From Amazon to Allergan and Salesforce to Starbucks, this year’s LinkedIn Top Companies represent brands we know and love — as well as the firms that protect our devices and design our hip implants. These 50 companies span 21 industries and employ some 3.3 million workers across the U.S. They are where professionals want to work now.
The Top Companies list is based on the billions of actions taken by LinkedIn’s 500+ million members and looks at three main pillars: interest in a company’s jobs, interest in a company’s brand and employees, and employee retention. (You can read more about our full methodology here.)
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Here are this year’s top 50 companies in the U.S. (To see the top companies in the U.K., Australia, India and more, click here.)
Alphabet — still better known as its main division, Google — has a legendary culture. The bikes, the food, the foosball; you’ve heard it a million times. But those aren’t what keep the company at the top of this list. What does? The opportunity and resources employees are given to tackle massive problems, stretching from creating self-driving cars to impeding extremism.
Number of global employees: 72,000
A few words from the co-founder: “In the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant,” says Larry Page.
Going green: Alphabet set a long-term goal in 2012 to use 100 percent renewable energy for its operations. It’s on track to hit that goal this year.
In the past 12 months, Amazon won three Oscars, grew its Prime service by some “tens of millions” new members and even delivered its first package by drone. Innovations like these take people and Amazon is on a hiring binge, with plans to add 100,000 new full-time, full-benefit jobs in the U.S. over the next 18 months.
Number of global employees: 341,400
Parents perk: The company offers “leave share,” which allows employees to give six weeks of paid leave to a spouse or partner who isn’t eligible for parental leave at their employer.
Woof-friendly office: Not only are dogs welcome at Amazon’s corporate headquarters, there’s even an on-site dog park and free treats.
Facebook’s empire is massive, reaching nearly 1.9 billion monthly active users. This kind of scale gives employees the power to experiment at levels never before imagined — well beyond the reach available to rivals like Snapchat or Twitter (which has 313 million MAUs). CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s accompanying vision for the company is equally big: to “build the new social infrastructure to create the world we want for generations to come.”
Number of global employees: 17,000
In demand job areas: Software engineering, infrastructure, machine learning, data analytics and marketing.
Intriguing interview question: One question Facebook likes to ask in its interview process is “What does your best day of work look like?” to get insight into what matters to a candidate and why.
Salesforce, the cloud-based business software company, famously had Buddhist monks consult on the design of its new San Francisco headquarters — and specifically set aside the 61st floor for employee and community events. This spirit of inclusion also motivates the company’s continuous audits of employee pay to ensure equal compensation across gender, race and ethnicity. It invested $3 million this year to close any gaps.
Number of global employees: 25,000
In service: All employees receive eight additional days of paid time off annually to give back to causes they find meaningful.
All in the family: Salesforce recently introduced six months of parental leave for primary caregivers in the U.S.
Uber’s steered from one public outrage to another lately, but the negative press didn’t dull Uber’s career-making potential last year. The company moved up one spot as job seekers continued to flood the unicorn with applications and professionals researched employees in record numbers. Unique job appliers nearly doubled in February from a year earlier, though subsequent data points to some signs of weakness. For a deeper look into why Uber keeps attracting top talent even as its culture gets questioned, check out our in-depth look: If Uber is such a terrible place to work, why does everyone want to work there?
Number of global employees: 12,000
Big money: Uber is the highest-valued private technology company with a valuation of $69 billion.
Get acquainted: Worldwide nUbers, as new employees are dubbed, attend a 3-day Uberversity program where they get to meet directly with the leadership team.
Want to work in autos? In tech? On the future? Tesla has it all. Elon Musk’s brainchild recently surpassed GM and Ford to become the largest U.S.-based automaker, with a now $50 billion market value. And now it’s not just an automaker. Tesla’s controversial$2 billion acquisition of SolarCity created what it calls the “world’s only integrated sustainable energy company.”
Number of global employees: 30,000
Job openings: The company has nearly 2,500 open position globally, including titles like Energy Advisor and Thermal Systems Aerodynamicist.
Coast to coast: Musk announced that Tesla’s Autopilot feature should be capable of a fully autonomous trip from LA to New York by the end of the year.
Apple employees in Cupertino, Calif. are packing their boxes: a shimmering workplace oasis awaits at the new Apple Park. The office reflects the very heart of Apple’s sleek design philosophy. No detail was too small for scrutiny, from preventing reflection of vents or pipes in glass windows to designing doorway thresholds to lay level with the floor for fear that the bump could distract engineers from their work.
Number of global employees: 110,000
Services are on a roll: “Our goal is to double the size of our services business in the next four years,” said CEO Tim Cook. This includes iTunes, the App Store, Apple Pay, licensing and other services.
Buying in: Apple offers employee stock grants for all employees, including retail and part-time workers. Slightly more than 10% of its retail workers turn over each year — vs 80% for the rest of the industry. Hear more from Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of Apple retail.
Time Warner, which owns Turner, Warner Bros., and HBO, among others, is set to be acquired by AT&T for a whopping $85.4 billion, pairing its vast media and entertainment assets with the wireless giant’s 50 million customers. Entertainment is the heart of the company, and employees can keep up with the latest releases during film and television screenings at the office.
Number of global employees: 25,000
Set them free: HBO CEO and Chairman Richard Plepler stresses the need to “liberate talent to do their best work” on all sides of the camera. “It goes to our marketing team. It goes to our PR team. It goes to our talent relations team.”
No couch potatoes here: Time Warner’s Fit Nation program promotes employee participation in walks and runs, intercompany step challenges, triathlon training, and more.
Not only is Walt Disney home to Disneyland — “The Happiest Place on Earth” — it also owns television properties like ESPN and ABC and hitmakers like Marvel, Pixar and Lucas. That’s a lot of creative talent and marketable properties under one (mouse ear-shaped) roof. While ESPN’s hit a cord-cutting-fueled slide, the film divisions continuously dominate the box office.
Number of global employees: 195,000
Better than a FastPass: Employees throughout the company get free passes to Disney theme parks for themselves and their dependents.
Behind the scenes: Once a year, in the early hours before guests arrive, Disney Parks employees race around Tom Sawyer Island in canoes, competing for annual bragging rights.
If rumors that it’s planning a Netflix rival are true, Comcast NBCUniversal may be well positioned to compete thanks to its 25 million high-speed internet customers at Comcast Cable and its catalog of award-winning programing at NBCUniversal. But to be successful, CEO Brian Roberts says culture “is the one thing I’ve got to get right.” Comcast NBCUniversal brings that culture to life with programs like Comcast Cares, its annual community volunteering day.
Number of global employees: 160,000
On duty: Comcast NBCUniversal has committed to hiring 10,000 people from the military community by the end of 2017.
Hotel disruptor Airbnb is valued at $31 billion, but IPO watchers should exercise patience. CEO Brian Chesky will only say he’s “working on making sure the company is ready to go public,” mentioning a two-year runway, but not when it begins or ends. With the acquisition of payments start-up Tilt and an investment in the restaurant reservations app Resy, Airbnb is also moving beyond accommodations.
Number of global employees: 3,000
Get packing: Employees receive a quarterly travel coupon good for toward any Airbnb listing worldwide.
Taking action: After a Harvard study citing discrimination across the platform, Airbnb hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct a review. One result: a new product team dedicated to reducing bias on the site.
With a popcorn maker prominently displayed in the lobby of its Los Gatos, Calif., headquarters (alongside several Emmys), Netflix is as serious about entertainment as Wall Street is about keeping an eye on its subscriber numbers. Netflix is cranking along with plans to spend $6 billion on content and produce 1,000 hours of original programming in 2017. In line with that commitment, its new Hollywood office opened this year, home to 800 Los Angeles-based employees.
Number of global employees: 3,200
Cool perk: Netflix provides up to 12 months of paid maternity and paternity leave to salaried employees and does not track vacations or approve expense reports.
Ooh la la: Netflix original movies will screen at the Cannes Film Festival for the first time this year.
Management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. doesn’t publicize the work it does for its often high-profile clients in 22 industries, from professional sports leagues to government labor departments. While business schools are a primary feeder into McKinsey, the firm looks outside, too, bringing in team members with advanced degrees in fields like engineering, law, science, and medicine. And for life post-McKinsey, the firm’s alumni career services tap into opportunities from 30,000 former employees spread across 120 countries.
Number of global employees: 25,000
Cool perk: The company offers consultants the opportunity to take up to 10 weeks off between projects.
Sample jobs: Advanced Analytics – Geospatial Data Scientist; Analyst – Process and Software Robotics; Big Data Architect; Consultant – Lean Manufacturing.
As computing has moved from desktops to distributed, so has Dell. The company now fully embraces flexible working. Prefer to work at home? Set your own hours? Bring your dog to work? All kosher. And while you can work anywhere, Dell Technologies really wants you to stay within the family, including subsidiaries like Dell EMC, RSA or Vmware: Over 40 percent of Dell’s hires are referrals from its own employees.
Number of global employees: 145,000
Going Green: Dell recently debuted recycled ocean plastics packaging for its XPS notebook, part of its goal to have 100 percent sustainable packaging by 2020. Dell is also the first in its industry to ban the export of e-waste to developing countries, use innovative packing materials like mushroom and offer free global recycling for consumers.
Getting in: Dell encourages candidates to connect with its recruiters via social.
Finance and HR software company Workday is on a run, landing a string of major dealswith the likes of Amazon, Walmart, and Target. The company prioritizes a strong corporate culture and its 6,600 global employees enjoy unlimited vacation, beauty trolleys (for their hair, makeup, and mani-pedi needs), and the occasional slide connecting them to the floor below (faster and more fun than the elevator, the company says).
Number of global employees: 6,600
Now hiring: Workday tells LinkedIn it’s hired nearly 2,000 people in the past year and anticipates hiring another 2,200 in the coming year. Many of the openings are for software engineers.
Calling all four-legged friends: Workday is serious about pooches, featuring dog friendly offices, an annual Bring Your Dog to Workday party, dog walking services, and up to a $150 subsidy for shelter pet adoptions.
You’ll likely recognize some names on Under Armour’s payroll: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Stephen Curry, Lindsey Vonn. This is a sampling of the star power that CEO Kevin Plank oversees everyday, encouraging employees with mantras like “Expedite the inevitable” and “Respect everyone, fear no one.” This competitive spirit is part of what has supercharged Under Armour’s success, helping it become an $5 billion company and one of Nike’s fiercest competitors.
Number of global employees: 14,000
Dream job: Under Armour will become the official MLB outfitter starting in 2020, after landing a once-a-decade contract. The new Designer of Headwear, MLB at Under Armour will be landing a coveted industry gig.
Sweet perk: Employees have access to free tickets to sporting events and concerts via the UA virtual box office.
Twitter played an integral role in the U.S. presidential election, but Twitter’s future seems to be orientation more to LA than DC. It’s lined up 14 live video partnershipswith companies like Bloomberg, the WNBA and Live Nation to produce what they hope will be must-see (and must-Tweet) programming. Twitter offers up to 20 weeks of paid leave for any employee with a new child as well as tricked out offices (rosé on tap, anyone?) and professional development opportunities for university students.
Number of global employees: 3,500
In their own words: “Working here means tears and laughter and challenges and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities,” say current and former employees using the company medium.
Globe trotters: Twitter’s located its first data science team outside the U.S. at its Singapore headquarters.
CBRE has been on a roll in spite of a tepid commercial real estate market. In 2016, CBRE brought in revenue of over $13 billion, a 20 percent annual increase. The company has also boosted more than its bottom line: CBRE was honored with a LGBTQ Business Equality Excellence Award and earned a 2017 Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award from the EPA for its commitment to energy efficiency.
Number of global employees: 75,000
The ultimate open office plan: There are no assigned desks or private offices at the company’s Los Angeles headquarters.
Global scale: CBRE is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm.
Visa has plenty to celebrate. Overall growth in the credit card market as well as partnerships with Costco Wholesale and USAA helped Visa boost its operating revenues by almost 9% last year to $15.1 billion. Visa employees have also benefited from the company’s good fortune. Visa introduced extended parental leave, debuted an elder care leave policy and opened a 4,000-square-foot health care facility at its Foster City, Calif. headquarters.
Number of global employees: 14,000
In-demand skills: Visa is on the hunt for innovative technologists, including technical data scientists, software engineers and developers.
Future of payments: At its San Francisco Innovation Center, employees tinker on payment prototypes that could be the next major industry innovation, from VR shopping experiences to wearable payment devices.
As one of the world’s largest financial services firms, JPMorgan Chase & Co. takes its role as an industry leader seriously—and has been vocal about issues like closing the gender pay gap and hiring a diverse workforce. In this year’s annual letter to shareholders, CEO Jamie Dimon publicly called out his company and the industry on its mediocre track record for recruiting black talent and started an internal initiative to help change the tide.
Number of global employees: 240,000
Women at the top: 30 percent of Dimon’s direct-reports are women, according to the CEO, including CFO Marianne Lake.
Pay equality: The company makes sure women are represented on pay and promotion committees and enabled with so-called “superpowers” in an effort to avoid bias.
JLL, a commercial real estate company, manages a portfolio of more than 4 billion square feet of real estate. That global footprint requires more than 77,000 employees across 300 corporate offices, all working to help clients find the ideal office space. JLL practices what it preaches: The company recently revamped its global Chicago headquarters, making it a showcase for the modern corporate experience, including wifi-enabled cafes and a two-story “club” for events.
Number of global employees: 77,000
New leadership: In September, company veteran Christian Ulbrich took over the CEO title from Colin Dyer.
Mood lighting: The headquarters reception has LED lighting that changes colors to commemorate anything from St. Patrick’s day to the passing of music legend Prince.
When BlackRock announced it would leverage AI to help employees make smart stock picks, critics predicted the end of the human stock picker. But, spend a day inside the offices of the world’s largest money manager and you’ll quickly understand that BlackRock has no intention of replacing its humans with computers. Its goal is to make employees better investors and fiduciaries for clients by equipping them with the most advanced technology.
Number of global employees: 13,000
Technology at its core: BlackRock is powered by Aladdin, its unified investment and risk management platform, that combines head-spinning sums of data to highlight vulnerabilities and opportunities in the markets.
In-demand skills: Algorithmic expertise, front-end and back-end programming and analytical and problem-solving skills.
Stryker’s mission is to make healthcare better. Its workforce of more than 33,000 global employees bring that mission to life through inventions like robotic-arm-assisted surgery devices and its AMagine technology that can 3D print surgical implants. It’s creations like these that change patients’ lives—and make working for the Kalamazoo, Mich.-based company fulfilling. Opportunities to move offices or roles within the company also encourage employees to grow with the company.
Number of global workers: 33,000
A personal welcome: Many new hires receive an “all about me” form, asking their preferred colors, snacks and more. On their first day, a decorated desk awaits decked out with their favorites.
Giving back: Last year, Stryker donated $38.9 million worth of financial and product support globally, which includes its work with Operation Smile, providing free surgeries in developing countries for cleft palate and other facial deformities.
Adobe is much more than Photoshop and PDFs. Thanks to its new Experience Cloud for businesses and recent acquisitions, the 34-year-old tech company now has something to offer everyone from artists to global brands. It’s also moving rapidly into artificial intelligence. Adobe plans to train all technical employees in AI fundamentals and says many of its 4,000 new hires this year will be researchers in big data, machine learning and AI.
Number of global employees: 16,500
Out-of-the-box job titles: Adobe has a Principal Artist-in-Residence, a People Scientist, and a Vice President of Creativity.
Humble culture: In order to succeed at this tech giant, Adobe says that employees must have small town values and a “learn-it-all” mentality.
Capital One’s goal is simple: “Bring ingenuity, simplicity, and humanity to an industry ripe for change.” Its cafes are proof of that. Capital One created public spaces for people to grab coffee, charge their devices and get free financial advice — part of its effort to make banking more accessible. The company’s humanity doesn’t end with its customers. Capital One offers employees generous perks like gender reassignment coverage and reserved parking for expectant mothers.
Number of global employees: 47,300
Bank bot: Capital One recently launched the first natural language SMS chat bot from a U.S. bank: Eno. The gender neutral, emoji-friendly virtual assistant allows users tocheck account balances, recent transactions and more.
Noteworthy HQ: Capital One’s newest space in Clarendon, Va. was designed with an urban planning approach, meaning each area of the office is broken down into smaller blocks that are easily changed as the life of a project expands and contracts.
Oracle sells HR software and runs itself on it to prove that it works. The company is hiring 20,000 new employees a year to keep up as it transitions to the cloud. How does Oracle attract so much talent? One word: flexibility. The company has the most distributed network of software engineers of any Top Company, according to LinkedIn data. Its engineers can be found coding from its Silicon Valley headquarters to Naples, Fla. and beyond.
Number of global employees: 135,000
Application tip: Take the time to tailor your resume. Oracle says customizing each application for the specific role is beneficial since no two jobs are the same.
Work with the world: Oracle has more than 380,000 customers in more than 145 countries around the world. These include 100 of the Fortune 100 and some of the world’s biggest governments, tech companies and manufacturers.
“If you’re comfortable with the status quo, Allergan can be a very challenging place to work,” says Chief Commercial Officer William Meury. It’s no surprise, then, that the most common adjective describing its culture is “bold,” an important quality when uncovering potentially life-saving drugs. After the U.S. government scuttled its merger with Pfizer last year, Allergan doubled down on its open science approach, sending employees on the hunt for innovations internally and beyond.
Number of global employees: 18,000
Next gen workforce: 51.5 percent of the workforce are millennials.
Specialty Sales Jedi?: Employees get to select their own business card titles.
Cisco is moving beyond its core router and switch businesses. It recently sealed a $3.7 billion deal to buy AppDynamics, snapping up the software unicorn before its planned IPO. Cisco is also moving into subscription sales and other sources of recurring revenue. Those plans require a robust hiring outlook. As of February, it had some 3,200 open positions, and Cisco says it’s particularly looking for security, programming and solutions sales expertise.
Number of global employees: 73,000
Popping up in surprising places: Cisco’s engineers support everything from Jimmy Kimmel’s “Wall of America,” to secure communications during emergencies, like earthquakes and hurricanes.
Giving back: In 2016 alone, employees logged over 227,000 volunteer hours, and the company gives staffers five paid days to do volunteer work.
Working for Verizon no longer means just bragging about your pipes. The company has moved from delivering voice and entertainment to become a tech powerhouse. In the last year, it purchased Yahoo for $4.48 billion, expanded its Internet of Things (IoT) footprint with a series of acquisitions and built out the largest 5G proving ground across 11 cities. Verizon hopes the combination of these efforts will help build the future: Think robotics and self-driving cars.
Number of global employees: 161,000
Dedicated to learning: Employees can receive up to $8,000 in tuition assistance each year. Verizon spent $308 million in 2015 on training and development for its workers.
In-demand jobs: In addition to filling the typical technical roles like machine learning, analytics and big data, Verizon is also interested in candidates with cybersecurity expertise.
The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into Tableau’s new Seattle headquarters is a massive data sculpture: an inverted depiction of the topography of nearby Mount Rainier. It’s a fitting introduction for a company that’s passionate about data. Not only do its employees host an annual data conference, they also produce ongoing “Iron Viz” competitions—like Iron Chef with less fire and more data visualizations.
Number of global employees: 3,200
Culture taste test: Tableau values “efficiency, simplicity, freakishly friendly customer service, and making a difference in the world,” the company says.
In-demand jobs: Tableau has nearly 130 job openings on its sales teams, from account managers to sales reps.
Leidos, an American defense company, goes the extra mile to make sure each of its employees are engaged. That’s not easy with more than 15,000 virtual, embedded and remote employees globally. Thanks to a resource group dedicated to its distributed workers and a CEO who personally responds to employees’ emails, those not in the office can still feel connected to the company’s culture (minus one sweet perk: access to the Leidos Scoop ice cream truck).
Number of global employees: 32,000
Out-of-the-box job titles: The breadth of Leidos’ services makes for some pretty unique positions, including Undersea Warfare Analyst, Radiological Waste Specialist, Wildlife Biologist and Robotics Vision Engineer.
Commitment to veterans: About 20 percent of Leidos’ workforce consists of military veterans. The company hired more than 1,300 veterans in 2016 alone.
You’ve only got two wrists, but Fitbit has over a dozen tracking devices to measure your moves. The 10-year old company now has 23.2 million active users, and its products are selling in over 65 countries. Fitbit’s fitness ethos naturally extends to its corporate culture: Employees participate in regular Workout Wednesdays (when you can wear workout gear to work), a running club, walking 1:1 meetings and office step challenges.
Number of global employees: 1,600
Power in numbers: Fitbit has tracked over 73 trillion steps, 3 billion nights of sleep and 1.5 million trips around the world.
Morgan Stanley has earned some bragging rights lately. The bank bested rival Goldman Sachs in fixed income trading revenue and secured the lead underwriter spot for Snap Inc’s blockbuster IPO. It’s also working to attract top talent to keep up the hits. One way it’s finding up-tapped stars: Morgan Stanley runs a paid internship program for experienced workers looking to rejoin the workforce. Over 60 percent of participants have ended up joining the bank.
Number of global employees: 55,000
They’re hiring: Every year, Morgan Stanley fills 6,000 positions across the globe and places 1,300 recent graduates in its analyst and associate programs.
Helpful perks: Morgan Stanley offers backup daycare for children and adults, financial support with adoption and student loan refinancing for employees.
Coca-Cola reigns as the world’s largest beverage company and one of the most-valuable global brands. However, the iconic company is coming down from its sugar high, and declining revenues have led management to cut costs, including 1,200 jobs. Despite those challenges, Coca-Cola continues to invest in its employees through opportunities like short-term assignments, where workers can try out a role in another country, market or division.
Number of global employees: 100,300
Giving back: The company funds restoration projects in areas worldwide where it has operations, and its 5by20 initiative aims to train and support 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020.
New talent on tap: After close to 10 years at the helm, CEO Muhtar Kent will step down in May, clearing the way for company veteran James Quincey.
At the ripe old age of 12, San Francisco-based Yelp is the granddaddy of crowd-sourced review sites. With offices spread across the U.S. as well as in the U.K. and Germany, the company saw an 11% increase in employment in 2016. It also saw the launch of a new television show in partnership with Food Network. “Help My Yelp” features Yelpers aiding companies trying to spruce themselves up based on online critiques.
Number of global employees: 5,000
Jumping right in: New hires going through Yelp University, the company’s sales training program, can expect to be on the phones right away.
Where to go: Yelp tells LinkedIn employees are excited about the new feature it introduced to make it easier for people to find gender neutral bathrooms with information provided by business owners and patrons.
Landing a job at Deloitte is more competitive than securing a freshman spot at Harvard. Only 2.4 percent of Deloitte’s 3 million applicants received jobs last year versus Harvard’s 5.4-percent acceptance rate. Deloitte is obsessed with hiring leaders — and training them to be even better. The company provides over 3.1 million e-learning courses, access to Deloitte University and a plethora of volunteering and pro bono opportunities.
Number of global employees: 244,400
Giving back: Deloitte workers logged 430,000 hours of pro bono work worth $64 million during the 2016 fiscal year.
In-demand skills: Analytical thinking, problem solving and leadership and communication skills.
Contractor Booz Allen Hamilton says its sweet spot for talent is someone with technical chops and a consulting background. A security clearance also helps, considering its many contracts with the federal government. Employees enjoy perks like access to Booz Allen’s “Dark Labs” to sharpen their cybersecurity skills. Crowdsourced winners of the firm’s “wellness wishes” receive $1,000 towards personal goals, like getting a nutrition science degree to help a diabetic family member.
Number of global employees: 23,000
Ahoy: Booz Allen recently won a $59 million contract with the U.S. Navy’s Battlespace Awareness & Information Operations Program office. The firm’s first Navy contract came in 1940 when it was asked to help the branch prep for World War II.
All aboard: Company recruiters pilot a bus named BARB around the country to university campuses, career fairs, and even parades to find talent.
Lyft may have ditched its pink mustache this year, but the ridesharing company hasn’t lost its quirk. Lyft’s mission has always been to create a community where individuals can be themselves: Drivers are encouraged to personalize their cars and top performers are rewarded for their “heroic” achievements with thoughtful perks. Think rock climbing equipment for an avid mountaineer or plane tickets to visit far away family.
Number of global employees: 1,600
I’m with the boss: More than a quarter of Lyft employees also drive for the company, including founders John Zimmer and Logan Green.
Zooming growth: U.S. ridership nearly tripled year-over-over in the fourth quarter, and in April the company landed another $500 million in funding, raising its valuation to $7.5 billion.
A pony named Buttercup watches over Splunk’s new San Francisco headquarters. The toy pony symbolizes not only the fun vibe the big-data analytics company cultivates but also the lengths its leaders will go to make employees happy: Co-founder Erik Swan gifted the stuffed animal to a rockstar engineer who promised to switch to full-time if Swan gave him a pony. Splunk is growing fast, adding almost 1,000 employees in the past year.
Number of global employees: 2,700
Powering non-profits: Splunk pledged at least $100 million in software, training and support to non-profits and schools over the next 10 years. The goal of Splunk4Good? Big data making a big difference.
Holiday spirit: Splunk’s “Fun Council” is also serious about celebrating diverse holidays, organizing festivities around events like Oktoberfest, Diwali and even National Corn Dog Day.
Music is the soul of Pandora Media. Whether it’s an in-office concert with artists like Ben Harper or Dr. Dog or shorter music breaks with co-workers, Pandora encourages employees to find what moves them. “We always take time to honor our inner music geeks,” says Colleen Finnegan, senior manager of employee experience and marketing. This year, it launched two new products, Pandora Premium and Pandora Plus, as it competes with Spotify and Apple Music.
Number of global employees: 2,100
Showing off: Employees take the stage at the company’s annual Pandora Performs talent show. Past performances have included Bhangra dancing, a 90s cover band and even a string quartet.
Unique workplace perks: Employees have access to full coverage for gender affirmation surgery and 40 hours of paid volunteer time off.
WeWork’s rapid growth — it opened 58 new co-working spaces in 18 cities last year — has made it one of the most-valuable startups, worth $18 billion. WeWork hosts an annual summer retreat — which will be in England for the first time this year — where both employees and members escape the city for some quality time outdoors. Its offices also encourage interaction; at its New York HQ, even a stairway includes couches.
Number of global employees: 2,000
Art by the numbers: In 2016, WeWork’s design team added 133 new installations, 74 neon signs, 67 murals, 123 custom wallpaper patterns and 35 custom artworks.
Climbing the ladder: Many leaders at WeWork started their careers on the community team, serving members on a daily basis, before progressing into upper-management positions.
Dropbox wants teams to better collaborate by sharing files seamlessly, so it’s not surprising that the company promotes teamwork by encouraging employees to collaborate on their hobbies. Employee groups unite to watch Bollywood movies, play board games and practice a capella singing. Dropbox also offers unlimited vacation time. Those perks have attracted talent: Its headcount has expanded by more than 30 percent in the last two years, according to LinkedIn data.
Number of global employees: 1,600
Ready, set, IPO: Wall Street insiders say the 10-year-old company is preparing for an IPO as early as the end of 2017.
New mothers: Most new mothers at Dropbox take advantage of 100 days of fully-paid, job-protected maternity leave.
In the last two years, research firm Gartner has added 1,500 employees. Huge growth doesn’t mean the 38-year-old company hasn’t invested in longtime staff. Many employees have been at the company more than 15 years, and Gartner encourages workers to pursue promotions or lateral moves: 25 percent of new roles are filled by internal candidates. To expand its services, Gartner in January paid $2.6 billion to acquire talent management consulting firm CEB.
Number of global employees: 8,800
Most in-demand skills: Drive, “no limits” mindset and executive presence.
Hiring outlook: Gartner plans to hire more than 2,400 new employees this year.
Summers are great at KPMG: Employees are encouraged to leave at 3 p.m. on Fridays. It’s just one of many perks at the auditing and advisory firm, like an employer-funded pension program and $5,000 bonus for successful applicant referrals. The firm prides itself on its values, though this year has been bumpier than usual after an auditing scandal led to the dismissal of six employees. “KPMG has zero tolerance for such unethical behavior,” said CEO Lynne Doughtie.
Number of global employees: 189,000
Legacy wall: New employees sign their name on a metallic disk and add it to a “Legacy Wall” alongside colleagues’ names as part of a first-day ritual to welcome them and demonstrate the impact they can make.
Top skills in demand: Data and analytics, advisory and audit and technology-related skills.
UnitedHealth Group is more than an insurer. It also run a pharmacy-benefits program, owns multiple doctors offices and operates a data-analytics business. Whether in the clinic or behind a laptop, employees are part of UnitedHealth’s mission: to help make the health system work better for everyone. So, what type of people is it on the hunt to find? “The insatiably curious risk-taking brainiacs who have compassion for the world around them,” the company says.
Number of global employees: 230,000
Number of nurses and doctors on staff: More than 30,000
Quality over quantity: UnitedHealthcare delivers nearly $53 billion in payments each year via value-based arrangements, which link quality and value of care versus a fee-for-service model. That’s expected to grow more than 22 percent by 2018.
It takes more than 330,000 workers around the world to serve the 85 million customers that walk into Starbucks’ 25,000 stores each week. That massive scale hasn’t kept the coffee company from maintaining a deeply personal approach to its workforce. Employees are referred to as “partners” and are treated that way. One perk: Pathway to Admission, an individualized plan to help employees gain admittance and tuition-free bachelor’s degrees at Arizona State University.
Number of global employees: 330,000
A commitment to veterans: Starbucks hit its goal of hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses a year early and expanded that goal to 25,000 by 2025.
First day fuel-up: New hires start their first day off with a tasting of brews from around the world to jump start their coffee education.
Box say customers, including companies like Coca-Cola and Eurostar, load 1 billion files into its systems each month. “Boxers,” as the company’s employees are called, celebrate their “Boxiversaries” and are encouraged to share what motivates them in the company’s content series “Bring Your ___ Self to Work.” The cloud content management company recently became cash flow positive, fulfilling a promise cofounders Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith made two years ago.
Number of global employees: 1,500
Outspoken: Box founder and CEO Aaron Levie leveled harsh criticism of Donald Trump on the campaign trail, calling him the “scariest person in America.” He also came out hard against the Trump administration’s travel ban, and Levie says investors thanked him for it.
Edelman may be best known as a PR firm, but it’s transformed into an all-around communications powerhouse. To do so, it’s had to dramatically diversify its workforce of some 6,000 employees across more than 65 offices, bringing in specialists in crafts ranging from planning to influencer marketing. Edelman’s also gained an edge over rivals by continuing to invest in market-leading research, like its 17th annual Trust Barometer study.
Number of global employees: 6,500
Branch out: Employees at some Edelman offices take part in (platonic) blind coffee dates on Valentine’s Day, giving them a chance to mingle with people they might not usually work with or encounter at the company.
Get away: The U.S. Edelman Escape program provides 30 employees every year with a one-week sabbatical and $1,500 to pursue a personal interest or charitable cause. Last year’s recipients traveled to Japan to assist with relief efforts after a natural disaster, volunteered at an orphanage in rural India and participated in a Doula training and retreat in Uganda.
Square takes its seller-first mentality seriously by ensuring employees (endearingly referred to as “Squares”) interact with its product and customers daily. Within their first three days, new hires must visit a Square customer like Blue Bottle Coffee to see how small businesses use the product. The access to sellers continues in the office: Vendors like Andy Town (coffee) and Wise Sons (a deli) set up shop, creating a living R&D lab.
Number of global employees: 1,800
Approachable CEO: Jack Dorsey doesn’t have two companies on this list for nothing. The CEO has said Square is committed to “responsible transparency” and a “show, don’t tell” mentality. He models this by holding an open Q&A with each new hire group and a company “Town Square” every two weeks.
Noteworthy HQ: Square’s San Francisco HQ isn’t just in an urban setting, it also has the layout of a city. There is a central boulevard sprinkled with stand-up tables and cabanas that acts as a main artery through the office as well as smaller boulevards that lead to “neighborhoods” with shared amenities and spaces.
This is no easy time to be a retailer. Yet, as rivals shutter stores, Nordstrom has avoided large-scale closings. The company is seen as better equipped to weather challenges due to the success of discount chain Nordstrom Rack and the strength of its e-commerce sites, which now account for roughly 25% of revenue. Employees benefit from a promote-from-within culture: Nordstrom’s new chief innovation officer, for example, is a 34-year veteran who started as a store menswear salesperson.
Number of global employees: 69,400
Culture of empowerment: On their first day of work, every Nordstrom employee receives a copy of the company’s one rule: Use good judgment in all situations.
Next gen: The Nordstrom Fashion Ambassador program welcomes juniors and seniors in high school behind the scenes to learn about the fashion industry.
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Photo credits: Getty Images, OfficeLovin and companies.