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R&D Tax credits and Software engineers: What is the connection?

Did you know that more than 80% of technology companies are either completely unaware they are eligible for government-sponsored tax credits or don’t have an easy way to get them? As many startups are thinking about ways to be efficient with spending, we want to do our part as well. 

We asked our friends at TaxTaker, to share about the Research & Development Tax Credit – which can save a company thousands of dollars (sometimes even hundreds of thousands) every year. 

The R&D tax credit allows technology companies and startups to reduce federal and state tax liabilities and earn back up to 10% on what they are spending on product development. Four types of expenses can be included in the credit calculation for your qualified projects: 

  1. W2 Wages
  2. US-based contractor expenses
  3. Cloud expenses
  4. Supplies

So how do you take advantage of this? Well, TaxTaker told us that employee wages for direct R&D activity can be included in the credit (as well as supervision or direct support of such activity). So thinking about bringing on a new frontend developer? With R&D tax credits, it is possible to recover 10% of their wage every year. 

TaxTaker also informed us the most common employee titles that qualify for the R&D tax in technology companies include:

  • Product engineers
  • Software and database architects
  • Computer and data scientists
  • Quality assurance testers

The long and short of it, tech startups have the potential to earn back up to 10% of what they spend developing products and technologies each year.

This is a heavily wage-driven credit, so the greater your salaries, the greater your relative credit adds up!  What’s more, starting in 2023, you can also use the R&D Tax Credit to offset all employer-related payroll taxes (FICA+ Medicare, 7.65%-double check this).  Further, as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, the upper bound for startups increased to $500,000, so regardless of profitability, your startup can reap the benefits nearly immediately.

If you want to learn more about R&D tax credits please talk to your accountant (we are not tax experts) or reach out to our friends at TaxTaker.

Data Share: Candidate and Client Survey Q3

Every quarter we gather data from both our clients and our candidates that received an offer through SingleSprout in ’22. We asked a few new questions this quarter, and some of the most interesting data is below.

From the Candidates Survey 

The majority of the folks who participated are software engineers and product managers, 5-13+ years of experience (mid-level to manager), at startups w/ 10-500 people, who received offers through SingleSprout companies.

  • 72.4% of candidates reported that they made their final decision based on compensation. The next most important factor was flexible workspace (ie Remote) and company mission
  • These same candidates said they responded to our emails about a new role because the skills of the role matched – 58.6% (top answer) 
  • 70.3% of candidates negotiated their base before accepting the last offer. 
  • 83% of candidates had previous startup experience with  26% having more than 6 years of startup experience. 

From our Clients

  • Greenhouse is still the most popular ATS among our clients. 
  • 78.9% of our clients say the best benefit of SingleSprout is our Quality Candidates. 

If you have any questions or want to dig deeper into the data, please reach out to our team. 


SingleSprouts Q3 22 Engineering Compensation Report.

It has been a difficult quarter for most of the hiring market, with hesitation from both clients and candidates. That being said, our team has quickly adapted to the new hiring market, and we have been able to help numerous companies find amazing talent.  In fact, we are still on pace to have our best year ever.  With amazing placements, comes amazing data – that we are happy to share with our network.  


Here is a link to SingleSprouts Q3 22 Engineering Compensation Report.

Singlesprout and Amanda!

As we recently reviewed our team’s benefits, we asked our team what they liked about our current wellness benefits and culture. This is the first in a series of blog posts highlighting how our team thinks about our culture.  Here are the thoughts of the one and only Amanda Hoffer. 


What is one thing you love about SingleSprout?

I love the comradery we have at SingleSprout. From the top-down everyone is so supportive and pushes each other to be even better than yesterday. This bleeds into how the team supports one another on a personal and professional level. Regardless if it is a new activity outside of work someone has shared with the team or making a super impactful deal, we are always supporting each other as much as we possibly can. 


How does our remote environment benefit you?

The remote environment allows the flexibility I never thought I would have in my career. Currently, I am working from Tampa so I can see my mom and Nana for Mother’s Day. Having the ability to connect with my family that is far away and still work is a game-changer in terms of my WLB. I also love to travel so being able to tap into that side of myself while staying connected at work is something I am extremely grateful for. 


What other benefits make you excited about SingleSprout

I absolutely LOVE our Boon Coaching. We are fortunate enough to meet with a professional coach that works with each member of the team on almost any topic we want to cover. I personally work with a coach around professional development and management and she is absolutely wonderful. 


What do you do with your free time instead of commuting? 

I am able to tap into my love for Yoga during the time I would be commuting. It is one of my favorite ways to unwind after a long day and be mindful of my life.

How to Create an Intentional Equitable Hybrid/Remote Work Environment

Everyone has heard the debate over company culture remote work, and now everyone is talking about quiet quitting. We feel like these conversations are all a distraction from the real problem we have seen in the tech industry – employee burnout. In this new age of hybrid and remote work, it is harder to create the type of engagement and culture with one’s team. 

A couple of weeks ago we co-hosted an event with AllVoices. We had just the most incredible lineup of experts including Jasmine Francis, VP of People and Culture at Thinx, Celeste Bell EVP and Head of HR  at Deutsch NY,  Veracelle Vega, CPO at Boxed, and Adrienne Barnard SVP People Operations & Experience at Mainstay. They shared their insight on creating an intentional equitable hybrid/remote work environment. Below is a short list of action items your company can take, to improve engagement with your teams. 

  • Over-communicate (same message(s) being sent on slack/email, etc, not just one format).
  • Q&A’s to share market feedback and gather employee feedback (send guidelines beforehand).
  • Internal newsletter end of the week that recognizes world, market, and business happenings.
  • Share the risks (and upside 🙂 of joining your company with candidates interviewing.
  • Employee-led conversations where employees can discuss a range of topics (ie. Well-being, water-cooler chatter, etc).
  • Share what your company is doing to make the world a better place.


To listen to the who conversation, you can watch the webinar here

A new way to compete for talent – Video

This week our cofounders shared advice with our clients on how to get more candidates interested in their company in this very competitive market.  We got such a great response to this, that we decided to share this with our entire network –  please feel free to read their advice below: 

Given the competition in the market (nearly all engineering roles increased in salary last quarter), we are looking at ways to increase engagement from qualified candidates. One such way companies gain an advantage is by using video in recruiting marketing. Through the insights of our Client Advisory Board and our own data, companies that use video for recruiting marketing are increasing conversion rates by as much as 25% at the top of the funnel / first interview. 

Your company’s personality and culture shine in the video. Additionally, in one of our latest polls to placed candidates, the #1 reason candidates join their company is team/culture.

Ask: We propose creating at least 1 video (1-2 minutes) on why your company is an exciting home for prospective candidates to join (ie: problem, solution, scale, culture, impact, investors, founder’s background). Please then share it with us, so we can share it with qualified candidates to increase interest and conversion. 

Some video software that we recommend include:

  • VideoAsk
  • Scenery (collaborative video editor)
    • Example recruiting video here (Pinterest’s head of corp dev made remotely)
  • Loom 
    • Example here of a job description pitch and here of a candidate product demo 
  • Youtube (put a link in the JD)
  • The Muse 
    • Example here of leadership and culture. 
  • How it works videos

All the best,

Natan and David

SingleSprout is 9 years old!

Our team can not wait to celebrate at our offsite in a couple of months. But for now, we wanted to share 9 fun facts about SingleSprout, to celebrate our 9 year anniversary. 

  1. Over the last 9 years, we have been able to help 1000+ engineers find a new role, and grow their careers.   
  2. We have grown to 45 employees, and we currently have 5 open roles including Director of Engineering.
  3. It took about 2 years to make our first 100 placements, but for the first time (Q1 ’22), we were able to make over 100 placements in less than 90 days. 
  4. We started with hiring for just software engineering positions, but now we support a range of engineering, data, and product positions (IC-Management level) as well as legal (VP, GC, CLO) talent.  
  5. Our logo: the triangle represents our clients, candidates, and employees and how SingleSprout brings everyone together. 
  6. Our team has been 100% remote since 2020 and we have employees in 14 different states!
  7. During the last 9 years, our software engineering team has created internal products including Lilly, Daisy, Clover, and Nectar (all with a plant 🌱 theme).
  8. Out of 1,000+ polled candidates that we’ve placed, of those that responded, more than 75% are still working at the company we placed them at.
  9. Lastly, our founders David and Natan met when they were 9 years old!

We know this is going to be a special year, and we are excited to see how we can continue to support both candidates and growing companies

Q1 2022 Engineering Compensation Report

Last quarter, was SingleSprouts busiest quarter to date. Our team was able to place over 100 engineers and lawyers at growing startups.  Because of this plethora of data, we decided to start running our compensation report on a quarterly basis.  

To find our comp report, please use the following link (here). 

Here are a few extra facts, about the recent hiring market. 

The hiring market is greatly affected by world events. In March, with the uncertainty of the stock market, mortgage rates, Ukraine, etc we saw both candidates and candidates change their behavior. 

  • We saw candidates act a bit more risk-averse and a majority of them were seeking high cash offers (with less emphasis on stock). Previous motivators like the companies mission, projects, growth opportunities, and other huge motivators dropped in significance, compared to cash compensation. 
  • At the same time, we saw a handful of our companies giving much more conservative offers, which were not matching candidates’ demands. 
  • As a result, our offer accept rate dropped slightly in early March. Towards the end of the month we saw our companies recognized the new client demands,  and as such made some quick changes. The biggest change we saw was a significant increase in signing bonuses during late March, to compensate for changes in the market. (Average signing bonus was 10-25% of base salary). 

A huge piece of news in the tech hiring market this quarter was Amazon sudden announcement, that they have more than doubled the max pay rate for their engineering teams. This huge increase in salary has brought them in line with other competitors in the talent market including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.  It has not only put pressure on other large companies to re-think their comp plans but this change may make it somewhat harder for startups to compete in the talent market.  

Another large change we have seen was a sudden increase in salary for engineers with 10+ years of experience. 

  • Background: We had 2 candidates in the same week get great offers from our companies above what they told us they were seeking (both got offers in low $200,000 in base salary, with plenty of equity). Even though our candidates had told us that said companies were their top choice, both of these two candidates accepted offers outside of us for more than $250,000 in base. 
  • Our findings: We have found that engineers that receive an offer of +$15,000 per year in base salary are +80% likely to accept the highest offer (even if the company was not their top choice). Despite what candidates tell us, cash is still the greatest motivator. 

SingleSprout and G-Code Event

SingleSprout recently had the pleasure of partnering with G{Code} House in a virtual Zoom event to provide 1:1 mentorship and guidance for their alumni currently navigating their job search and a new career in tech.

G{Code} is an innovative, place-based initiative that connects women and non-binary people of color to educational and employment opportunities in the technology sector. The initiative combines affordable co-living, technology instruction, industry placements, and post-secondary education. They aim to tackle the STEM gender gap, income inequality, and the affordable housing crisis by recruiting Boston residents, specifically women and non-binary people of color, including those who are close to aging out of homeless shelters by offering them a place to live while pursuing a STEM education and ultimately providing participants with stable careers that will allow them to gain access to economic mobility.

Interested in learning more? Check out their programming here.

Referral  program
Do you know of any Engineers, Product Managers, Designers, or Attorneys?

At the end of each year, we donate a portion of our proceeds from successful candidate referrals to the following forward-thinking, social good organizations: