With Leeds Digital Job Fair just days away, we got to thinking about the businesses we’d love to work for – and these 7 are right up there at the top of the list.
Leeds’ digital and tech sector is growing at a rapid pace, with 3,500 businesses calling the city home – but which one would you want to work for? We found ourself pondering that very question this week, and managed to whittle the list down to just 7. These businesses are interesting, innovative and ruddy good places to work – keep reading, you’ll soon see what we mean, but be warned, you might find yourself wanting a career change.
NHS Digital are on the up and up. They’ve just moved into new offices, giving them a blank canvas to create a really cool place to work. The decor of their new digs reflects the ethos of the company itself, with a focus on collaboration, visibility and transparency in everything they do.
But it’s not just the location that makes us covet a job at NHS Digital. They deliver national IT infrastructure and systems for the whole country, and they do it with real passion, using cutting edge technology on a huge scale to make health services better, while saving the NHS some serious cash. Who wouldn’t be passionate about that?
The internet is the first port of call for just about everything these days, so it’s essential for companies to get their business seen on Google – and that’s something Branded3 do very well indeed. They’re at the forefront of search marketing, with offices in Soho, Bath and of course, Leeds – the latter has a games room, fresh fruit and Nespresso coffee machine, as well as ice-cold drinks, ready for their 4pm beer-o-clock Fridays.
They work with a host of big name clients, including Ladbrokes, Vue Entertainment and Virgin Holidays – doing the kind of campaigns that are really fun to work on. Even better, employees get the chance to volunteer abroad, and in the past, they’ve done everything from diving off the coast of South Africa to trekking in the jungles of Nepal. How’s that for a perk?
To start with, we’re just going to tell you what they do – Leidos is a global science and technology solutions company working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in civil, defence, intelligence and homeland security. Admit it, that sounds cool. And it is.
They have a great culture, with a community of experts coming up with new and innovative ideas. They also have various initiatives in place to keep everyone happy and motivated – take their Ministry of Fun for example, it has a dedicated budget, which has already been used to setup a PS4 gaming challenge between the UK sites. If you’re a developer, you can also make the most of their code club, where you can work on your own innovations, with pizza, of course.
Cocoon is one of our personal favourites. It’s a Leeds start-up built on a piece of tech that’s set to revolutionise the way we protect our homes. Their alarm system is integrated with a mobile app, which means they have an eclectic mix of digital and tech roles. They’re really passionate about what they do and have a great team atmosphere with a focus on getting stuff done and having a great time doing it.
You probably wouldn’t expect a start-up to offer many perks, but they do. Alongside the free tea, coffee and jellybeans, you’ll get a book budget, flexible working and a free Cocoon. You’ll also be working in a beautiful converted grain warehouse, with views over the river – and Calls Landing will be your local. Bonus.
AQL is the ‘communications engine’ behind some of the fastest growing brands and apps, built on the simple logic that if it’s boring or repetitive, you should automate it – and that means you get to do less of the grunt work and more of the fun stuff. Although they’ve grown rapidly, they still have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, so blue sky thinking is encouraged and they’ll support it, even if it means you need to leave the company to follow your own dreams.
Their HQ is the Grade II listed Salem Chapel, which means you’ll be in a unique working environment, with a mixture of original features and new tech. They have a vast array of opportunities, with loads of potential to develop – and you can do some really cool stuff. For example, their tech operators could find themselves working on anything from a telecoms system responsible for emergency services routing to an atomic clock providing the time to 0.0000000001 second accuracy. They also have their own, fully licensed bar and chill-out space on site.
Ten10 is another one that’s just really gosh-darned cool. They’re the UK’s leading software testing company, which means you could try the latest software developments before anyone else, taking them through their paces to help find bugs, improve functionality and give clients a competitive advantage.
It’s not just the work itself that makes us want to sack off our day job though – Ten10 offer a host of perks to liven up the 9-to-5, including flexi-time, subsidised gym membership, bonuses, monthly social events, football teams and the chance to have a go at events like Tough Mudder. They also have their own version of Dragons’ Den, so everyone can put forward an idea to help improve the business and its services.
Sky Betting & Gaming
Last but not least is Sky Betting & Gaming. It’s a young, forward thinking company with tech at its heart – just last month, it was named one of Yorkshire’s tech unicorns and it’s also one of the fastest growing tech companies in the UK, valued at over $1 billion. They have an open, transparent ethos, with ‘Roulette Wheel’ catch-ups that give you a chance to hear from the leadership team, ask questions and make suggestions.
That’s not the only benefit to working here though. You’ll get free fruit to fend off those afternoon energy slumps, with a Friday Beer Fridge that will give you a chance to get to know your ‘tribe’ over a beer or two. Let’s not forget their Tech Ninja award either – all their employees get £1,000 to spend on anything that will help them develop their expertise, be it a conference in Chicago or a new piece of kit. And all this goes on in their super chic offices at Wellington Place, with colourful break out areas, pool tables and stunning views.Cover image copyright Contakt Photography. Second image copyright Hey!