The 25 Best Companies to Work For NOW
Life + Money

The 25 Best Companies to Work For NOW

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Nap pods and rock-climbing walls are fun, but what really makes a great company are the simple things: good people, good opportunities, good pay. Two consulting firms, Bain & Co and McKinsey, beat out the trendy tech companies on Glassdoor’s annual ranking, which is based on anonymous employee reviews. Google, Facebook and Apple also scored near the top.

Here – in descending order – are the top 25 from Glassdoor’s survey for 2012, with CEO satisfaction rating serving as a tiebreaker.

#25 Procter & Gamble

Company rating (with 5 as the highest): 3.7

CEO approval: Bob McDonald, 91 percent

2011 ranking: #23

PRO: "You are able to make your own schedule you decide when you come and go. The work is never monotonous.”

CON: "You are ranked based on your degree. They basically think your degree decides how capable you are at fullfilling your jobs. Engineers are praised here."

#24 SAP America

Company rating: 3.8

CEO approval rating: Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott, 85 percent

2011 ranking: Not ranked

PRO: "Can make great commission (sales). Company does not cheap out on its investments including training and conferences etc. The company is currently in a major push for growth and innovation which is exciting from sales front.”

CON: "Like most large corporations, inconsistencies in how persons are selected for career advancement can have negative connotations. Roll-out of internal programs / changes to process lacks execution and oversight from the people the changes actually affect [creating less efficiency and negative morale in many instances] when initial drivers came from good intentions."


Company rating: 3.8

CEO approval rating: Paul E. Jacobs, 89 percent

2011 ranking: 36

PRO: "Overall a good working environment, technically challenging, employees helpful and friendly. Company invests in its people. Benefits are very good."

CON: "Work pressure can be quite high. Often, working over weekends or late in the evening is required."

#22 Southwest Airlines

Company rating: 3.8

CEO approval rating: Gary C. Kelly, 91 percent

2011 ranking: 2

PRO: "Flexible schedule, awesome benefit package, best pay in the industry!"

CON: "Working holidays and having to stay late for delayed flights. Being yelled at by customers for things clearly out of your control."

#21 Chevron

Company rating: 3.8

CEO approval rating: John S. Watson, 92 percent

2011 ranking: 26

PRO: "9/80 work weeks allow for every other Friday off. Flexible work hours. Generous compensation and 401(k) matching."

CON: "Very slow-moving company. Offices often in undesirable locations."

#20 Citrix Systems

Company rating: 3.8

CEO approval rating: Mark B. Templeton, 92 percent

2011 ranking: Not ranked

PRO: "Challenging product portfolio and plenty of opportunities for the right person. Provides the right platform for innovators and encourages new ideas."

CON: "Citrix could make improvements on the work life balance front of its staff, if not provide more incentives to compensate the same."

#19 Costco Wholesale

Company rating: 3.8

CEO approval rating: Jim Sinegal, 94 percent

2011 ranking: Not ranked

PRO: "Paid well for being a food service job. It starts at $11 an hour, plus pay increases. Strong management and you can tell that corporate management is incredibly involved."

CON: "They give promotions based on seniority often. Rarely merit. Also it's really hard to get fired. This was nice in some ways, but I was working with some poor employees that didn't care who were getting paid a lot more than me because they'd been there so long."

#18 Wayfair (formerly CSN Stores)

Company rating: 3.8

CEO approval rating: Niraj Shah, 96 percent

2011 ranking: Not ranked

PRO: "Great coworkers, young community. The company tries to provide group building activities by giving cash every month to go out with your group. Generally a good attitude around the office, except it is a tolling position when you're getting yelled at, so there is definite negativity as well."

CON: "Low starting salary. The company was constantly changing, which was a good and bad thing. It was bad because no one ever knew if they were going to be steadily doing the tasks at hand, or if they would be moving to a different group/area."

#17 J. Crew

Company rating: 3.8

CEO approval rating: Mickey Drexler, 100 percent

2011 ranking: Not ranked

PRO: "Great work atmosphere, kind and friendly co-workers, great benefits package for part-time employees."

CON: "Hourly pay-rate is a little lower than the average for part-time employees."

#16 National Instruments

Company rating: 3.8

CEO approval rating: James Truchard, 100 percent

2011 ranking: 19

PRO: "NI has some bright people. They recruit at very good universities, especially UT Austin, and they focus more on technical interview questions than most other companies."

CON: "NI is a big company trying to pretend it's still a small company. At 5200+ employees, it's not a small company anymore, and as such, it suffers from the increased bureaucracy, impeded communication, and longer work hours that usually go along with having a bigger company."

#15 United Space Alliance

Company rating: 3.9

CEO approval rating: Virginia Barnes, 44 percent

2011 ranking: Not ranked

PRO: "Unique and interesting work environment. You and your co-workers are able to take a lot of pride in working on the space shuttle program."

CON: "End of the shuttle program and uncertainty of what's next caused massive layoffs and really took a toll on the workforce moral."

#14 Rackspace

Company rating: 3.9

CEO approval rating: A. Lanham Napier, 84 percent

2011 ranking: Not ranked

PRO: "The culture is unmatched. You can't beat the Rackspace culture, and for the most part they live up to their core values. The Rackers are really what makes Rackspace a great place to work, and the CEO allows for that organic process to take place. On-site dodgeball tournaments, water slides, company parties, you name it."

CON: "There has been a lot of senior level management hired from outside the company (Yahoo). These execs do not live by the Rackspace core values of treating everyone like friends and family and providing full transparency and disclosure."

#13 Dow Chemical

Company rating: 3.9

CEO approval rating: Andrew N. Liveris, 88 percent

2011 ranking: Not ranked

PRO: "Great, smart people. Cooperative spirit. Great leadership development and training."

CON: "Have to work harder to make up for top management mistakes. Troops save the day for poor decisions by the generals."


Company rating: 3.9

CEO approval rating: Marc Benioff, 88 percent

2011 ranking: 41

PRO: "Great pay, flexible work environment and friendly coworkers. Furthermore, they are very flexible with work-from-home arrangements. And the products rock."

CON: "Almost too fast-paced for their own good. Due to complexity and rapid release schedule of new features, software is difficult to support."

#11 Apple

Company rating: 3.9

CEO approval rating: Tim Cook, 96 percent

2011 ranking: 20

PRO: "Very laid back, not a lot of micromanagement; on the cutting edge of technology, hands-on work. Generous compensation."

CON: "Really competitive, stressful, raises are small or non-existent."

#10 General Mills

Company rating: 3.9

CEO approval rating: Ken Powell, 100 percent

2011 ranking: 4

PRO: "General Mills encourages rotating through multiple different positions in order to get a wide perspective and better understanding of our business processes and challenges."

CON: "As with any large company, there is a fair share of red tape and rules. Even if a manager wants to promote an employee, HR may shoot it down because of generic rules."

#9 Trader Joe's

Company rating: 4.0

CEO approval rating: Dan Bane, 83 percent

2011 ranking: 16

PRO: "Trader Joe's provides the best starting pay I've seen for a part-time position in a grocery store. In addition, you have the chance of obtaining up to $1 more for your hourly rate around every 6 months."

CON: "Rules could be better structured. For example, each manager has different opinions on various things such as how products are stocked, so you have to change how you do things depending on which managers are around that day."

#8 REI

Company rating: 4.0

CEO approval rating: Sally Jewell, 89 percent

2011 ranking: 40

PRO: "The atmosphere is great. Everyone is very supportive of your career goals and will go out of their way to help you along. That and the discount is a wonderful perk!"

CON: "One of the biggest downsides to working here is that there are a lot of distractions. I don't know how other companies are, but it seems like there is a birthday or an anniversary, or a project conclusion party a few times per week."

#7 Slalom Consulting

Company rating: 4.0

CEO approval rating: John Tobin, 90 percent

2011 ranking: 8

PRO: "Great people, great opportunities, great benefits. A genuine interest and care in employees and culture, honesty when dealing with employees or clients, and great clients."

CON: "Some growing pains, management heirachy is confusing, needs more consistent processes, needs more collaboration with other offices in the organization."

#6 Google

Company rating: 4.0

CEO approval rating: Larry Page, 92 percent

2011 ranking: 30

PRO: "Really smart people, great benefits, amazing level of transparency and access, people -especially at the top are really committed to getting it right.”

CON: "Essentially Google has more than a few terrible middle managers. This is mostly because the really great people will often leave for school or more lucrative opportunities (because getting promotions can be very difficult) and often the people who stay are those who bide their time and are solid but not rock-star performers."

#5 CareerBuilder

Company rating: 4.0

CEO approval rating: Matt Ferguson, 97 percent

2011 ranking: 11

PRO: "While working at Career Builder you receive a very nice benefit package. This includes a wellness program and vision plan."

CON: "While working at Career Builder there are some disadvantages. One of those disadvantages is there is high turnover with the entry level sales force."


Company rating: 4.1

CEO approval rating: Alfred Grasso, 92 percent

2011 ranking: 12

PRO: "Colleagues at MITRE are among the smartest people employed in government service. At MITRE, one is reminded daily that only 40 hours per week are required. The benefits are good. The campus is located in a safe area."

CON: "MITRE is a non-profit and suffers from a lack of simplicity that comes with the direct drive for more money. It is extremely hard for MITRE employees to determine what things they might do to best contribute to corporate success."

#3 Facebook

Company rating: 4.3

CEO approval rating: Mark Zuckerberg, 89 percent

2011 ranking: 1

PRO: "My coworkers are the smartest people I have ever worked with. They love their jobs and they work hard. But they keep a balance in their lives."

CON: "It can feel very chaotic, fly by the seat of your pants, always on the go. It's growing so quickly it's hard to tell who owns what project, etc."

#2 McKinsey & Company

Company rating: 4.3

CEO approval rating: Dominic Barton, 100 percent

2011 ranking: 18

PRO: "Great pay, opportunity to travel, creating impact, looks good on resume, etc."

CON: "Life-work balance, pressure, lots of stress, excessive traveling, etc."

#1 Bain & Company

Company rating: 4.7

CEO approval rating: Steve Ellis, 96 percent

2011 ranking: 3

PRO: "Opportunity to learn about a variety of industries, amazing firm culture with smart, fun, passionate yet down-to-earth people. Amazing training where you get to meet peers from all over the world."

CON: "Job can be physically and emotionally taxing. Often unpredictable spikes in hours (comes with client services industries). A difficult client or a badly scoped project can be very challenging for up to 4-6 months."

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