Taxify CEO Markus Villig

One of the core principles of the economy is that risk and reward must be in balance. Joining a new company usually means smaller salary for the employer, but company shares in return and, therefore, higher compensation in the long term.

Over the last decade, more and more IT firms have succeeded, because the software development is easier, servers can be rented from clouds and more capital and know-how is available. In Estonia, many start-ups have managed to build companies worth hundreds of millions of Euros, whereby, many talents see that the potential to earn more money in the future outweighs the short-term drop in wages.

For instance, all employees in Taxify are eligible for company shares that, with rapid growth, may be worth up to 30 annual salaries. The purpose of this is to motivate employees to think like owners and focus on the longer perspective instead of monthly targets like on “ordinary” positions.

Secondly, there are thousand of jobs in the market, which offer two or even three times higher salaries than average. For people with that kind of income, extra 300€ will not bring a remarkable improvement in the life quality, therefore, the company’s mission becomes much more important.

After interviewing hundreds of candidates, I have noticed that people care rather about how their work affects people’s lives and how they can make a difference in the world. Typically, people set working in a casino, instant loan firm or even bank as an example of an establishment they do not want to work in, because these establishments are perceived as usury at the expense of ordinary people. Instead, they prefer companies, whose values and vision they can relate to.

Thirdly, it’s increasingly important for people to have a chance for personal development. Bigger companies struggle to provide it as the structure is already well-established and most of the positions already filled. In a start-up, everyone has much greater responsibility and along with the growth, new positions open up, where people can learn new things. 

Based on my experience, I can confidently say that it pays off to give a chance to young people. For instance, people in Taxify have moved on from being a customer support specialist to head accountant and expansion manager.

Another advantage start-ups have is a flexible structure between employers and team leaders that promotes sharing ideas and opinions inside the company. This way employees can contribute to topics not specifically related to their tasks. Fresh ideas may come from anyone. Considering employee’s suggestions and feedback promotes both the growth of the company, as well as personal development for people.