Google, Microsoft, Cisco, and Apple lost a significant chunk of workers to startups in 2013.

Jobvite released a report today on hiring patterns in the tech industry, and it found that tech giants have lost their luster for many employees.

“Jobseekers do not hesitate to ditch their cushy jobs to move on to growing, trendy, fast-paced startups with the expectation to work on cool new things and increased financial prospects,” Jobvite chief technical officer Adam Hyder told VentureBeat. “Bigger companies lose their luster and culture over a period of time, and employees hate to work on products that generate high revenue but are stagnant.”

The report found that Twitter attracted the largest number of applications from Google and Microsoft employees. Dropbox and Box were also prime destinations for these workers, and former Apple folk primarily “clustered” at Airbnb, Hulu, Nest, Spotify, Square, Uber, and Yelp.

Leadership changes have a powerful impact on employee movement. Outbound applications from Yahoo employees to tech startups declined by 44 percent after Marissa Mayer became its CEO. Following Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer’s resignation announcement, it suffered a 46 percent increase in employees leaving.

Major migrations are also happening from employees in finance and the aerospace and defense industry who are now heading to the tech world. Citigroup and Wells Fargo employees applied in large numbers to LinkedIn, Twitter, Gilt Groupe, LivingSocial, Workday, Square and Yelp. Boeing and Lockheed Martin lost talent to SpaceX.

“Bigger companies need to create startup culture and offer challenging work to their employees, otherwise they risk losing their employees to fast paced startups that offer challenging work,” Hyder said. “Startups can see a surge in applications from big companies when big companies go through leadership changes or product stagnation. They should seize such opportunities and quickly hire the top talent that they would not be able to attract otherwise.”

Jobvite is a recruiting solution it claims was used by eight of the last 11 top tech companies to IPO, and 25 percent of the U.S. workforce. Hyder said that since Jobvite manages candidate applications processes as well as employer’s hiring processes, it can analyze this data to draw connections and identify trends.

“We can correlate the applicants’ current and past employers, education, experience and other trends,” Hyder said. “We can further correlate these trends with temporal and event information.”

This data was collected over the course of 2013.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.