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What They Do
Develop and sell enterprise-class, cloud-based software designed to automate and control account reconciliation processes.
Headquarters: Woodland Hills, California
Annual Revenues: $40 Million.
What Makes BlackLine Systems, Inc. Great
A ping-pong table in the break room. On-site yoga classes. Free espresso, sodas, popcorn, and fresh fruit. Weekly company-paid breakfasts. An employee dodgeball team.
These are the kinds of perks that people rave about at BlackLine Systems, Inc., a software firm headquartered in Woodland Hills, California. But if you’re guessing that Woodland Hills is in Silicon Valley, guess again: it is located in the southwest part of Los Angeles. BlackLine also has offices in 4 other U.S. locations, including New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Atlanta, as well as global cities like London and Sydney.
BlackLine has grown quickly in recent years: about two-thirds of their roughly 175 employees have been there for fewer than two years. Workers appreciate the “incredibly talented and committed group of people” whom they work with, and are grateful for benefits like 100 percent company-paid health care premiums and a generous dollar-for-dollar 401(k) match contribution. “The company instills a great sense of fun and creativity,” says one employee. “I can work hard, get up, and challenge my boss to a game of ping-pong. We like to work hard here because we really want to help BlackLine and make the company thrive.”
Founded in 2001 by Therese Tucker, BlackLine has experienced double-digit growth since 2004. It also has been named one of the “most innovative and promising” tech ventures in the world by Red Herring.
At the root of BlackLine’s culture is a simple mission statement: “Think. Create. Serve.” People here are proud of the ways their products help lighten the account auditing burden for clients, as 99 percent say they are proud to tell others they work here. “Most of us are passionate about what we do and our clients,” says one employee. “Because of this, we are all driven to be successful not only individually but as a team as well.”
While growth has led to new opportunities, it has also resulted in a “work hard, play hard” mentality, and the demanding workload can be a challenge for BlackLine’s people. “The company is growing so fast that the amount of client demands is sometimes overwhelming and work-life balance gets skewed,” says one. While some employees express concern about potential burnout, commitment is high amongst the motivated group, and 94 percent say that their colleagues are consistently willing to give extra to get the job done.
To help lighten the load, BlackLine provides a supportive culture with helpful benefits. They're currently building a game room for breaks and collaboration, and they’ve recently launched an employee wellness program.
The company also recognizes individual contributions at its monthly kickoff, and celebrates people’s accomplishments in the monthly newsletter. BlackLine aims to support people in both their personal and professional lives: the company reimburses tuition up to $3000 and gives people up to a week off to cope with a crisis. The offices are home to a relaxed culture where the dress code is very casual. “It’s an office where I can walk around barefoot,” says one employee.
Food is a big deal here, too. One of the company’s most praised benefits is its weekly breakfast, where everyone gets together to break bagels (and more). “Even with our dramatic growth in staff, you can still find our CEO in the kitchen with her griddle plugged in, flipping pancakes with fresh blueberries,” says one employee. “It's not just that we’re fed, but that we feed each other, and the generosity and gratitude embodied in that effort.”
Rewards don’t come just in the form of perks; employees also praise the company’s compensation packages. Ninety-four percent feel that people here are paid fairly for the work they do and 81 percent feel they receive a fair share of the profits.
On the whole, BlackLine maintains strong support from its people: 94 percent say they want to work here for a long time, and the same percentage feel there is a "family" or "team" feeling. “BlackLine really gets the family atmosphere, and there is a dynamic with this place that is very special,” says one employee. “This is the best company that I have ever worked for, and I am proud to be a part of this team.”
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