JOB SEARCH / NOV. 25, 2014
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Top 20 Best 'Big' Companies to Work for 2014 – UK Edition

Yes, the competition for jobs is fierce in the UK, we know this! It’s in the newspapers, on TV and slapped in our faces at each and every interview we are knocked back from. Recruiters imply we should be ‘grateful’ for any chance of securing a job, regardless of whether it’s a job we would enjoy or an employer who would treat us well. This way of thinking needs to stop. It is your right to work for a company that not only values their employees, but offers you career prospects, good remuneration and a chance to develop yourself both professionally and personally. As such, I have compiled the top 20 best (big) companies to work for in the UK (2014) as ranked by The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work for 2014. For your reference, big companies refers to companies with over 250 employees.

This list is based on the results of the annual best companies survey by The Sunday Times and considers the opinions of the leading companies’ employees. Of 897 companies that were surveyed, the leading 325 are ranked in the full list versions. Here, we will identify the top 20 best (big) companies to give you an indication as to which employers may be worth targeting your job seeking energy towards!

#1 Iceland Foods (food retailer)

#2 Admiral Group (motor insurance)

#3 IHG (hotel chain)

#4 Sytner Group (Prestige car retailer)

#5 Bourne Leisure (Leisure)

#6 Marriott Hotels (hotel)

#7 McDonald’s (Fast food restaurant)

#8 Whitbread (hotel)

#9 RSA Insurance Group (Insurance)

# 10 The Midcounties Co-operative (co-operative)

#11 Nationwide Building Society (banking)

#12 Howdens (joinery and kitchen supplier)

#13 American Express (financial services)

#14 Zurich (financial services)

#15 PriceWaterhouseCoopers (professional services)

#16 Spirit Pub Company (pub)

#17 Inchcape UK (car retailer)

#18 Atkins (engineering consultants)

#19 Legal & General (financial services)

#20 EE (mobile and telecommunications)


What makes these copmanies the best?

The above companies are ranked based on the opinion of employees who were asked questions relating to the following key areas: leadership, wellbeing, self-development, local community, and how employees felt towards their employer/company, direct manager and team members. These key factors have all been taken into consideration to provide the top 20 list above.

Can SME compete with the big companies?

You may think that these companies are able to provide a great working environment for their staff due to their sheer size and annual turnover, however, many small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) have been highly ranked according to the same categories as above.

Many people prefer to work for a small business as this in itself provides a number of benefits. Not only will you have the chance to make a real difference with a smaller company, but there is usually a faster route to progression and a more ‘family-friendly’ working environment. If a smaller employer is more up your alley, then take a look at the top 5 best SMEs to work for in 2014 below.

#1 TTP (healthcare software) –Leeds

#2 Next Ventures (recruitment) – London

#3 the7stars (media) – London

#4 La Fosse Associates (recruitment) – London

#5 Macildowie Recruitment Expertise (recruitment) – Nottingham

Be proactive!

Irrespective of whether these listed companies are currently hiring or not, you can still get yourself noticed by them! Take a look at their websites and go to their ‘work for us’ section. If there is an email address to send your CV to then go for it, but be sure to tailor your cover letter to show that your primary aim is to work for that specific company.

If there is no email address to send your CV to, then call up their main office, ask for the HR manager and a contact email address, then send your CV speculatively! Why wait for a recruiter to find you? You need to cease the day and go after the best employers in town if you want a successful, long term and happy career!


Good luck!


Image source: pando

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