When Seattle-based Rover.com set out to find the next spot to launch a second office, among its top criteria were a growing tech-savvy talent pool to draw from and a diverse and pet-friendly community.
Spokane quickly fit the bill.
Megan Teepe, vice president of operations for Rover.com, said the company began looking last year for a location to accommodate a second office that would provide a market that had a great talent pool and the potential to scale the organization in a more cost-efficient way.
The online and app-based dog-walking and pet-sitting service expanded to a new downtown Spokane location in September.
Not only has Spokane proven to be pet-friendly, Teepe said, but with a great cultural experience, the company has been able to recruit talented individuals to the area who “felt they were a part of something special.” Additionally, its location in a college town has led to the company’s great success in recruiting recent graduates, Teepe said.
She believes there are a lot of companies that are looking to Spokane for that specific kind of talent market.
“We find them to be very tech savvy. … We found the workforce to be very well-prepared for what we are asking them to do,” she said. “I can talk about how much I love the Spokane office all day long.”
Founded in 2011, Rover is the nation’s largest network of five-star pet sitters and dog walkers. In the past seven years, Rover has grown to serve more than 10,000 cities with more than 140,000 sitters, and now has a Spokane office with hopes of growing to more than 100 employees, both in-office and remotely.
Rover.com provides a platform for pet owners to connect with sitters or walkers and securely schedule and pay for services, and for animal lovers looking to make a few extra bucks to advertise their services and availability.
Teepe said Rover also was committed to having a georedundancy strategy in place – if something were to happen in Seattle, such as an earthquake or snowstorm that kept staff at home, the Spokane office could serve as the primary backup.
Currently, the company’s centrally located Bennett Block offices include 60 staff primarily focused on customer operations, with an additional 30 working remotely out of the Spokane office, Teepe said.
“I would not be surprised if we have upwards of 90 to 100 folks in Spokane by the end of the year,” Teepe said, noting numerous openings ranging from front-line customer service to senior roles.
While there are currently no plans to shift the company base to the Spokane office, Teepe said, the company is focused on keeping roots where talent is strong. If that field continues to grow in Spokane, she said, she could see more work being based on the state’s East Side.
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