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25 Best Companies to Work For and Why

25 Best Companies to Work For and Why

While the clouds of the Great Recession may have finally dispersed six years after the financial crisis, there are some aspects of the economy that have yet to be repaired. The global economy is currently cultivating fewer employment opportunities than it did in 2007, for example, with the United Nations suggesting that the reduced levels of growth among developed nations is hindering the creation of viable and well-paid jobs.

While the global employment market may be struggling to recover fully from the recent recession, however, there are still numerous opportunities for proactive and skilled individuals who are motivated to work. This is also reflected in the disproportionate growth of some companies and market sectors, who continue to buck the trend and create brand new jobs for like-minded individuals.

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    The Top 25 Companies to Work for and why

    With this in mind, what are the top 25 companies to work for and why do they remain so enduringly popular? Let’s consider the following options: –

    1. SAS, Business Analytics and Software

    Business software developer SAS features regularly on the Fortune 500 list of top employers, and managed to reclaim second spot for 2014. It is renowned for its caring approach to employees, which currently means that its global team of nearly 14,000 staff members is able to benefit from onsite medical care and health centers. With a job growth rate of 3.6% and voluntary staff turnover of just 2%, it is clearly one of the most empowering and rewarding places to work in the current climate.

    2. Genentech, Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals

    Job satisfaction can come in numerous forms, as while some individuals are motivated by their bottom line salary others look for less obvious rewards. For those who are looking to take pride in their work and influence positive change, a job at the American-based pharmaceutical outlet Genentech offers considerable rewards. While it does not have a particularly strong presence outside of the U.S., the firm made international headlines last year after it shipped a recently approved breast cancer drug to a medical centre where 3 patients were desperately awaiting treatment.

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    3. Intuit, Information Technology and Software

    A beacon of knowledge and industry insight, Intuit has been recognized as a discerning employer of choice for years. Based in the appealing location of Silicon Valley, it is extremely kind to its employees and offers genuine fitness incentives of up-to $650 a year for considerations such as gym membership, swimming lessons and Pilates classes. Also renowned as a key trainer and developer of employee skills, many staff members have reported that they work only sporadically for their first month and are given the chance to acclimatize and ease into their role.

    4. Wegman’s Food Market, Food and Groceries

    Ranking 12th in the Fortune 500 Top Employers list for 2014, Wegman’s Food Market has a renowned and long-standing reputation for nurturing graduate talent and driving internal progression. 66% of all job roles are filled internally, as youthful starters and college leavers are encouraged to develop their skills and progress through the ranks towards management. This has proven to be a huge attraction for ambitious workers, while average management salaries of $56,948 are also relatively competitive in the industry.

    5. Salesforce.com, Information Technology

    Another leader in the thriving Information Technology sector, Salesforce.com has carved an extremely lucrative niche in Cloud computing. It has doubled its workforce from 5,000 to a staggering 10,000 in the last 2 years alone, and added a total of 1,264 full-time positions in 2013. High-performing employees are also rewarded with innovative recognition programs and rewards, while skilled and accredited software engineers can expect to earn an average annual salary of $152,374.

    6. Vax, Electrical Goods and Consumables

    A recent entry onto the Sunday Times Top 100 Place to Work for 2014, Vax is not only the UK’s most renowned floorcare brand but also a leading international employer. A subsidiary of the TTI Electronics Group, it is active throughout Europe and also delivers a substantial turnover in the U.S.. Having experienced rapid growth in the last eighteen months and with plans to take on 100 brand new engineers in the UK alone between now and 2015, Vax is a brand that knows how to take care of its staff and their interests.

    7. Quicken Loans, Financial Services and Insurance

    While the financial services and insurance sector is considered to be relatively dour, there is one lender that is intent on reversing this perception. Based in Michigan and with a workforce of more than 8,000 employees, Quicken Loans has experienced huge growth in the last twelve months and created jobs at an increased rate of 46.20% during this time. Mortgage bankers can also expect to recoup significant earnings of approximately $112,000 per annum in their role, and this goes a long way to explaining why more than 2,500 Detroit residents applied for just 500 positions at the beginning of the year.

    8. Burns & McDonnell, Professional Services and Engineering

    Established in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is a professional services and engineering firm that combines traditional values with contemporary thinking. In essence, it features one of the best stock-ownership plans in the whole of the Western economy, which enables eligible employees to receive additional cash for the procurement of shares. With nearly 4000 employees across the globe and a high end salary of more than $127,000 per annum, it is a progressive and empathetic company that safeguards its employee’s well-being.

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    9. NuStar Energy, Transportation and Storage

    Employees at the world’s largest logistics and pipeline operators can benefit from an extremely lucrative benefits package, including a no-layoff policy, 100% health care premium coverage and a 401(k) match of up to 6%. Incredibly, 2013 also saw the firm’s director’s decline their annual bonuses so that their employees could retain theirs, which gives you an insight into the sense of teamwork and community spirit that exists. High end salaries reach an estimated $94,989 for terminal managers, so there are plenty of reasons to pursue a career at NuStar Energy.

    10. The Container Store, Retail and Specialty

    Global storage retailer The Container Store made the top 30 of the Fortune 500 list for the second year running in 2014, after a successful IPO that saw a staggering 14% of total shares purchased by employees. This, alongside impressive sales figures job growth of 7.90% in 2013, saw share prices double on the first day of trading from $18 to $36. This company also offers extremely competitive levels of remuneration in relation to market competitors, with store managers able to command an annual salary of $75,098.

    11. Zappos.com, Retail and Specialty

    Our first foray into the retail sector introduces us to Zappos.com, which is a leading and innovative retailer that has experienced considerable success in the last twelve months. With less than 5% of voluntary turnover among existing staff members, it is clearly a popular place to work and one that likes to empower employees through salary and incentives. The firm’s breadth of salaries range from $59,000 and $118,000 per annum, while the owners have also been known to reward employees with day trips to the Bahamas.

    12. Qualcomm, Telecommunications

    This telecom giant is an extremely people-focused business, especially when it comes to dealing with rewarding employees. This is reflected in its annual financial dealings, as last year $1,500 bonuses were awarded directly to employers who had worked tirelessly on successfully filing a new patent application. Alongside significant international expansion, generous benefits packages and impressive 2013 job growth of 16.30%, Qualcomm clearly offers genuine opportunity to proactive workers.

    13. Slinky Productions, Media and Film Production

    You do not need to be a large corporation to offer viable employment opportunities to workers, as British based media and film production company Slinky Productions can testify. A thriving creative firm with an impressive range of clients, it has worked alongside a huge breadth of international clients including Nokia, Land Rover and successful musicians the Kaiser Chiefs. After considerable growth in 2013, it offers individuals an opportunity to work in a fun and creative industry while also interacting with leading directors from around the world.

    14. Baker Donelson, Legal Services

    In terms of clear leadership and diversity, few businesses can match the appeal of legal service provider Baker Donelson. Despite boasting traditional value and having 126 years of experience in the industry, more than half of all 1247 employees are women and the company has an extremely progressive and innovative approach to administering justice. CEO Ben Adam insists that each client has a pro bono attorney with no billing requirement, for example, which enables less affluent individuals to receive representation and offers an insight into the company’s people-focused outlook.

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    15. Google, Media and Information Technology

    While much publicized diversity issues and the decision to discourage working from home and undermined Google’s reputation as one of the Western worlds’ leading employers, it remains an extremely attractive proposition for job seekers. The firms stock climbed past the $1,000 in 2013, delivering considerable return to loyal and hardworking staff members. With job rate growth on more than 20% in the last twelve months and new philanthropy programs enabling open-minded employees to exciting destinations such as India and Ghana, Google clearly remains one of the most coveted and innovative firms in the world.

    16. Edward Jones, Financial Services and Insurance

    With nearly 40,000 employees around the world and consistent job growth of 7%, Edward Jones is one of the largest and most established firms on our list. Interestingly, it rivals Starbucks in its number of U.S. locations and added a staggering 3,000 employees in 2013, while voluntary turnover is at an industry low of just 8%. Security is just one of the benefits that employees can access while working at this firm, however, with flexible job sharing opportunities and high-end salaries of approximately $90,000 per annum.

    17. UKRD Group, Media and Commercial Radio

    Another prominent and expansive British based firm, the UKRD Group topped the Sunday Time Top 100 Employers List for the second year running in 2014. There are a number of reasons that continue to drive this success, including a diverse workforce, a relatively young average age of 34 and more than 14% of all employees earning over £35,000 per annum. Although staff turnover may seem disproportionately high at 19%, this is relatively low in comparison with the overall industry average.

    18. Baker & McKenzie, Legal Services

    Not only does the renowned legal firm Baker & McKenzie deliver legal services to the general public, but it also provides a just and rewarding workplace for all employees. This is reflected in an extremely generous salary structure, which enables more than 84% of all staff members to earn a cumulative annual salary of £35,000 or above. In fact, 25% of the firms’ representatives earn in excess of £100,000 each year, while the average turnover of 9% is extremely impressive given the competitive nature of the sector.

    19. Hilcorp, Manufacturing and Production

    No list of top employers would be complete without a manufacturing firm, especially when you consider the prominence of this industry. This oil and gas exploration firm Hilcorp has grown at a rate of more than 9% since 2013, while a qualified engineer can claim an industry high salary of $211,874 per annum. The firm also announced a new incentive program called Dream 2015 recently, which promises to give every person in the company a staggering $100,000 if all goals are successfully met.

    20 Boot Camp Media, SEO and Website Design

    Some companies are fortunate to operate in vibrant industries, while others adopt an innovative approach to carving their own unique sector in the sector that they operate. Boot Camp Media belongs to the latter camp, as this SEO and website design firm that has built its recent success on considerable training and development. New members of staff often spend up to three months doing nothing more than learning and gaining valuable industry insight, while the company also allocates each Friday to educating employees and furthering their personal development.

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    21. USAA, Financial Services and Insurance

    One of the biggest climbers on the Fortune 500 List this year, USAA has created more than 1800 jobs in the last twelve months and now employees a grand total of 25,143 staff members. The company is driven by the goal of serving loyal American veterans and their families, and this is reflected in the fact that more than 8,200 vets and spouses have been integrated into the firm since 2005. With competitive salaries of between $47,433 and $115,106 per annum, there are also considerable financial rewards available to employees.

    22. Ultimate Software, Information Technology

    Yet another high-powered software company, employees at Ultimate Software have been rewarded handsomely for driving 18.70% growth in the last twenty-four months. As mandatory shareholders, they have seen stock prices rise by almost 100% between 2012 and 2014, creating an extremely lucrative dividend to supplement an average income of between $61,361 and $108,371. It is looking to create at least 300 more jobs in the year ahead, and this goes a long way to explaining why staff turnover is at an all-time low of just 1.9%.

    23. NetApp, Information Technology and Data Storage

    NetApp is an interesting inclusion in the list, as despite creating 494 jobs in 2013 and boasting high-end salaries of more than $90,000 its other statistics are not immediately impressive. It is a company with a higher purpose, however, especially for individuals who have a philanthropic outlook and a desire to effect social change. This is because NetApp offers staff members five paid days holiday every single year, so that they can volunteer and make a difference in their local community. With 13,040 staff members located around the world, this is an extremely meaningful investment.

    24. Mishcon de Reya, Legal Services

    The bright lights of London are extremely alluring for ambitious job seekers, with high-end salaries and luxurious property the order of the day. Mischon de Reya is a legal firm based in the heart of the British capital, and one that has a reputation for representing renowned celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Gordon Ramsey and the late Princess Diana. As if this was not enough, the company also remunerates handsomely with more than 71% of all employees earning substantially more than £35,000 per annum. As a package of employment, this has created a wonderful place to work and an exceedingly low staff turnover of 13%.

    25. Nugget Market, Retail, Food and Groceries

    A veteran of 9 years on the coveted Fortune 500 List, Nugget Market is a food and retail outlet with more than 1100 employees in the U.S. alone. With just 8% staff turnover, it is an extremely popular place to work and store directors can expect to command an impressive salary of over $115,000 per annum. Even check-out assistants who are paid by the hour can earn up to $40,000 each year, meaning that the firm generates a culture of empowerment and strive to reward staff for their hard and ceaseless work.

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2019

    11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

    11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

    Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

    Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

    “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

    While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

    The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

    What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

    The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

    1. Cloud Computing

    “Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

    There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

    This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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    2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

    Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

    Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

    his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

    3. Data Management

    All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

    We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

    However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

    4. Scheduling

    Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

    An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

    5. Financial Skills

    These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

    While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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    6. Research Skills

    These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

    Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

    So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

    If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

    If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

    7. Marketing Skills

    While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

    Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

    While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

    8. Network Security Specialist

    Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

    So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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    9. Communication Skills

    At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

    Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

    10. Computer Programming

    I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

    11. Graphic Design

    As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

    Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

    That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

    Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

    You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

    Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

    Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

    Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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    This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

    You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

    But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

    Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

    In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

    Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

    And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

    The Bottom Line

    We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

    We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

    We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

    As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

    More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
    [2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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