No one knows more about a workplace than its employees. Employee opinions reflect basic measures, such as pay, perks, benefits, and hours worked. But they are also influenced by factors such as a company’s culture, internal politics, and even general mood — intangibles that can be lost in internal audits and consultancy surveys.
While companies have websites, public relations teams, and recruiters to tailor their message to prospective hires, employees have far fewer forums to communicate their views. Glassdoor.com, a career community website, provides the opportunity for employees to give their own opinions, and for potential employees to research the company. This also allows potential employees to research the company.
Disproportionately, the companies that receive the strongest endorsements from their employees are in the technology sector. When 24/7 Wall St. reviewed America’s best companies to work for last month, 11 of the top 25 employers were in the technology sector, including LinkedIn and Facebook — the nation’s number one and number two-rated employers, respectively.
Many of these top-rated technology companies are truly massive in scale. Google is perhaps the best such example: The company that redefined the search engine is the market leader in online search by far; its YouTube video site dominates online video; and the majority of smartphones worldwide use Google’s Android operating system. Another example is Facebook, which has hundreds of millions of daily users and more than one billion monthly users.
Many of these tech companies have built an impeccable reputation — not only with their employees and potential hires, but also with the broader public. Google and Apple, for instance, have the world’s two most valuable brands, according to consultancy firm BrandZ. Facebook, SAP, LinkedIn, and Intel are other top-rated tech employers among BrandZ’s 100 most valuable brands.
Companies with strong employee reviews also tend to have well-regarded management. Among the top 10 technology companies, all but one had an employee CEO approval rating of more than 80%. Further, seven of these executives had approval ratings of more than 90%, placing them well above CEOs at all other businesses.
In order to determine America’s best technology companies to work for, 24/7 Wall St. independently reviewed employee ratings and testimonials on Glassdoor.com. Each of these businesses was initially listed among our top 75 companies to work for. To be considered for that list, a company had to have at least 300 reviews and could not be a government agency, a non-profit, or a subsidiary of a larger company.
We then screened for companies by industry to identify the top-rated firms in the technology and software industries. Companies are ranked by rating, with preference given to those companies with more reviews. Insight Global was excluded from our consideration, despite being a technology company, because its primary service is information technology staffing.
Employee totals and revenue figures are from the most recent fiscal year for which data was available. Sources include: company documents, Securities and Exchange Commission filings, S&P Capital IQ, and Forbes’ America’s Largest Private Companies 2013.
These are the 10 best technology companies to work for.
10. Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE)
> Glassdoor rating: 3.8
> CEO rating: 71% (Shantanu Narayen)
> Employees: 11,847
> Revenue: $4.1 billion
According the company: “Adobe is the global leader in digital marketing and digital media solutions…. We help our customers make, manage, measure, and monetize their content across every channel and screen.”
According to Glassdoor.com reviews, current and former Adobe employees cited excellent benefits and strong work-life balance as among the company’s most positive offerings. Adobe prides itself in providing innovative products that ultimately drive positive impacts around the world. Employees, too seem to share that sense of pride. A number of reviews on Glassdoor.com suggest employees also appreciate the quality of the company’s products. However, no other top-rated technology company’s CEO had a worse rating than Shantanu Narayen, who received the approval of just 71% of workers.
9. Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM)
> Glassdoor rating: 3.8
> CEO rating: 94% (Steve Mollenkopf)
> Employees: 31,000
> Revenue: $24.9 billion
According to the company: “Qualcomm Incorporated is a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies… linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other.”
Qualcomm is a San Diego-based maker of chipsets and software for mobile devices and wireless networks. Reviews on Glassdoor.com say the company’s good compensation and employee benefits are some of the strongest advantages of working at Qualcomm. More than nine in 10 reviewers approved of CEO Steve Mollenkopf, and more than 80% of employees would recommend the company to a friend. Qualcomm has grown considerably in recent years. In 2009, revenues totaled $10.4 billion, and operating income totalled $2.2 billion. In 2013, those figures rose to $24.9 billion and $7.2 billion, respectively.
8. SAP (NYSE: SAP)
> Glassdoor rating: 3.8
> CEO rating: 93% (Bill McDermott)
> Employees: 66,572
> Revenue: $23.2 billion
According to the company: “SAP is the world leader in enterprise applications in terms of software and software-related service revenue. Based on market capitalization, we are the world’s third largest independent software manufacturer.”
German software maker SAP had more than 66,500 employees at the end of fiscal 2013. That year, the company’s revenues totaled 16.8 billion euros, or $23.2 billion. According to SAP, “though the company has grown, [the] entrepreneurial spirit has remained throughout SAP history.” Whether or not employees agree with this statement, they most certainly endorse careers at the company, with 82% saying they would recommend it to a friend. Employees also gave SAP an average rating of 3.8, and 93% approved of CEO Bill McDermott. However, just as some observers on Wall Street worry about the profitability of the company’s new cloud-based products, employees had generally mixed feelings about its recent innovation track record.
7. Intel (NASDAQ: INTC)
> Glassdoor rating: 3.8
> CEO rating: 83% (Brian M. Krzanich)
> Employees: 107,600
> Revenue: $52.7 billion
According to the company: “We are the world’s largest semiconductor chip maker, based on revenue. We develop advanced integrated digital technology, primarily integrated circuits, for industries such as computing and communications.”
Despite employing more than 100,000 people at the end of its last full fiscal year, Intel is one of the most highly-regarded technology employers. Intel is the world’s largest semiconductor vendor by revenue, according to Gartner. With a 15.4% market share, it is ahead of rivals Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm. Employees were especially happy with the internal mobility that working at Intel afforded them. One reviewer wrote on Glassdoor.com that “you can change jobs every couple of years internally without having to brave the waters of the open market.” Another reviewer corroborated this, noting that “you can have multiple jobs and even careers without changing your employer.”
6. SAS Institute
> Glassdoor rating: 3.9
> CEO rating: 86% (Jim Goodnight)
> Employees: 13,777
> Revenue: $2.9 billion
According to the company: “SAS helps you make sense of the message. As the leader in business analytics software and services, SAS transforms your data into insights that give you a fresh perspective on your business.”
SAS is a data analytics software and service provider, based in North Carolina. SAS was founded as an academic project — developed to assist North Carolina State University researchers to analyze agricultural data. It is also is the only non-publicly traded employer among the top technology companies to work for. Employee reviews of SAS are largely very positive. SAS offers a number of great perks, including a health and fitness center at its corporate headquarters in Cary, North Carolina, as well as day care, child summer camps, and college scholarships for employees’ children.
5. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)
> Glassdoor rating: 3.9
> CEO rating: 92% (Tim Cook)
> Employees: 80,300
> Revenue: $170.9 billion
According to the company: “Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world,… leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store…. has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.”
Apple is the largest company in the world by market capitalization, at more than $600 billion. Recently, Apple unveiled its newest smartphone models, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It also unveiled an entirely new product, the Apple Watch, as well as a payments service called Apple Pay. Customers are not the only ones that love Apple’s products. A large share of employees, ranging from those at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California to those working at its retail stores, cited working with its products as one of the top perks of working at Apple.
4. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG)
> Glassdoor rating: 4.2
> CEO rating: 96% (Larry Page)
> Employees: 47,756
> Revenue: $59.8 billion
According to the company: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Perhaps no company is as well known as Google is for its office perks. According to Google, the company’s Mountain View, California campus contains fleets of bikes and scooters, seven fitness centers and 25 cafeterias. Google maintains plush and well-equipped offices in other cities as well, including New York, Dublin, and London. In addition to a great workspace, the company also offers travel insurance, education reimbursement, and other perks, in addition to more-conventional health and retirement benefits. CEO Larry Page, who founded the company with Sergey Brin when they were graduate students at Stanford, has a 96% approval rating from employees.
3. Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ: RVBD)
> Glassdoor rating: 4.3
> CEO rating: 94% (Jerry M. Kennelly)
> Employees: 2,556
> Revenue: $1.0 billion
According to the company: “We enable organizations to embrace location-independent computing to better leverage global resources, radically reduce the cost of running their business, and maximize employee productivity.”
In many reviews on Glassdoor.com, current and former employees at Riverbed say they enjoy the work-life balance the company promotes, while also noting that Riverbed’s products are top notch. In a recent article, SFGate explained how work-life balance takes priority at Riverbed, and how the company even forgoes some of the more-lavish perks many tech companies offer to allow employees to enjoy their lives outside work. While employees largely endorsed CEO Jerry Kennelly, who had a 94% approval rating, investors have been less appreciative. Concerns about the company’s shareholder rights plan and executive compensation packages have dogged Riverbed recently. Also concerning is the long-running campaign from Elliott Management. The activist fund, which has a standing offer to buy the company, has long pushed Riverbed to pursue a sale.
2. Facebook (NASDAQ: FB)
> Glassdoor rating: 4.5
> CEO rating: 96% (Mark Zuckerberg)
> Employees: 6,337
> Revenue: $7.9 billion
According to the company: “Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”
Facebook not only runs a massive social network, but it is also a fast-growing, highly profitable company. The company’s scope is wide. Facebook had roughly 829 million daily users as of June, and it is successful at reaching users on their mobile phones, with 654 daily mobile users. Facebook is also one of many tech companies locked into an “arms race” to provide employees with more — and better — perks. Indeed, employees frequently cite great benefits and perks as being among the best advantages of working at Facebook. Other positives of working at the company employees often cited on reviewes at Glassdoor.com include a relatively flat hierarchy and exciting work.
1. LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD)
> Glassdoor rating: 4.5
> CEO rating: 97% (Jeff Weiner)
> Employees: 5,045
> Revenue: $1.5 billion
According to the company: “Founded in 2003, LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. With over 300 million members worldwide…LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet.”
Based on Glassdoor.com reviews, LinkedIn is the nation’s best company to work for, in tech or any other sector. One important consideration likely helping the company achieve this position is pay. According to Glassdoor.com, the average reported annual salary for a software engineer was $127,615, with 248 workers reporting their pay. Additionally, the 149 senior software engineers reporting were paid an average of $145,096 a year. Like other Silicon Valley companies, LinkedIn offers unique perks, including “Bring in Your Parents Day” and Spacelift — a competition in which employees get to redecorate their workspaces. Employees also praise the company’s leadership, with 97% of reviewers approving of CEO Jeff Weiner, more than at all but a few companies.
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