “strong” or “very strong” impact on their decision to accept a job with that company. 

Hired has just released its 2020 Brand Health Report, and, in addition to revealing how important subordinates consider the political leanings of enterprise leaders, it focuses on where tech pros want to work, as well as how businesses can keep their top talent. 

The report points out that when CEO Jack Dorsey openly spoke about his political views, his Twitter and Square companies saw a boost in employer brand. For 2020, Twitter went from No. 15 in 2019 to No. 8 and Square made its debut on the list at No. 11. Another example is when Stripe CEO Patrick Collison called on corporate America to speak out against the Chinese government’s crimes against Uighur Muslims; After Collison made his comments, Stripe jumped from No. 9 in 2019 to No. 4 in 2020.

SEE: COVID-19 workplace policy (TechRepublic Premium) 

Spark candidates’ interest

Before worrying about keeping their most valued workers, companies need to know how a recruiter can engage and persuade top talent. The report determines: 

Best recruitment strategies

  1. Salary range upfront
  2. A friend or former colleague works there
  3. Well-known company
  4. A personalized message
  5. A reputation for being so responsible

Hired stressed that companies need to be transparent with salary data right off the bat. For both the business and the potential employee, it warned not to underestimate the value of a good referral. Going outside the recruiting circle of the company is also recommended, letting colleagues know if they know anyone who might be a great fit for an open position.

Candidates are most motivated to accept an offer based on compensation (base salary), opportunity to learn new skills, the company culture and leadership, as well as taking on challenging technical problems to solve.

Top 20 global employer brands

The report revealed the top 20 Global Employer Brands by using the Brand Positivity Index (BPI)—the more candidates interested in working for the company, the higher the company’s BPI score.

The top-ranked private companies and their BPI scores

  1. SpaceX 75
  2. Gitlab 72
  3. Airbnb 69
  4. Stripe 66
  5. Hulu 64
  6. Reddit 62
  7. Kickstarter 57
  8. Robinhood 54
  9. Jet Propulsion Lab 50
  10. Bloomberg 50
  11. Coinbase 49
  12. Quora 48
  13. Instacart 47
  14. Squarespace 47
  15. Indeed 46
  16. Hyperloop One 42
  17. PBS 41
  18. Whole Foods 41
  19. NPR 40
  20. Figma 36

Top-ranked public employer brands in top markets 

  1. Netflix 86
  2. Github 85
  3. Google 84
  4. Slack 81
  5. Microsoft 78
  6. Apple 77
  7. Tesla 74
  8. Twitter 73
  9. LinkedIn 72
  10. Square 65
  11. Amazon 64
  12. Shopify 63
  13. Adobe 62
  14. Facebook 60
  15. Lyft 57
  16. The Walt Disney Co. 57
  17. BBC 52
  18. Salesforce 50
  19. New York Times 48

Top-ranked private employer brands in top markets

  • Hulu, Los Angeles
  • SF Bay area, Google
  • Seattle, Microsoft
  • Denver, Twilio SendGrid
  • Austin, Atlassian
  • Toronto, shopify
  • Chicago, Braintree, a PayPal service
  • Boston, iRobot
  • New York, Squarespace
  • Washington, D.C., Capital One
  • London, Monzo 

What top tech talent want

Tech talent are, of course, going to look for a company with a high BPI, but the Hired report provides reasons companies may be overlooked—and should be rectified if they want to compete for the best tech professionals.

Hired’s report stressed that “transparency is key to showing commitment to” diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) and here’s how candidates responded:

  • 49% Provide transparent salary data for every role, to ensure equitable pay
  • 25% Publish annual diversity reports, outlining the makeup of its team
  • 11% Have at least one woman and on person of color in its C-suite
  • 11% Have company-funded employee resource groups
  •  6% Have at least one woman and one person of color on its board. 

Respondents were asked if remote work helped companies build a diversified staff, and 45% said “very strongly,” and 33% said “strongly.”

Zoom fatigue, the report said, was very real and 31% topped off virtual meetings at two hours (the maximum time they’re willing to spend on video calls). 

Potential employees are turned off by a poor repetition, company culture, compensation and benefits, not interested in their product, not interested in their mission, lack of social responsibility, not enough information about the company can be found, lack of diversity, and the size of the company.

Hired recommends that a company’s marketing team raise brand awareness consistently, and use different methods, as well as “create collateral to illustrate your company’s culture.” The report suggests videos of recent gatherings virtual or in-person and internal newsletters that acknowledge team winners. These methods, the report assures, go a long way to assure a job candidate that there is a positive company culture.

Most inspiring tech leaders, as chosen by report respondents

  1. Elon Musk
  2. Sundar Pichai
  3. Jeff Bezos
  4. Tim Cook
  5. Jack Dorsey
  6. Mark Zuckerberg
  7. Sheryl Sandberg
  8. Reed Hastings
  9. Susan Wojcicki
  10. Marc Benioff

Methodology

Hired asked “thousands of software developers, product managers, designers and data scientists to rank the companies they’d most like to work for.”

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