From apps used by the masses to safeguarding the internet, these tech businesses are the cream of the crop.
Leeds is a thriving hub for tech, with more and more top companies choosing to plant roots in the city. This opens up a whole host of opportunities for those in the industry, but who are the best companies to work for? We’ve dug into culture, growth, perks and innovation to bring you the best tech employers in the city. From fast-growing scaleups and emerging disruptors to well-established tech behemoths, these are the firms you need to keep an eye on.
Answer Digital is full-service digital agency with a difference – it’s employee-owned. As such, all staff are invested in the company journey and this unique set up helps define its culture and values. The team provides a wide range of services, from UX and user journey to design and development, and the client base spans sectors, with specialities in finance and healthcare. From shaping the NHS Covid pass to developing AI models that analyse medical test results, the work is exciting, innovative and highly rewarding.
There’s a huge focus on learning and development, with broad job roles allowing people to work across a range of technologies. With an ethos of ‘doing the right thing in the right way’, Answer prides itself on its collaborative environment and close-knit, supportive team. Fantastic perks include a twice-yearly tax-free bonus, family leave and sabbatical programme. You don’t need a degree to apply, either – there’s an in-house academy to provide outstanding training for entry-level starters, helping people get into tech from all walks of life.
Sky is one of the most aspirational tech companies to work for in Leeds. The team at its stunning Leeds Dock home are in charge of Sky’s web and mobile apps in the UK, Italy and Germany, stretching across Sports, News and Kids. You’ll find experts in all fields – UX developers, scrum masters, developers and more, all working collaboratively to power products used by millions of people every day. Not only is it immensely satisfying to work on such widely-used products, Sky also offers a fantastic environment to learn your trade.
And learn you will. In fact, everyone at Sky gets dedicated time to upskill, helping you fuel your personal development and get to grips with emerging technologies. When it comes to career progression, there’s huge scope. Performance is rewarded heartily, with room to progress at pace and take your career in any direction. There are plenty of perks, too – from the free Sky TV package to breakout areas with pool tables, not to mention the enviable waterfront location. This is definitely not your run-of-the-mill office job.
AND Digital is a digital consultancy firm, with 23 clubs around the UK and two overseas. In fact, they’ve got three clubs in Leeds alone. But you won’t get lost in a huge sea of employees, despite their enormous headcount. Each club boasts its own unique identity, with employees working autonomously, leading to strong colleague relationships. There’s a large amount of young talent within the company, so these close interpersonal relationships are crucial and result in a fantastic working atmosphere.
They help accelerate the digital capabilities of a whole host of world-class clients – British Airways, Conde Nast and Gousto, to name but a few. They use an innovative tech stack, which allows them to choose the best technologies for each project. There’s a huge focus on learning and development too – everyone gets 13 upskilling days per year, as well as a career coach to help drive personal growth. As for progression, it’s not time-sensitive – your ascension through the ranks can happen quickly, based on your performance.
The Oakland Group
The Oakland Group is a full-service data consultancy with a team of outstanding people at its core. This purpose-driven tech company works with many huge household names across Leeds and nationwide, including Network Rail, BBC and the NHS. Oakland is tech agnostic, which not only keeps them at the forefront of the massively-growing data industry, but also provides a great opportunity for junior and mid-level developers to gain experience across a broad range of areas before figuring out their speciality.
In addition to working with ethical clients on a whole host of highly interesting projects, you’ll enjoy a thriving culture, designed to help you flourish. One of the company’s core values is curiosity, which shines through in the form of thorough training and development, enabling you to move your career in the direction you wish. Ranked in the top 100 small businesses to work for by Best Companies, life at Oakland really is designed for its people, with each and every individual’s importance recognised and appreciated.
Cooperative Innovations is well and truly out of this world. The Leeds-based game development company specialises in all things virtual reality, centred around its own platform – it’s like WordPress for the Metaverse, a base on which anyone can build and launch their own virtual worlds. The team work on VR and AR projects for big name clients, building back-end and front-end systems to help companies enter the Metaverse, as well picking up varied non-games work such as automotive testing for McLaren.
It goes without saying that learning is at the heart of everything the company does. On top of extensive research and development, there are monthly training days and knowledge sharing sessions, helping all team members stay at the forefront of rapidly evolving technologies. There are plenty of perks to a career at Cooperative Innovations, with a healthy work-life balance prioritised across all levels. There’s flexible and remote working, as well as one Friday off every month, along with health insurance and childcare.
Panintelligence is a Leeds-based tech company providing embedded, no-code analytics solutions for SaaS companies across a wide range of sectors, from finance through to healthcare. Their innovative business intelligence platform allows customers to make real-time decisions from data, helping drive crucial business outcomes. They work with clients from across the globe, competing with tech behemoths such as Microsoft and Google. Needless to say, this puts the team in a really exciting and innovative space.
When hiring, it’s all about working to the strengths of the individual – roles are built around people, rather than people being dropped into set positions. This provides endless opportunities – you’ll have the chance to land in the business, discover your passions and navigate into a place that fits. There’s a huge focus on diversity and inclusion – the working environment is a safe space where you can bring your true authentic self. With plenty of community projects to get involved with, it’s definitely a place where you can make a difference.
Crisp, a Kroll business
Crisp, a Kroll business, is a real-time risk intelligence company that uses a combination of machine learning and AI to help protect brands, assets and people from reputational damage, security threats and online harms. One key role of the Crisp team is to work with social media platforms to prevent the sharing of harmful content – including everything from child exploitation to violent extremism. Working with partners, platforms and law enforcement, their technology can lead to the arrest of dangerous people.
In addition to using tech for good and helping make the internet a safer place for everyone, a career with Crisp offers a huge range of benefits. Named as the Top Tech Employer by Leeds Digital in 2022, the company is committed to investing in its people, recently giving all staff an above market salary increase to help with the increased cost of living. Their acquisition by global firm Kroll opens up even more opportunities for career development, making it an exciting time to join one of Leeds’ best tech companies.
Infinity Works, part of Accenture
Infinity Works has gone from strength to strength since being founded in Leeds back in 2014. Today, the company has over 650 team members working out of six UK hubs, has been acquired by tech behemoth Accenture and has been named by the Financial Times as one of the UK’s leading management consultants. The Infinity Works team provide everything from data transformation to full-stack engineering and have helped a diverse range of clients including cinch and Yorkshire Building Society.
Join the team and you’ll be nurtured from day one. A thriving academy helps people of all backgrounds to get into tech, and upon starting you’ll receive your own ‘people lead’, who’ll work with you to help develop your career. Infinity Works is well-known in Leeds for hosting events from its slick city-centre HQ, including the popular Women in Tech sessions. This female focus shines through its values, too – an equal gender split and outstanding maternity policy encourages women to take on tech roles and rise through the ranks.
The Data Shed
The Data Shed is one of Leeds’ most exciting tech companies. This award-winning data consultancy has been on an impressive growth trajectory, taking its clients and team members on an incredible journey since being founded back in 2012. Scaleups are a fantastic place to work if you like change – every day is different. This is especially true at a consultancy, where you’ll get chance to work alongside a whole host of clients, each posing different challenges across a wide range of platforms, languages and solutions.
Become a Shedder and you’ll get stuck into fascinating work for the likes of NHS Digital, Qantas and Hermes. There’s always the chance to learn something new – you’ll receive over ten upskilling days per year, as well as the chance to move around to different teams and learn from colleagues. Knowledge transfer is encouraged – there are regular open mics and stand ups, helping people share their new-found skills with their peers. If you’re looking to join a close-knit team and forge something special, be sure to take look at their careers page.
Force24’s automation platform is an innovative bit of tech that fits in with any marketing toolkit. Their industry-leading platform helps clients build and deliver highly personalised multi-channel campaigns in a matter of minutes. A devotion to product innovation, coupled with market-leading customer service, has helped them to build a base of around 700 clients, working with household names like Children in Need, all the way down to small local businesses. As such, the work is incredible varied – no two days are the same.
Their team is built as carefully as their product – all staff are trained in the platform, whether you work in finance, marketing or sales. A culture of learning and development puts knowledge sharing front and centre, which is crucial in a swift-moving startup environment. As one of the top 50 fastest-growing firms in the North, opportunities for progression and development are huge. If you’re looking to work with a top product and go toe-to-toe with tech giants on a daily basis under the guidance of a fantastic leadership team, Force24 is a great fit.
One of the veterans of Leeds’ tech scene, BJSS has been delivering outstanding solutions to the world’s leading companies for almost three decades. They’re committed to using tech for good, delivering genuinely groundbreaking projects such as using AI to improve the success rate of IVF screening and helping supermarkets reduce food waste. The opportunity to work on such fascinating projects and be exposed to a wide variety of work is not only infinitely rewarding, it’s fantastic for your own personal progression.
The acclaimed BJSS Academy offers a route into tech for people from a diverse range of backgrounds, with opportunities for apprentices and graduates, as well as career switchers and returners. A key focus on people and wellbeing is reflected in hybrid working, a flexible benefit allowance and a packed calendar of social and networking events. Looking to give back to the community? You can help upskill academy cohorts, get involved in pro-bono work and even protect the natural environment at the company’s very own hay meadow.
RapidSpike is a close-knit Leeds tech company with a global presence. Its handy SaaS toolkit essentially acts as an online mystery shopper, automatically scanning websites to help maintain performance and security. Specialising in sites with complex user journeys, such as eCommerce and ticket booking sites, they help debug problems in real-time, minimising disruption for their customers. With high profile clients like Kurt Geiger and NHS Digital’s Covid booking site, the work throws up varied challenges on a daily basis.
The company’s strong culture is underpinned by one key value – trust. Land a job here and you’ll enjoy a flexible working policy that offers autonomy, with team members encouraged to get on with their roles and work how they want to work. Annual well-being days provide a chance to undertake learning outside of your position. Looking to write a book, or become a football coach? You can use these paid days to pursue your passions. When it comes to hiring, it’s more about personality and balance rather than experience – attitude is everything.