Thanks to media and the headline-grabbing office quirks of industry giants like Google, tech culture’s reputation precedes it. Jobseekers perceive tech companies as fast-paced, innovative places to work, and many assume a “work hard, play hard” attitude is a necessity. These preconceptions have a major impact on employer brand, as Klook’s Marilyn Yee knows well.
Yee serves as Senior Manager of Global Employer Branding and People Communications at Klook, a travel tech company. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, she’s an expert on what tech demands from leadership. Employer branding, Yee reminds us, is a long game—even in a field that embraces rapid growth.
Tech culture isn’t a monolith, but there are a few characteristics that unite most tech workplaces. These characteristics inform employer brand, what being a “culture fit” means at a particular company, and who self-selects to apply.
Moving fast is one of those characteristics. “If you’re someone who gets bored easily, or you love a challenge, consider a career in tech,” Yee says. “Change is the only constant. It’s like an organized mess every day.”
Another is the tendency for teams to skew young. At many top tech companies, the median age of employees falls in the late 20s. While those in management positions tend to be slightly older, tech employees above the age of 50 are in the minority.
Tech also has a different relationship to diversity. According to Yee, a diverse team is a must-have, rather than a nice-to-have. “If you’re building global products,” she says, “you need diversity of perspective.”