Founded by three ex-Google employees, MainStreet is helping San Francisco residents relocate — and helping small tech companies find the employees that they need.
This is something that’s desperately needed by both employees and employers, but it’s going to be interesting to see whether MainStreet is able to really crack into what makes employees tick. San Francisco is notorious for its absurd property prices, rising homelessness rates, and overall drop in quality of living for middle class residents. Does this plan stand a chance of succeeding?
Let’s take a closer look.
Get a Job Outside of San Francisco
San Francisco has a lot of issues in terms of affordability and the job market right now. And that means that many people are looking to move. But people can’t move without a job, and that’s the issue that MainStreet is trying to resolve.
MainStreet will offer potential employees $10,000 to take a job with a company outside of San Francisco. This benefits other, smaller tech companies that can’t afford to have real estate in the Bay Area, too. Many small tech companies are looking for talent that is currently in areas like San Francisco, and need to attract employees elsewhere.
Thus, MainStreet solves a problem. Small tech companies need employees from the Bay Area, and Bay Area employees need to move. By offering the $10,000, MainStreet is able to smooth over the situation and make it easier for employees to move towards the jobs that they will love.
An employee making $140,000 in the Bay Area may only need to make $70,000 in a lower cost of living state. Meanwhile, a brick-and-mortar company outside of the Bay Area may be willing to pay $80,000 for a Bay Area employee, with the understanding that many employees in the Bay Area are extremely skilled. The employer gets a higher standard of employee, and the employee gets an upgrade in their actual living standards.
And the employees don’t get the $10,000 bonus until they’ve been there for a year, so that also means that employees are likely to stay with their employer. Employers hate having to train employees one after the other, and this can help secure employees for longer.
Not Just a Recruitment Company
For a monthly fee, MainStreet does a lot of work to ensure that the employees and employers are happy. They work with employees to make sure that they get the perfect fit, and they work with employers to discover their true needs for an employee.
The cost of living is a major issue for most employees in San Francisco, and many have found themselves unable to achieve simple dreams like purchasing a house or having a family. By placing employees with positions in which they will be happier, MainStreet hopes to improve the entire employee-employer relationship.
Further, since employees are able to work remotely and are trained on video and teleconferencing, it’s also possible for them to potentially live anywhere. That includes living in another location and still telecommuting into the Bay Area.
A Second Attempt at a New Idea
While the idea of paying people to move out of a state is fairly new, this isn’t the first company to try it. A company named Zapier tried this in 2017, but didn’t have any takers. What is MainStreet doing now that will differentiate it from Zapier?
Zapier was a little broader spectrum, as an automation and remote work solution. This means Zapier wasn’t able to really focus on a matchmaking solution between company and employee, which is critical to MainStreet’s new attempts.
Right now, Zapier still exists, but they’ve discontinued their offer since they weren’t able to achieve what they wanted to in that realm. Whether MainStreet is able to do it is going to depend on whether they can really deliver what they say to employees and employers.
Many Bay Area employees are desperate to leave, and if they can find some great positions they just might. But there are other areas why people stay in the Bay Area, especially San Francisco. For now, at least, they have another option.