The Austin Business Journal has announced the winners in its 2021 Best Places to Work in Austin. This year—above all—we’re thrilled that The HT Group made the cut.
“We’ve always been extremely humbled to make the Austin’s Best Places to Work list because the selection process involves anonymously surveying employees,” says The HT Group Founder and CEO Mark Turpin. The HT Group also earned a national Great Place to Work® Certification for 2021 based on employee feedback. “Our team is given full access to judge the organization on attributes like trust in leadership and communication. Many of our employees are high-performing recruiters—they don’t pull any punches—so earning their praise means everything.”
The Austin Business Journal will unveil the final ranking of the winners and more information about what makes them great places to work in July. Winners will be divided into four categories based on their size.
Gaining a spot this year, in particular, is a special honor for Austin employers.
“Amid titanic shifts in how we live and work — from widespread adoption of working from home to new ways of supporting essential workers — these 71 companies stood out for their commitment to employee satisfaction,” writes Will Anderson, managing editor of the Austin Business Journal.
The HT Group saw the seismic pandemic work-shift as a challenge that our staffing, recruiting, and workforce management expertise could uniquely help solve.
“Our mission has always been about changing lives,” says The HT Group Director of Operations Anne Walker. “It’s not a marketing catch-phrase; it’s a way of life for us. So, when the pandemic started, our leadership brainstormed how to help our community. We hired 75 people who lost their jobs due to the COVID crisis and assembled 30 C-suite executives into HT Cares!, as an advisory group to help area business leaders work through their back-to-work challenges.”
In addition to bringing bright minds together to solve problems, The HT Group took great care in giving its employees what they need to work through the pandemic, however they needed it.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach,” Walker adds. “Some staff wanted to return to the office as soon as possible because they were more productive there. Others needed help setting up their home offices so that they could be comfortable there. We provide access to mental health resources and continue to offer a hybrid work solution through the summer to make the transition from the pandemic as supportive as possible.”
While The HT Group was learning how to lead its workers through challenging times by directing their passion for helping others, what were other Austin employers doing to keep their employees engaged, safe, and happy?
The Zebra worked hard during the pandemic to keep employees’ best interests at heart. The Austin-based insurtech startup got creative with perks to improve work-from-home life, like $300 pet adoption cost coverage. And that’s above its already enviable list of employee benefits.
“The Zebra is the most generous place I’ve ever worked,” a current software engineer shared with Glassdoor. “[With] 16 weeks fully paid paternity leave, a truly flexible work schedule, etc. The company has adapted really well in the post-pandemic world, managing to transition from being a successful in-office business to a successful full-remote business during what was a very difficult time for everybody.”
Austin’s FreightPros also made the best places to work list, which has a lot to do with the company’s SUPERBAD core values. Despite the cheeky name, those values are positive ones and include Support (building trust by having the backs of the team and customers), Produce (ideas carried out by a culture of doers), Respect (promoting a friendly and compassionate attitude), Balance (working hard, having fun, giving back), and Develop (fostering personal growth and continued learning).
OJO Labs is another Austin company recognized for its great work environment. “OJO has an open and driven culture, and when you mix that with talented people, it’s a really great combination,” a marketing team member recently told Glassdoor. “OJO has a north star that matters, and the company lives and breathes it. Execs are accessible and supportive, and great ideas come from everywhere. There are frequent hackathons, and little to no ego.” The employee adds that, even when workers were remote during the pandemic, OJO Labs maintained a fun workplace with amazing perks including sending out fun “survival kits,” holding a Friday concert series, and offering company days/weeks off.
These employee-centered attributes are critical for attracting talent, but they’re also essential ingredients that bind workers together in difficult times.
“We hope our community never again see the challenges we faced this past year,” Turpin says. “But, for many Austin employers like ourselves, the pressure made our teams stronger while exposing areas we need to improve. For that, we’re grateful. And we’re here to help other employers take those lessons and grow from them, too.”
The HT Group fills roles in Temporary Staffing, Executive Search, Technical Recruiting, and Retained Search.
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