Back in March, a company called Zapier made headlines when it announced it would pay $10,000 in moving expenses for new employees to leave the expensive San Francisco Bay Area – the opposite of how it usually works.
Now, Zapier CEO Wade Foster tells Business Insider that interest in working for the company has never been higher, with a sustained 30% increase in applications since the creation of this so-called “delocation package.”
And yet, Foster says, there’s a “funny” aspect: while the company has made 10 new hires since March, only one of them is from the San Francisco Bay Area – and she hasn’t decided whether or not she’s going to take the money and leave Silicon Valley behind, says Foster.
Zapier provides a way for various office software and web services to connect with each other – for instance, automatically copying every new Gmail attachment into a Dropbox folder. Recently, Zapier revealed that it was on a $20 million annualized run rate (ARR), a measure of how much revenue it’s on track to generate this year.
The delocation package wasn’t anything personal against San Francisco – Foster has long held that he wants people to work from wherever they’re most comfortable, rather than feel stuck in the Silicon Valley tech scene.
More than anything, the delocation package attracted a lot of applicants who were drawn to Zapier’s philosophy around remote work, says Foster. All 85-plus Zapier employees work remotely from wherever they are. While Zapier’s co-founders are all based in the Silicon Valley area, the company doesn’t maintain any permanent office.
So while the $10,000 offer got Zapier some attention, it’s really those practices that are driving the uptick in applications.
Those applicants come from all over, too, with one of the new hires based out of Croatia. To Foster’s mind, it’s more about making sure applicants are happy, wherever they happen to be. If that San Francisco-based new hire wants to go, or stay, it’s up to her and whatever she wants.
“It’s her choice,” says Foster. “That’s the beauty of remote work.”