The Best 50 Places To Work In 2012

best companies to work for 2012Several publications produce lists of the best companies to work for. Fortune magazine analyzes metrics like benefits, voluntary turnover, and work/life balance to determine which employers are the best. The Boston Globe surveys employees at a couple hundred organizations. And while both offer valuable lists, perhaps no ranking can capture the shifting attitudes of employees more accurately than Glassdoor, because it collects that information from thousands of companies year-round.

There are some common traits in all the companies that make this year's list. "Communication," says Robert Hohman, Glassdoor's CEO. "They're really good at refining the mountain, pointing at the mountain, and saying 'that's what we're going to climb.' "

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The employers also put an emphasis on career opportunities and work/life balance, whether its social events or the option to work from home. "They care about the life part of work/life balance," Hohman adds. "They care that your lives are good."

Glassdoor's top five companies to work for in 2012 are (on a rating scale of 1 to 5):

Google best places to work 20125. Google

Employee rating: 4.0

Software Engineer: $103,183

Google is a consistent player on Glassdoor's lists. Its employees enjoy the open, flat culture, the perks, the freedom, and all the smart people. Some call it a cult, others call it "College 2.0," and still others say it's just a great place to work.

This feeling among employees has persisted, even though Google faces a whopping, and growing, challenge of scale. "[Former CEO Eric] Schmidt did an amazing job making the infrastructure," says Hohman. And the transition to a new CEO this year, Larry Page, hasn't shaken employees' faith in the company's future. "They're excited to have a founder running the company," Hohman says.


MITRE best places to work 20124. MITRE

Employee rating: 4.1

Senior Systems Engineer: $92,808

This nonprofit company does federally funded research for a host of government agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Internal Revenue Service.

"MITRE has a very dedicated and professional workforce, and tackles some of the most difficult and rewarding problems for the country," says one MITRE Level IV employee. Plus workers get to pick from a wide array of projects, and have the freedom to direct themselves.

Combined with great work/life balance and a CEO, Alfred Grasso, with a 92 percent approval rating, MITRE is a great company, even if some employees call it "old school."

"They feel like they're serving a higher purpose," says Hohman, speaking from the perspective of MITRE's 6,000-plus employees. "Building a stronger country."


Facebook best places to work 20123. Facebook

Employee rating: 4.3

Software Engineer: $110,656

People are probably sick of hearing what a sweet employer Facebook is. Haute cuisine, laundry service, international speakers -- yeah, yeah, yeah. So maybe it's time for some schadenfreude; Facebook slipped from a 4.6 rating last year, and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg tumbled from a 96 percent approval rate to 89 percent.

But alas, Facebook still stands strong. "I get to work on an app that almost a billion people will use," says Hohman, placing himself in the mindset of a Facebook engineer. "And all my friends use it. It's kind of like being famous."

Like several companies on Glassdoor's list, including LinkedIn, Groupon and Zyga, there is also a sense of riches on the horizon, according to Hohman. Because these companies are privately held or were private for most of the last year, there's a feeling among employees that their work will play off later with a dazzling Initial Public Offering.


McKinsey and Company best places to work 20122. McKinsey & Co.

Employee rating: 4.3

Associate: $126,360

A management consulting company lands the No. 2 spot, which gives support to the idea that consulting is one of the booming industries of the coming decade. McKinsey is one of the most improved companies on Glassdoor's list, jumping up from the 18th slot last year. Part of this may be its CEO Dominic Barton, who crept up from a 93 percent approval rating last year to a blinding 100 percent today.

Skill-building is one of the qualities that employees cherish most in a company, and consulting giants do this really well. "This very difficult time has made employees think about how to build themselves over time," explains Hohman. And companies that invest in a major way in their recruits can end up with a more loyal workforce.


Bain and Co best places to work 20121. Bain & Co.

Employee rating: 4.7

Consultant: $123,928

This management consulting company jumped up from No. 3 last year, and its CEO Steve Ellis, clocked in with a stellar 96 percent approval rating.

"We consistently hear from our current and former employees that the challenging and supportive environment that Bain provides make us not only the best place to work, but a great launching pad to a successful career," says Russ Hagey, chief talent officer for the company, "whether it's within the business, social or entrepreneurial sectors."

And it's proven true. The global consulting giant's notable alumni include current and former CEOs of American Express, Burger King, eBay, Dell, Quiznos and Habitat for Humanity.

For Hohman, Bain & Co.'s success is perfectly simple: "They get work with a lot of smart people. They get to work on a lot of different projects. They get to travel the world." And of course, there's the generous compensation.


Special Mentions:

Although they didn't make it into the top five, Apple, Chevron, and Proctor & Gamble deserve a special mention for sitting comfortably in the top 50 list for all four years of the rankings.

Seventeen other employers deserve a round of applause for making their debut into this elite group. These include Cleveland Clinic, Coach, Disney Parks & Resorts, J.Crew, and Starbucks.





Glassdoor Employees' Choice Award Winners
50 Best Places To Work (2012)

Rank

Employer

Company Rating

CEO

CEO Approval Rating

1

Bain & Co.

4.7

Steve Ellis

96%

2

McKinsey & Co.

4.3

Dominic Barton

100%

3

Facebook

4.3

Mark Zuckerberg

89%

4

MITRE

4.1

Alfred Grasso

92%

5

Google

4.0

Larry Page

92%

6

CareerBuilder

4.0

Matt Ferguson

97%

7

Slalom Consulting

4.0

John Tobin

90%

8

REI

4.0

Sally Jewell

89%

9

Trader Joe's

4.0

Dan Bane

83%

10

Apple

3.9

Tim Cook

96%

11

General Mills

3.9

Ken Powell

100%

12

Rackspace

3.9

A. Lanham Napier

84%

13

Salesforce.com

3.9

Marc Benioff

88%

14

United Space Alliance

3.9

Virginia Barnes

44%

15

Dow Chemical

3.9

Andrew N. Liveris

88%

16

Chevron

3.8

John S. Watson

92%

17

Southwest Airlines

3.8

Gary C. Kelly

91%

18

National Instruments

3.8

James J. Truchard

100%

19

Wayfair (formerly CSN Stores)

3.8

Niraj Shah

96%

20

Citrix Systems

3.8

Mark B. Templeton

92%

21

Qualcomm

3.8

Paul E. Jacobs

89%

22

SAP America

3.8

Jim Hagemann Snabe / Bill McDermott

85%

23

Costco Wholesale

3.8

Jim Sinegal

94%

24

J. Crew

3.8

Mickey Drexler

100%

25

Procter & Gamble

3.7

Bob McDonald

91%

26

Fluor

3.7

David T. Seaton

71%

27

ReachLocal

3.7

Zorik Gordon

79%

28

Johnson & Johnson

3.7

Bill Weldon

69%

29

Monsanto Co.

3.7

Hugh Grant

95%

30

NetApp

3.7

Tom Georgens

100%

31

Morningstar

3.6

Joe Mansueto

95%

32

Intel Corp.

3.6

Paul S. Otellini

93%

33

Disney Parks & Resorts

3.6

Al Weiss

90%

34

Starbucks

3.6

Howard D. Schultz

89%

35

Nike

3.6

Mark G. Parker

89%

36

Cleveland Clinic

3.6

Toby Cosgrove

83%

37

Coach

3.6

Lew Frankfort

91%

38

Ernst & Young

3.6

Jim Turley

90%

39

Sephora USA

3.6

David Suliteanu

78%

40

Groupon

3.6

Andrew Mason

78%

41

Goldman Sachs

3.6

Lloyd C. Blankfein

88%

42

Intuit

3.6

Brad Smith

84%

43

Accenture

3.6

Pierre Nanterme

90%

44

Nordstrom

3.6

Blake W. Nordstrom

90%

45

PricewaterhouseCoopers

3.6

Dennis M. Nally

85%

46

Eli Lilly

3.6

John C. Lechleiter

74%

47

MTV Networks

3.6

Philippe P. Dauman

81%

48

Scottrade

3.5

Rodger O. Riney

83%

49

NVIDIA

3.5

Jen-Hsun Huang

86%

50

FedEx

3.5

Fred Smith

100%





Next: Are We Slackers? What Motivates Employees [Infographic]



Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now



Stories from Glassdoor.com


Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at claire.gordon@teamaol.com. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.

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47 Comments

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Dan

Chevron is a huge mistake. It is a bad place to work. The benefits don't add up when they force you to be in their Union. The ethical standards between management and employee is low. Manage can comit murder and get away with it. And if you get hurt on the job, it will be found to be your fault. Chevron takes no responsibility. So, if you're looking for long hours and not future go to Chevron!

January 29 2012 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Denis

No large insurance companies and I did not see UPS or an entertainment company. Strange.

December 15 2011 at 5:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
T REXX

notice no one said verizon.. a third world slave driver at best.....30 yr emp....avg. emp dies 5 years after retireing

December 15 2011 at 5:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LaharlD2

Nike outsourced jobs to China. That I know for sure. And wow did most of you notice how many male Ceos on that list compared to female Ceos

December 15 2011 at 5:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to LaharlD2's comment
Denis

Who care about female executives? Too many mood swings and they are no good in the clutch.

December 15 2011 at 5:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sp600

Well again I see AT&T didn't make the list again. It must be because those Texas turds so called management treat their workers like $hit. Work rules that would make Hitler proud!!!

December 15 2011 at 4:22 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
aisha200bc

This is a very encouraging news that now the company's are being rated on how well they treat their employees and how well contented their employees are. It a prudent approach of any employers to treasure , appreciate and value the services of their work force as they are the main tools that guarantees a vibrant future ahead, it has always been observed, that when the employees have been taken good care of by their employers, their performances always improve. Appreciating is the final achievement that any creative person is looking ahead for. Boosting the performance of the employees is a kind of strategy that the professionals must always keep on their priority list. The monetary factors are obviously imperative too, as they help people to raise their living standards, and solving their domestic issues as well. This method adopted by any organization is a proven fact that their employees will remain faith full and will also try to advance their best services, its a part of human nature. Treasure and value your work force, and the rest will take care it self--------------

December 15 2011 at 3:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debbie

These places are filled with "type A" personalities. They might as well list that quality as one of the job requirements. Problem is, not everyone wants to be a software engineer, plus science and math were not my strong suits in high school. I'm a writer, an artist and a so-so singer, and even though these are fields where you have to study, there's no guarantee when you graduate. These skills are based on talents, on your ability to create. Do it well enough, and $100,000 can be your pocket change. But for most of the "hoi-polloi", and that excludes doctors and lawyers and other guaranteed high-paying professions, jobs have become scarce because most everyone works for some company, hospital, etc. For many years, CEO's have been altering their company structure because they can rake in far more capital that way. Why pay a human being when you can automate their former job for free? No salaries or benefits to pay; only the latest technology that will aid in eliminating even more jobs. As for the people, they're faceless and mean nothing to these companies. Our president does talk about increasing jobs for the taxpayers, but it's never been clear to me exactly what he means. Just where are these jobs he's talking about? Does he plan to have the unemployed work for the federal government where technically, he's the CEO? A job is something you do for someone, so who and where are they? Will he force the companies to create new jobs for those who have no college, or some college listed on their resume? It is possible for a company to take someone in hand and train them to do the job they want done. It's an odd concept for the higher-ups, but up until the past fifty years or so, it was always that way. Will it ever matter to them about the guy in the street? Someone who has worked all his life, only to find himself unemployed at a time when he was planning to retire in ten years? He's going to lose his house, the home where he and his wife raised their children. He may not have had the strength to join the marches in the major cities over the past few weeks, but someone is marching for him. The government needs to wake up and remember their history, Russia in 1917, France in 1789, etc. Most all industrialized nations were once at the top. They fell because they ignored the average person who was suffering, millions of them. World War II put the United States at the top, and we've stayed there over sixty years. But despite our American arrogance of being the most powerful nation on earth, the time is coming soon when we'll lose that position, and it will all be because of greed and power. I didn't write the following phrase, but its truth is timeless. "...those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it..."

December 15 2011 at 3:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Debbie's comment
LaharlD2

..and where are those tax dollars for "automations" incomes going? They are only killing themselves. Don't you know that they use governments tax money to keep themselves afloat? A lot of "automation" should be killed.

December 15 2011 at 4:24 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Fred Darling

Where is Johnson Controls?

December 15 2011 at 3:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
breaktmdb222

google or comcast what would you pick

December 15 2011 at 3:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tenny99461

I have blisters on my hands. I sweat ever day, and go home with dirt all over my clothes and I build products that I can PROUDLY say "MADE IN AMERICA"!!! And make a "piddlin" $39,000 a year. Got a kid in college that I AM paying for!!!!!!!!

$120,000??,,,nah,,keep it. I got more pride than that. I love my "blue collar" world.

December 15 2011 at 2:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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