Business

Company Perks Are the New Lure for Startup Employees

any-1Pay and location will always matter when considering a job, but perks matter too. While great perks have been confined to giant companies or the most well-funded startups, now any company can offer them. It’s a potent new way to attract talent.

San Francisco-based AnyPerk sets out to level the perk playing field by providing smaller companies with access to benefits traditionally offered only by giants like Google. Smaller companies including Pinterest and Pandora are using AnyPerk to offer employees deals and to promote company welfare. For $5 per employee per month, AnyPerk customers can reward workers with discounts for AMC movie tickets, DIRECTV, and more.

Founded last March by entrepreneurs Taro Fukuyama and Atsu Takahashi, co-founders of smartphone ad-network company Nobot, and Sunny Tsang, AnyPerk already has more than 2,500 clients, and is expanding its reach beyond San Francisco to Kansas, Utah, and Arizona.

The company recently traised $1.4 million. Techonomy spoke with AnyPerk’s Director of Business Development, Fernando Campos, about perks and how they benefit business.

What makes AnyPerk relevant to market needs?

The Googles and the Apples have many perks and that’s part of the reason it’s so great to work at such companies. Small- and medium-sized companies weren’t able to provide that same experience for their employees. We’re able to help startups match that experience for former Google and Apple employees, for example, who want that same type of experience when [they] join. We work with national partners in fitness and entertainment and travel. These companies are using us as a great way to recruit and retain their employees; they’re able to enjoy VIP treatment at a smaller company.

Do perks attract a particular demographic?

When we started, it was definitely very tech-focused. But now we are getting companies coming onboard from different industries like finance, law, and accounting. For a lot of companies, the most important asset is their people—that’s what they’re investing in. So if we can help reduce turnover and bolster employee morale, then it’s really an investment for any company that values their workforce.

What is the relationship between AnyPerk and the perks that are offered? What criteria do you consider before agreeing to offer a certain perk?

We want to make sure we’re not creating clutter and are creating value for our customer base. We work 100 percent on a request basis; our clients say, “Hey, I love this kickboxing gym right across from my office,” and we reach out to them. Perks have to have real usefulness.

Everything is long-term. We’re not like coupon sites [that offer] a flash deal. Everything is a long-term partnership. You get the same rate today that you get six months down the line. That kind of consistency is important for employees.

What are your favorite perks?

Grubwithus is a really cool service where you buy a seat at a dinner for say 8 or 10 people and you meet complete strangers. I did it in New York. I went and met a bunch of people who were entrepreneurs, sales guys, or engineers in different industries.

Another one of my favorites is CEO Chef. A company’s employees can go to a partner hotel and rent out their kitchen. It’s like Top Chef meets the working world. We do cooking challenges, so an engineering team might work with a marketing team to help with team-building.

Equinox is really popular. They’re a great partner because they do a lot of corporate wellness. For some of the bigger clients, they will go on-site and do health training.

What does AnyPerk’s future look like?

Long term, we will definitely continue expanding. Right now, we have 9 major categories, from entertainment, fitness, travel, beauty, to telecom. We’re going to be bringing in strategic partners that are the best in their own specific areas and incorporating that into our platform.

There will be a lot of stuff for morale. We’re starting to add a lot of team-building because we’ve realized that it’s a huge part of startup life.

In a traditional company your office manager or HR plans an event for a team. But what’s cool about AnyPerk is that every employee has their own account. Let’s say your sales team exceeds its goals for the month. The head of the sales team can take the whole team go-karting or paintballing through the platform.

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