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.' "

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]



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