Cool work perks at Australia’s top start-ups

 

Exclusive: Australian start-ups are luring workers by offering jawdropping incentives such as unlimited leave, in-house chefs, free university and no dress codes for joining them.

Online job platformLinkedInhas revealed Australia's top 25 start-ups list, which is dominated by new companies specialising in banking, education, cosmetics and renewables.

Neobanks - banks that are completely online - and challenger banks (smaller retail banks) also made the list, after recruiting the nation's top banking staff in the wake of the royal commission.

Xinja’s Van Le, Eric Wilson and Peta Ryan at their offices in Sydney. Employees at the firm get iunliiumted annual leave and can wear whatever they like. Picture: James Croucher
Xinja’s Van Le, Eric Wilson and Peta Ryan at their offices in Sydney. Employees at the firm get iunliiumted annual leave and can wear whatever they like. Picture: James Croucher

Challenger Judo Bank took the No. 1 spot, knocking off online graphic design company Canva, which is now worth $1 billion.

Judo Bank co-founder Chris Bayliss told News Corp the best of the best want to work for him because they're set up like a big bank, but focus on helping small and medium-sized businesses where the giants fall short.

"Talent attracts talent, when you run a company with a serious board and serious investors then serious bankers want to come and work for you and magic happens," he said.

Judo Bank co-founders (l-r) Alex Twigg, Kate Keenan, Tim Alexander, David Hornery, Joseph Healy, Chris Bayliss, Malcolm Hiscock and Jacqui Colwell. Picture: Supplied
Judo Bank co-founders (l-r) Alex Twigg, Kate Keenan, Tim Alexander, David Hornery, Joseph Healy, Chris Bayliss, Malcolm Hiscock and Jacqui Colwell. Picture: Supplied

 

Luke Bunbury and Steve Weston are the co-founders of Volt Bank. Picture: Hollie Adams
Luke Bunbury and Steve Weston are the co-founders of Volt Bank. Picture: Hollie Adams

Mr Bayliss, a former NAB retail executive works with his co-CEO David Horney, who has held senior roles at NAB and ANZ previously.

"The other thing a start-up can do that the big banks cannot is try to embed the mindset of an entrepreneur," he said, adding Judo provides staff with an equity incentive, five weeks annual leave and education advancement.

Fifth on the list is mobile bank Xinja, the brainchild of ex-NAB executive Eric Wilson, who has employed about 90 staff since he quit his job two and a half years ago.

The 100 per cent digital neobank launched to customers only nine months ago but has already shaken up the banking sector.

Xinja employees get unlimited annual leave, free meals anytime of day and they can wear whatever they like to work.

Employees are also allowed to invest in the bank.

"You can't expect someone to work their guts out in order to make you rich," he said.

Mr Wilson said his ultimate goal is to make banking a "force of good again" after many years of evil.

Xinja is the brainchild of ex-NAB executive Eric Wilson. Picture: Supplied
Xinja is the brainchild of ex-NAB executive Eric Wilson. Picture: Supplied

He said he also wants to foster a workplace that takes care of its staff.

"We treat our staff like grown ups, people can take unlimited leave where all we ask is that it doesn't impact customers or their team," he said.

"Everyone laughed when I started but getting people to take time off is hard when they are so committed," he said, adding he's had some employees take a few months off to recharge.

"I love seeing them come back invigorated and regenerated," he said.

And it's not only new-generation banks who are giving their trusting employees the red carpet treatment.

Canva offers staff flexible hours, equity in the business, in-house chefs, personal coaching with training workshops provided by Canva University and a dog-friendly office.

Meanwhile, tech consultancy company Mantel Group which came in at fourth place, allows their staff bespoke work conditions based on personal life and career goals.

They do not rate people or undertake traditional performance management.

Instead, they set clear expectations, provide feedback and support to help them deliver in their roles.

It also has a woman involved in every stage of the interview process to help and encourage more women to work in the technology sector.

Vu Tran is the co-founder of Sydney based start-up GO1. Picture: Supplied
Vu Tran is the co-founder of Sydney based start-up GO1. Picture: Supplied

Online learning company GO1, who ranked 19th, focus on employee health and wellbeing to get the best out of their staff.

Co-Founder Vu Tran said a safe and supportive workplace means healthier employees, better performance and productivity.

"This is all the more critical given the global skills shortage, and the challenge many start-ups face in attracting the right people," Mr Tran said.

AUSTRALIA'S TOP START-UPS 2019

1. Judo Bank - NeoBank - Sydney

2. Canva - Graphic Design - Sydney

3. Volt Bank - NeoBank - Sydney

4. Mantel Group - Tech consultancy - Melbourne

5. Xinja - NeoBank - Sydney

6. Athena Home Loans - Finance - Sydney

7. Shippit - Delivery - Sydney

8. Viridian Advisory - Finance - Melbourne

9. Assembly Payments - Online Payments - Melbourne

10. Sonder - Safety - Sydney

11. Flare HR - Software - Sydney

12. Alex Solutions - Data management - Melbourne

13. Integrity Life - Insurance - Sydney

14. Moula - Finance - Melbourne

15. Verdia - Renewable energy - Sydney

16. Versent - Data management - Sydney

17. GetCapital - Finance - Sydney

18. RedEye Apps - Asset management - Brisbane

19. GO1 - Online learning - Sydney

20. Barhead Solutions - Consulting firm - Sydney

21. Cover Genius - Insurance Sydney

22. Enable Professional Services - Software - Sydney

23. Clinic to Cloud - Software - Sydney

24. HiSmile - Teeth whitening - Gold Coast

25. LegalVision - Law firm - Sydney

List provided by LinkedIn Australia

*Eligible companies are privately held, capped at seven years old and with a minimum of 100 employees.