As of today, the 700+ active Lithuanian startups employ 16,400 specialists, which is 18% more than a year ago, and 3% more than last quarter.
“The rate of employment in the technology sector is slowing down, as priorities shift in the direction of sustainable business growth and job security. This is an opportunity for Lithuania, where a significant part of startups is oriented specifically towards profitability and growth that relies on the company’s own capital, rather than on external investment. This decision might impede achieving the maximum speed of growth, but also helps startups to survive unfavourable economic conditions,” noted Inga Langaitė, CEO of Unicorns Lithuania.
According to Unicorns Lithuania, the average salary in startups is currently €3,200 (gross), which is a 14% increase year on year. Employees are also being offered a variety of benefits, such as stock options, health insurance, more days off, unlimited training budget, opportunities to work remotely, workations, mental wellness app subscriptions, free snacks, house cleaning services, etc.
“That being said, talent is unanimous in prioritising work that generates value, an environment and colleagues that allows employees to develop, a competitive salary, and a clearly laid out career advancement path. These allow specialists working at startups to stay one step ahead of their peers, and to make a change right here in Lithuania that’s felt by millions around the world,” Inga Langaitė said.
Vinted: “We’re ready to fast-track the employment of qualified specialists”
In 2023, Vinted – the first unicorn in Lithuania, and Europe’s largest second-hand marketplace – plans to retain its ambitious growth rate, creating hundreds of new jobs primarily in Lithuania, Berlin, Amsterdam, and elsewhere.
“The current economic conditions bring many new opportunities – for some time now, we’ve been observing how, following a period of unsustainable expansion, Western tech companies have begun downsizing. Both we, and other technology enterprises whose business models haven’t been strongly affected by these conditions, on the other hand, are ready to employ qualified specialists pretty much immediately. Most new hires – around a third – will be in tech-related fields, such as programmers, cyber-security experts, data scientists, product managers, etc.,” said Ieva Kuniejūtė, Head of Vinted’s Tech Talent Acquisition.
According to her, in 2022, Vinted expanded into three new markets – Slovakia, Hungary, and Sweden, as well as introduced a new shipping business called Vinted Go. It’s no surprise that expansion has also been reflected in the number of employees – in 2022, Vinted hired over 500 new colleagues.
The largest startups in Lithuania are continuing their search for hundreds of talented specialists and planning for sustainable growth.
Nord Security offers 200 vacancies, mostly in Lithuania
Head of Personnel at the cyber-security firm Nord Security, Karina Dirvonskienė, also sees the ongoing market downturn as an opportunity for as-yet-undiscovered ideas, such as attracting foreign talent to Lithuania.
“We’re currently experiencing a major shortage of tech talent, particularly of cyber-security experts, developers, testers, data scientists, and digital marketing specialists,” Ms. Dirvonskienė lists the types of specialists her company is looking for.
According to her, prospective employees have recently been taking the initiative into their own hands. “This year, we’ll mostly be hiring in Lithuania, where our head office is located, and because we’d like to contribute to its economic growth by creating new jobs. However, Lithuania is short on talent, especially in complex technical fields. We also have an office in Germany and have been hiring in Poland and other countries. At the end of last year, we had over 1,300 employees, which is 40% more than in 2021. This year, we plan to continue growing, and currently have 200 vacancies,” said Ms. Dirvonskienė.
Surfshark to look for 100 new hires, primarily marketing specialists
Beatričė Leikaitė, Head of Personnel at the cyber-security company Surfshark, says that employers are currently less active in looking for employees, and the latter are less willing to change jobs, instead prioritising sustainable business growth and stable, as well as secure, employment.
“Up until recently, we’ve been growing at break-neck speed – and have even started hiring new people “up front” to meet the demands of such rapid expansion. This year, growth will likely be more temperate, although our main objective will remain unchanged – low employee turnover and high employee retention. Over the course of 2023, we plan to hire about 100 specialists in different fields. We have no plans for downsizing, mass lay-offs, or suspension of hiring,” she said.
Apart from jobs for expert technologists, most vacancies at Surfshark are currently in the marketing department. For instance, the company is looking for content creators and userbase expansion specialists.
700+ active Lithuanian startups employ 16,400 specialists, which is 18% more than a year ago.
Codigi plans to grow by 60%, Kilo Health – by 40%
Karolina Bakanauskaitė, HR partner of the IT consultancy firm Codigi, mentioned that even though growth in 2022 was slower than expected, things are beginning to move again – organisations are approving new budgets and investing in product development. For this reason, the plan is to grow Codigi’s small team by nearly 60%.
“Our main specialist group consists of experienced software development and quality assurance engineers, whose increased activity we can see on the market today. Although we’re a relatively small and young company, attracting candidates has recently been much easier than before. In my view, this is determined by the reduced number of vacancies on the market and the decision of some companies to optimise their costs. Palpable insecurity is forcing them to look for changes,” she said.
A roughly 40% growth is also planned by the health tech company Kilo Health, which said goodbye to 2022 with a 700-strong team of specialists. Just like last year, IT and marketing experts are the most in demand. According to Ilona Bernotaitė, Head of HR at Kilo Health, the company is now opening new offices both in Lithuania and abroad to accommodate its rapidly growing team.
Hostinger and Omnisend choose sustainable growth
Unlike the other companies mentioned so far, the professional hosting services scale-up Hostinger isn’t planning any sudden increase or reduction of its workforce this year. The main goal for 2023 will be to maintain and nurture its talent, strengthen its teams, and invest in employee well-being.
Sustainable growth has also been on the mind of Justina Raškauskienė, Senior HR Manager of the marketing automation company Omnisend: “During Q1 of last year, we grew very rapidly and hired 24 new employees. With that, we’ve reached maturity as far as our workforce, meaning that hiring now takes place more sustainably, based on actual need. Our focus remains on retaining customers by ensuring their needs. We have all that we need to grow our business and talent pool sustainably”.
Omnisend currently needs product development specialists the most, including engineering team leads, programmers, product managers, and customer service specialists.