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Recruiting Secrets of Austin’s Best Places to Work

recruiting secrets abj best places

What are the recruiting secrets of Austin’s top employers? The Austin Business Journal has named Austin’s Best Places to Work in 2022, and the list offers example after example of what it takes to recruit and retain the best-of-the-best Austin talent.

We’re thrilled that The HT Group made the list again because it’s no small feat. “Every year we make the list, we consider it a remarkable achievement,” says The HT Group Founder and CEO Mark Turpin. “The selection process includes anonymously surveying employees, and, if you know our high-performing recruiters, you know that impressing them isn’t easy to do. Earning their praise means everything.”

These top Austin employers embrace a predominant theme each year regarding attracting and retaining workers. In 2022, that theme is centered around keeping employees happy and engaged during what’s been called the Great Resignation. Their common success in one word: benefits.

We spotted some of our favorite fellow Austin businesses on the list, and we know first-hand what great employers these businesses are. Here are the recruiting secrets they shared with ABJ:


“In 2022, we launched a new flexible time-off (FTO) policy, with no annual cap, that encourages all employees to take regular time off, with the expectation that they take at a minimum of two full weeks during the calendar year,” explained AlertMedia, the world’s leading threat intelligence and emergency communication provider. “Providing employees with time to rest and recharge has been a critical part of our benefits philosophy for years and a guiding principle for our previous PTO policy.”

Setting those expectations with employees is essential. Employees with paid time off (PTO) that’s offered in an undefined, unstructured way tend to take less time off than average. “It’s imperative that employees…take the time they need and truly unplug for personal time. With our new FTO policy, employees have been taking more of the time they need — and they [can] bring their best selves to work as a result,” AlertMedia added.  


Home finance company Homeward switched its benefits providers to better care for employees while adding more company holidays like Juneteenth, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day.

“In addition, because our workforce is fully remote, we now offer a work from home stipend that allows our employees to purchase equipment they need to perform their jobs well,” they told ABJ. It’s the kind of touch that makes a big difference. While the self-employed can take a tax deduction for their home office and equipment, employees no longer have that allowance from the IRS. Remote work stipends can help ease that financial burden and encourage employees who work from home to build a healthy and productive environment for themselves.

Unorthodox Ventures

This venture capital company doesn’t just offer your average run-of-the-mill perks. In addition to providing free food and drink and an on-site gym and lounge, they invest in cultural enrichment.

“To that end, we pay for courses to help employees learn a second language of their choosing and support their travels to countries speaking that language,” they said. It’s a smart move, as studies show learning other languages can improve cultural awareness (thus supporting diversity initiatives) and may even decrease stress and improve cognitive functioning like math skills and memory.

The Zebra

Insurance comparison site The Zebra offers some of the country’s most comprehensive insurance plans, 401(k) matching, unlimited PTO, remote-optional work arrangements, and parental leave policies.

“In fact, parents of a newborn or adopted child receive 20 weeks of paid leave (or 16 weeks if they’re a secondary caregiver) and $5,000 [in] ‘baby cash,’” ABJ writes. “Pet parents also receive perks, with pet adoption assistance (up to $300 per year).”

Each employee also receives a generous monthly wellness stipend, mental health or remote work support, bi-monthly lunches, monthly curated snack boxes, “and early-release Fridays with ‘office’ closure at 2 pm to get a head-start on the weekend.”

Open Lending

Automated lending company Open Lending made ABJ’s Fast 50 list for seven consecutive years before going public in 2020. It’s now a fixture on top workplace lists. Why? Perhaps it’s their willingness to trust their employees and try new perks.  

“We recently implemented unlimited PTO, and it has quickly become a favorite benefit,” they told ABJ. “It allows employees the freedom to take time off when they need it without worrying about running out of days.”

The HT Group

We have some recruiting secrets, too! ABJ quips, “Mark Turpin and his team are continually on this stage every year…[encouraging] employees to be fun, open, honest and winning.” It’s true! The HT Group gets a front-row seat to what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to recruiting and retention. When we spot a promising perk, we’re not afraid to try it ourselves.

“The pressure of the past few years is creating diamonds among employers,” Turpin says. “The best of the best employers—the ones who pay well, provide a great culture, and really, truly respect their employees—are rising to the top. We love being in the forefront of helping these employers and top job seekers alike find their talent matches in ways neither thought could be achievable.”

Capstone Title

Here’s a winning combination: monthly training lunches, regular team-building event opportunities and team volunteer opportunities, production bonuses, profit sharing, higher education tuition reimbursement, annual offsite retreats, unlimited paid time off, book sharing, health/dental/vision insurance, 401(k) matching and more. It’s all at Capstone Title.

This long list of benefits is unique because they make it all work with a small staff of 18. Goes to show you that companies of any size can offer highly competitive perks. It just takes a group of caring, dedicated and creative executives to understand the importance and to make it happen.

It’s a tough market out there for Austin employers. We’d love to share more recruiting secrets to help you strike recruiting and retention gold, just as these employers have. Drop us a line today.