The Job Seeker’s Guide to the 2014 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For

Posted by Michelle V. Rafter on January 16 2014

michelle-v-rafter By Michelle V. Rafter

You’re looking for a job. Why not start at the top?

The 2014 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, published today, shows job hunters all the great benefits and perks they’d get if they went to work at workplaces that have been rated by their employees as the country’s best.

We’re talking flexible schedules, generous health care coverage, wellness screenings, 401(k) contribution matches, and perks - plenty of perks.

Google tops this year’s Best companies list. But not every company is as big, or well known. The list also includes regional companies such as Northern California grocery chain Nugget Market, Inc., private businesses such as JM Family Enterprises, and 100 percent employee-owned enterprises, such as Burns & McDonnell Engineering, Inc.

Even if none of the 2014 Best Companies are a good fit for what you’re looking for, you can use the benefits, perks, flexible schedules and retirement savings support they offer employees as a gauge for measuring what the companies that you interview with offer.

Companies appear on the 100 Best list after being ranked based on employees’ responses to a Great Place to Work survey that measures peoples’ perception of their workplaces. The ranking also considers results of an audit of a company’s workplace practices conducted by a team of Great Place to Work evaluators. For more, see how Great Place to Work identifies best places to work in the United States and globally.

Here are a few trends from the 2014 100 Best Companies list that job seekers should know about. We’ll share more in future posts.

Company Size

The bigger the company the better the workplace, right? Wrong. It’s tempting to think that large companies are better equipped to offer the environment, management, compensation, flexibility and perks that make them outstanding workplaces. However, smaller and mid-sized companies don’t do a bad job of it either.

In fact, a third of companies in the 2014 list have 2,500 or fewer U.S. employees, and close to half (48 percent) have a U.S. workforce of 5,000 or less.

Some small and mid-sized companies on the 2014 list include Cooley LLP (1,565 employees), PCL Construction Enterprises Inc. (1,460) and Nugget Market (1,151). 

The takeaway if you’re considering a job switch: don’t automatically disqualify a company from your search because they’re a smaller, local or regional concern.

Perks

It’s the rare person who takes a job because of the free sodas, assigned parking spot or other perks. But non-essentials can act as a window into a company’s culture, and all other things being equal, help you pick between one potential employer and another. 

Companies on the 2014 100 Best list offer a diverse set of perks. Perks that Google offers its Silicon Valley-based employees include bike repairs, on-site laundry rooms, shuttle service and sign-ups to have produce from local farms delivered to the office. 

Employees at Camden Property Trust pay only $20 a night to stay in a furnished unit at any of the apartment complexes the Houston real estate company owns, including in vacation destinations such as Orlando, San Diego and Denver. “The suite allows me to plan inexpensive trips for my family and allows us to visit cities we used to dream of,” one employee says.

Among Best Companies, the most common perks are discount tickets (91 percent), free coffee, sodas and other beverages (86), fitness classes (80), on-site package or mailing service (80), dry cleaning (73) and on-site massages (72).

Quirkier perks include on-site amenities such as convenience store (46 percent), car washes (44 percent) detailing or tune ups (27 percent), and hair salon (20 percent).

 

Michelle V. Rafter is a freelance journalist covering careers and workplace issues. Reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.