The best tech companies to work for in Brazil - part one

We list the top Brazil-based technology employers sector professionals should know
1 of 6 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

Brazil has a range of jobs at top IT employers to choose from

Just as in many other large IT markets, Brazil has a vast ecosystem to tap into when it comes to employment options. From large tech multinationals to Brazilian companies with a strong local presence, Brazil has an array of prospective employers for locals and foreigners to choose from.

In this first installment of the best tech workplaces in Brazil, we list the top five companies to work for in the country, based on the annual ranking by the Institute Great Place to Work, including insider knowledge about some of the multinationals mentioned, provided exclusively to ZDNet by work intelligence platform Love Mondays.

Next week, we will list the remaining five top ten technology companies to work for in Brazil. 

2 of 6 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

1. Google

With 582 employees in Brazil, Google was voted best technology workplace in the country this year, for the second year running.

Company employees providing reviews of the company to work intelligence platform Love Mondays have said that benefits provided to staff at Google are "countless", ranging from free gym memberships to food, as well as better-than-average salaries and a work environment that fosters staff development. 

"It's a real pleasure to be able to work with people that are a lot smarter than you, but also very humble. There are lots of benefits but nothing compares to seeing the huge impact of your work in the large scheme of things," says an engineer working for Google in Brazil.

However, working for a company that is in the forefront of advancements in technology can sometimes be a little daunting:

"[Working at Google] can be a bit alarming at first, especially considering the vast amounts of information you have to absorb and the speed in which things change," a graduate at Google Brazil points out.

"There is a lot of competition in the workplace and the targets are very aggressive and you are seriously under pressure to deliver them," the graduate adds.

Google has a number of jobs currently available at its offices in the Brazilian cities of São Paulo and Belo Horizonte, with roles ranging from areas such as IT support, software engineering and technical consulting.

3 of 6 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

2. Acesso Digital

Acesso Digital is a Brazilian company that currently employs about 120 staff. Focusing on data digitization, the company was established in São Paulo in 2007 and also ranked by Deloitte as one of Brazil's top ten fastest growing SMEs in technology.

Founder Diego Torres Martins took a leaf out of Google's book and applied the principles of people management to the company he put together in his early twenties. He has often been quoted as saying that one of his goals was to impact staff positively in their personal lives in order to promote happiness and satisfaction in the workplace and therefore drive better results.

Such benefits - all paid for by the company - include treats such as weekly manicures and kart racing, as well as English language courses and other training programmes.

Acesso Digital is also known for its periodic "marathons," aimed at significantly boosting the company's financial performance. Since 2009, firm sets aggressive targets and if they are met, all employees - from cleaners to senior management - are rewarded with trips abroad. This year, all staff went on trips to Las Vegas as a reward for last year's sales success. 

The company encourages professionals to submit their CVs - the information is then matched to new vacancies. 

In 2015, Acesso Digital plans on hiring about 30 professionals. According to the company, there are no immediate plans of hiring non-Brazilians. However, it points out that two professionals from tech companies based in the Silicon Valley worked in São Paulo as a three month-long exchange in 2012.

"It was a great experience to them as well as to our staff," a spokesperson says.

4 of 6 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

3. Microsoft

Microsoft employs over 800 people in Brazil and has been investing massively in its local operation: back in 2012, the tech giant committed R$200m to the creation of an advanced technology center in Rio de Janeiro and this year, it launched a datacenter in São Paulo exclusively dedicated to the provision of cloud services in the region.

The sales performance at Microsoft Brazil is also bullish: earlier this year, country head Mariano de Beer has been quoted as saying that his operation has performed better than the rest of the firm.

According to its own employees, Microsoft is an interesting place to work due to its low degree of hierarchization, with the top management being accessible to all employees.

"There is a focus on staff development and quality of life, as well as an informal environment, a lot of cooperation between colleagues and a lot of openness to contribute with new ideas," a Microsoft Brazil graduate told work intelligence platform Love Mondays.

However, a traditional structure may not be as appealing to some employees: "Despite the fact that opportunities are provided, [Microsoft] ends up losing a lot of talent for being a very matrix-based organization," another employee at the company points out.

Microsoft is looking to hire about 40 staff in Brazil for a range of roles, from support engineers for its Azure division and field engineers for Sharepoint to cloud architects and tech evangelists.


5 of 6 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

4. SAS Brasil

Business intelligence giant SAS employs 180 professionals in Brazil. As well as investing in career and skills development plans - SAS uses a specific leadership framework for improving management abilities - the company is said to have served as an inspiration to Google in terms of staff perks.

The company founded by Jim Goodnight is focused on employee wellbeing, with a whole range of services offered for free to staff in larger offices such as the headquarters in Cary, North Carolina.

In smaller operations such as the Brazilian offices in Brasília, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the company subsidizes benefits such as training courses and gym memberships, as well as hairdresser and manicure services.

The Brazilian operation also provides financial support to staff looking to pursue academic qualifications of up to 80 percent of the fees, a private pension scheme (a benefit that is still relatively uncommon in Brazilian companies), a recommendation scheme with financial rewards ranging from $2.000 to $4.000 depending on seniority and an assistance program focused on staff undergoing financial, legal or health/mental issues.

SAS has a number of jobs currently available in Brazil, mainly related to software sales. According to the company, there are no restrictions in terms of hiring foreigners in Brazil, as long as they are legally able to live and work in the country. "Currently, we have foreigners at SAS Brasil and there are no advantages [in relation to local employees]. The main concern is that staff can meet role requirements and identify with the company values," a SAS spokesperson says. 

6 of 6 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

5. Dextra

Dextra, a Brazilian software development firm, employs 121 staff, of which 100 are in IT roles.  The company, established in the São Paulo countryside city of Campinas in 1995, ranks fifth in the Great Place to Work list for this year and is among the ten best tech workplaces for the second year running.

According to the GPTW evaluation, some of the characteristics that make the company an attractive workplace include the flexibility of working hours, as well as investment in training and skills development.

Another key feature mentioned by staff polled for the GPTW ranking was the good relationships between staff and management. For the Employee Confidence Index performed by the Institute, the average score for top companies in terms of manager-employee engagement is 83 and the score at Dextra is 92 points.

The company does not list available opportunities on its website, but encourages professionals to send their CVs - the resumés will then be entered onto a database that is matched to any future openings. The company is also open to hiring foreign professionals.

"We always seek diversity as we believe that it makes us create better and more innovative solutions to our clients. So having professionals from different cultures helps us promote that kind of environment between teams," a company spokesperson says.  

Next week, we will list the remaining five top ten technology companies to work for in Brazil. 

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