What's it really like working for Revolut?
If you want to work for a fintech, British digibank Revolut is likely high on your list. It's a big recruiter and its people are known to go on to do big things, but it's not for everyone.
Despite its presence, Revolut has been going through a difficult period, more so than the many other fintechs laying off staff and slashing valuations. It was rejected once more for its UK banking license and, when announcing its annual report for 2021 this year, made accounting errors that drew in a lot of ire.
Interestingly, the fintech has been making efforts to hire in 2023, rather than let go like its peers. It's estimated to have over 6000 employees and is set to hire 1000 more in 2023. Applicants are inquiring in droves, and there are some clear reasons why...
The upside of working for Revolut
Getting a job at Revolut isn't necessarily easy. When we spoke to him in 2018, ex-employee Alan Chang was Revolut's SVP for revenues and operations, and said the bank was already receiving about 1,000 CVs a week from people who wanted to work there. 99.5% of them were rejected. Revolut says it's on track for over a million applicants this year.
"We want to hire the sort of person who becomes a banker or a consultant – with that standard analytical and presentational skillset," said Chang. "If you want to work for a fintech, this is an alternative to going in as a programmer. You don’t need a background in computer science to work for a fintech.”
Revolut's alumni's presence is extensive in the fintech industry and beyond. Morgan Stanley analyst turned Revolut product manager George Robson went on to be a partner at VC firm Sequoia Capital. The aforementioned Alan Chang not only rose to Chief Revenue Officer in his tenure but has since left to found an energy startup called Fuse. There are countless other examples.
"Everyone knows how tough Revolut is." says a Revolut operations lead via jobs forum site Blind in 2023. "You last more than 12 months, and you're a superstar in other people's eyes." The work isn't necessarily menial, either, with another review saying you can "expect a lot of responsibilities and accountability if you're up for it."
Historically, a big bonus of joining a fintech like Revolut has been the potential to earn pre-IPO stock. However, not only have firms backing Revolut lowered its value, but the market for fintechs launching public offerings is borderline nonexistent. If broader business success is a key prerogative when joining a company, you'll be happy to learn announced its first swing into profitability this year.
What's the culture like at Revolut
The downside of working for Revolut has traditionally been seen as a hard-driving culture, although the bank has made moves to address this and many of its employees purport to enjoy it.
"We have a culture that’s direct, hard-working, transparent and ambitious," Chang told us while he worked there, adding that Revolut was channeling Bridgewater Associates, the hedge fund whose culture is self-described as 'being like a nudist camp at first:' "We model some of our values on Ray Dalio’s approach at Bridgewater – although ours is a very basic version of what they have there.”
When people leave, it's because they misunderstood what they were getting into, Chang told us. “There’s an expectations gap. They think that because they’re joining a start-up they’ll be hanging out, drinking beer, playing ping pong and going home at 6pm.”
Not all disgruntled employees lament an inability to relax, some are frustrated by an inability to do more. The operations lead on Blind called Revolut's promotion policy "ridiculous" and said it was unable to "reward people for their hard work and delivery." The fintech has historically shown a preference for young talent, placing them in very senior positions early on at the expense of more seasoned individuals.
That youth focus is exemplified by the recent launch of Revolut's internship graduate program, Rev-celerator, whose inaugural class are in the midst of the program's first stage. Successful applicants include a 3rd sergeant in the Singaporean army and an intern at the prestigious tech consultancy Palantir
What are the working hours like at Revolut?
In 2017, Revolut founder and ex-Credit Suisse trader Nikolay Storonsky underscored Revolut's approach to work. "We are not about long hours — we are about getting sh*t done," he told Business Insider. As a corollary of this, Storonksy said people at Revolut, "work long hours...at least 12, 13 hours a day. All the key people, all the core team. A lot of people also work on weekends."
However, the bank also stresses its flexibility: as long as you get the work done, you can work how you like, even if that means coming in late. As underperforming fintechs bring staff back to the office, Revolut maintains a high-performance culture in spite of it being very WFH friendly. Of the 246 jobs available right now at Revolut, just 15 require staff to come to the office.
“We work hard because we love it," said Chang.
What's the pay like at Revolut?
Revolut has reorganized its structure in recent years, with a lot of emphasis on less technical 'service division.' As a result, its most recent yearly report put average pay at just $37k (£29k) 😨
That doesn't mean high wages are impossible to earn. On levels.fyi, earning over $100k is the norm for software engineers, with a lead software engineer in Revolut's London base earning over $300k. His package consists of a $127k stock bonus and a $178k salary.
The company also offers perks like all-day breakfasts and dinners, as well as a lifetime subscription to Metal, Revolut's premium card offering.
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