Everybody wants to work for a company that values their employees, and offers them security, progression and a favourable salary – but until you’ve passed that interview and signed a contract, it’s hard to know what you’re letting yourself in for.
Luckily, job review platforms such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn can give some insight, even if you have to wade through the colourful claims of axe-grinders who suggest that “if you manage to quit before you are fired you have won at life” (an actual real review of one law firm).
For the most part though, it is relatively easy to find a job that you will enjoy. Based on desirability, engagement and retention, here are the 15 best companies to work for.
The UK/Netherlands-based consumer goods giant is responsible for the production of some of the world’s most recognisable food, hygiene and cleaning brands, such as Ben & Jerry’s, Vaseline and Hellmann’s. It currently employs 169,000 people across the world in a wide variety of fields.
Employees enjoy working with such famous brands, with an emphasis on collaborative projects and the use of cutting-edge technologies. Workers also appreciate the flexible hours, with the opportunity to also work from home demonstrating the company’s commitment to a strong work-life balance.
The German electronics conglomerate currently has 370,000 employees working across its diverse range of engineering and manufacturing businesses, boasting impressive yearly revenue of over €83bn in 2017.
Workers clearly enjoy the professional development opportunities on offer with such an innovative company, while the generous benefits package (including the opportunity to own shares) is also highly lauded. Creativity is encouraged, and the scope for career progression is – as you’d expect at such a large organisation – vast.
The first of many California-based technology firms on this list, Oracle is an information management software company that employs 138,000 people across its global operations.
Many employees appreciate the company’s policy on working from home full time (as long as you live more than 50 miles from the nearest office), with the flexibility of working hours another big crowd pleaser. Education is also encouraged, with the firm even willing to pay for classes taken in your personal time.
The brainchild of Elon Musk, Tesla specialises in the research, development and production of energy friendly automobiles, and employs 33,000 people across the world.
Job satisfaction is very good at Tesla, with employees proud of the fact that they are at a company dedicated to making positive environmental changes. Another common plus point is the innovative, fast-paced work environment – as well as the bonus of your boss being one of the most interesting thinkers on the planet.
Another California-based technology giant (are you starting to see the theme yet?), Cisco is focused more on the hardware side of things, with 74,000 people across the world maintaining its operations. They are responsible for the smooth running of many information and data software systems.
Cisco are a market leader in what they do, and employees enjoy having this globally recognised and respected brand on their CV. Like Oracle, they reimburse educational pursuits, as well as offering stock options and annual bonuses. Each team even has a “fun fund”, a dedicated quarterly budget to be spent on social events and activities.
10. Dell Technologies
Based in Texas, IT stalwart Dell merged with the EMC Corporation last year to form Dell Technologies; it still maintains the prestige and gravitas of its predecessor though, employing 138,000 people across the globe.
Like most modern companies, Dell are flexible when it comes to hours and working from home. According to their website, they aim to promote a “culture of meritocracy”, with an emphasis on retention; employees meanwhile favour the positive working environment, as well as the wider balance of the company between corporate stability and entrepreneurial spirit.
Despite its controversial history, L’Oréal is the world’s largest cosmetics business, with nearly 90,000 employees worldwide.
The company places a huge emphasis on developing staff, particularly through international secondments, while its New York office boasts a juice and coffee bar, an employee-only nail salon, and even a wellness suite, containing four mothers’ rooms and two meditation rooms. Employees also benefit from an annual profit share arrangement, as well as additional maternity and paternity leave days at full pay.
8. Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey (LVMH)
From one iconic French company to another, LVMH is a luxury goods conglomerate made up of the merger between fashion house Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessey (itself a merger between champagne producer Moët & Chandon and cognac maker Hennessey). They currently employ 134,000 people across the world.
Many employees are drawn to the glamour and prestige of working with such esteemed luxury brands, with opportunities in a huge range of roles, such as retail, marketing and craftsmanship. The company is keen to promote autonomy among its workforce, with employees encouraged to take the lead on projects.
7. McKinsey & Co.
McKinsey & Co. is a highly influential management consultancy firm with over 20,000 staff members working in offices across the globe. Considered the most prestigious company in its field, it has established a unique and often-imitated corporate culture that has seen it regularly voted one of the top companies in the world to work for.
It’s no surprise either, with McKinsey alumni more likely to become CEOs of other companies than any other professional services firm. While standards and workloads are high, the high salaries on offer more than make up for it, with many employees enjoying the exposure to diverse industries and locations.
This is all if you can actually get a job there though. According to the Financial Times, the highly sought after firm received over 225,000 job applications in 2013; only 2,200 of the applicants – less than 1 per cent – were successful.
This cloud-based software firm headquartered in (yes, you guessed it) California is actually the brainchild of a former Oracle executive. It currently employs just over 25,000 people.
The biggest draw at Salesforce is undoubtedly its much-heralded benefits package, with plenty of perks and staff given generous amounts of time off. The company is heavily involved in charity and volunteer work and encourages its employees to join in, resulting in even more time off for volunteer projects. With a strong emphasis on developing a productive and happy workforce, it’s no wonder Salesforce always score highly in job satisfaction surveys.
Technology giant? Check. Based in California? Check. The main difference? Apple is arguably the biggest of the bunch. With a humungous revenue stream of nearly $230bn in 2017 and an almost fanatical level of brand loyalty from its customers, there is no shortage of job seekers looking to join the 123,000 people currently employed there.
The benefits of working for Apple are endless. Great salaries, a mature office environment, highly intelligent peers, the company’s famous monthly “beer bashes”, the CV value, strong leadership, lack of micromanagement… the list is exhaustive. And all without mentioning every Apple employee’s favourite perk – the discounts on the products.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get your foot in the door.
Despite a catalogue of criticisms and controversies – including being banned in London in September 2017 – it seems that the transport app is still one of the best companies to work for according to its 12,000 employees.
The most obvious benefit to being an Uber driver is the very principle on which the company is founded; namely that you work as much or as little as you want. Employees enjoy the flexibility and autonomy of the role, as well its social nature. At a company level, Uber is also working with telecommunications providers and fuel companies to get its staff discounts, as well as health insurance and financial management perks.
It’s a cultural phenomenon that has changed the way we live, made its owner an estimated $74.7bn, and even spanned a critically-acclaimed Hollywood movie about its creation; it also turns out that Facebook is actually a pretty good place to work too.
The social media giant offers technical and non-technical roles all over the world, with a huge emphasis on developing its people at a personal and management level – something hugely valued by its 20,000+ employees. And their offices are exactly what you would expect them to be: free sweet shops, sleep pods, games arcades…Facebook even encourage staff to personalise their workspaces with graffiti and self-generated artwork.
The Seattle based online retailer is one of the most recognisable brands in the world, having diversified from simply selling books to developing web technologies and producing original content for its digital media streaming service. It is one of the largest employers on the list, with over half a million people working within its many business divisions.
While the likes of Apple and Facebook are generous with their perks, the deliberately frugal Amazon offer none – all as a result of founder Jeff Bezos’ leadership philosophy of asking and not taking. People don’t come here for the perks though. Although the company offer decent stock options, health insurance benefits and generous budgets for team outings, the most important thing according to its staff is the complete ownership and autonomy you have over your work projects, allowing you to feel valued and trusted by the company.
Which brings us to number 1. If Amazon is the sourly miser of the Silicon Valley tech giants, then…
1. Google (Alphabet)
…is the colourful, free-spirited pioneer! As of 2016, Google had over 70,000 employees across its worldwide offices, and each one is a beneficiary of the company’s famously generous perks and laid back culture.
The free food (hand prepared by its chefs) gives you a good idea of how Google treats its employees (workers are also offered free cooking classes). Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page conduct weekly Q&As with staff where nothing is off limits, as well as inviting a diverse range of guest speakers such as Ryan Reynolds and Lady Gaga. There are free gyms and massage therapists on site, free shuttle services for its employees, health insurance, education reimbursements, museum and event discounts, community service programs and much more.
But the biggest plus is being part of a company that produces highly innovative software and hardware that has genuinely changed the way we live. Google only recruits the best, and you will be surrounded by great thinkers day in day out (many Google engineers have become CEOs at other large tech companies), on a wide range of diverse and ever-changing projects.
So there you have it. If you’re looking for a job that can give you immense satisfaction, the prospect of a long and interesting career, and some great perks to boot, then look no further than the companies above.
Do you work for any of these companies? If so, tell us what it’s like in the comments below…