What You Should Know
Employees describe SAS as a workplace that always seeks to go a bit above and beyond. Many companies offer a gym, but few have a natatorium. Where some corporations collect artwork, SAS hires artists in residence. The upshot is an organization which 95 percent of employees or more describe as friendly, welcoming and unique. People who value work-life balance, collegiality and a united focus on improving technology tend to thrive. People who prioritize teamwork above their own individual ambition are likely to find a better fit here.
"SAS has provisions to support you at whatever stage of life you are in – child care for your newborn to preschooler, resources for dealing with your teenager and college planning, help with your elderly parent," says one employee. "More importantly, a real sense of community is built when people work together for so long."
WHAT THEY DO
SAS uses analytic software to help companies and researchers crunch data into manageable chunks that provide both insight and fresh perspective. SAS software is used widely, including at 91 of the top 100 companies on the 2013 Fortune Global 500 list.
| Website: www.sas.com
|| US Headquarters: Cary, North Carolina
| US Sites: 42
|| Major Locations: Cary, NC; Bloomington, MN; Middleton, MA; Austin, TX; Arlington, VA
| US Employees: 6647
|| Worldwide revenues: $3200 million
| Employees worldwide: 13,574
|| Founded: 1976
| Industry: Information Technology
How much responsibility would I have? What kind of support is there for professional development?
Great Rated! conducted an anonymous survey of randomly selected employees to assess the quality of the workplace challenges the company provides. At SAS, 83 percent of employees report the company often or almost always provides needed training, fair promotions and personally challenging work. Another 12 percent report the company sometimes provides these opportunities, for a combined positive rating from 95 percent of employees in the Great Challenges category.
SAS employees develop software that helps organizations turn data into meaningful information. The company has approximately 6,647 employees in the United States, where they operate 42 locations.
A large majority of employees (91 percent) say they carry a lot of responsibility in the organization, and even more (92 percent) say managers trust them to carry out these responsibilities without micromanaging them. For most employees (87 percent), their work at SAS is more than just a job: The chance to help people make sense of large amounts of data and use it to improve their businesses provides special meaning.
At SAS, 83 percent of employees feel they receive the training and development they need to further their careers. While it is often difficult for companies to ensure that promotions are awarded fairly across organizations, at SAS, 75 percent say promotions consistently go to those who best deserve them, on par with what one can typically expect at even the very best companies in the country.
Supporting Employee Development
- Average annual training for part-time hourly employees: 4 hours
- Average annual training for full-time salaried employees: 25 hours
- SAS offers a wide range of development programs that includes interpersonal training, online courses, job fairs, a massive on-site library, educational seminars and a Work-Life Radio podcast.
The collective work at SAS has a great balance of both new, exciting and challenging work. This gives people the ability to align work with their differing interests, abilities and personalities. If you like to be on the cutting edge, we offer that. If you like to be a steward by supporting, maintaining and enhancing, we offer that kind of work as well.
What would my colleagues be like? How do people have fun? How formal a workplace is it?
At SAS, 87 percent of employees say they often or almost always enjoy their colleagues and find their workplace to be fun and cooperative. Another 9 percent sometimes benefits from these qualities, for a combined positive rating from 96 percent of employees in the Great Atmosphere category.
SAS has 42 locations within the U.S., with a main office in Cary, North Carolina, surrounded by beautiful hiking and jogging trails. Employees describe a self-contained campus that provides anything and everything they might want during the workday. The Cary headquarters campus includes a daycare, a free healthcare center with adjacent pharmacy, cafes, an indoor pool, a workout facility and even the option to pick up dry cleaning, get the car washed or bring leftovers from one of the four onsite cafes home for dinner.
Fun and Celebrations
- Throwback Thursdays, summer student ice-cream socials, Earth Week activities, annual Spring Family Festival and family Easter egg hunts are among this organization's frequent celebrations and parties.
- Another notable, month-long celebration is the national employee health and fitness event. This includes numerous events like a food truck rodeo, Awesome Aquatics Day, free wellness screenings, health fairs and an annual 5K and two-mile walk on the campus trails.
Caring and Support
- SAS has a support infrastructure developed for any major life changes that arise. For starters, employees can take unlimited paid sick days. Those who experience the death of a loved one have access to counselors and support groups on site. Additionally, SAS allows dependents of deceased employees to remain on the company health plan for one year.
- One employee recalls a time when she was a new mom with a husband who was deployed to Iraq. The unlimited sick day policy allowed her to stay at home with her sick baby and not feel guilty. Back at work, she took advantage of on-site daycare, the cafeteria and flexible hours.
People celebrate special events around here.
There is a wonderfully supportive collaboration between employees. Everyone works hard and genuinely tries to help each other resolve any issues, often going outside their area of responsibility. Employees really care about the business.
What kind of perks and benefits are part of the employment package? What is the work-life balance like? Does the company appreciate hard work?
At SAS, 87 percent of employees often or almost always find the company compensates them fairly, provides special and unique benefits, supports their work-life balance and shows genuine appreciation for their contributions. Another 9 percent reports they sometimes receive these benefits as well, for a combined positive rating from 96 percent of employees in the Great Rewards category.
I am so grateful for my job at SAS. I always feel supported and happy to come into work. I feel management tries its best to give us the best benefits and compensation possible.
COMPENSATION BY THE NUMBERS
| 87% Company-paid health coverage for employees
|| 87% Company-paid health coverage for dependents
| 20 hours Weekly hours at which part-timers receive health care coverage
PERKS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER
- Free snacks during the day
- Free breakfast foods on Fridays
- Massage therapy
- Fitness classes
- Hair salon
- Subsidized public transportation
- Free beverages during the day
- Subsidized lunch on a regular, daily basis
- Take-home meals on a regular, daily basis
- Onsite package/mailing service
- Discount ticket sales
- Car wash
- Personal travel service
WORK-LIFE BALANCE BY THE NUMBERS
| 27 days Holidays & vacation days after one year of employment
|| $5,000 Adoption benefit
| 60 days Job protected maternity leave provided above and beyond FMLA
|| 20 days Paid leave for adoptive parents
WORK-LIFE BALANCE PROGRAMS
- Unpaid sabbaticals
- Job sharing (1% use it)
- Offsite subsidized childcare
- Elder care resources
- Telecommute option (12% use it)
- Onsite child care
- Lactation rooms
I am able to take time off from work when I think it's necessary.
People are encouraged to balance their work life and their personal life.
It's a family-friendly place. I like that it's okay to bring your children to work from time to time, like on teacher workdays. I like the flexibility of working from home occasionally. I also like being able to adjust my work hours to fit my children's school schedule better.
HEALTH INSURANCE COVERS
- Dental care
- Prescription drug subsidy
- Alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, homeopathy or chiropractic
- Vision care
- Mental health care
- Fertility treatments
ONSITE HEALTH BENEFITS
- Breast cancer screening
- Skin cancer screening
- Blood pressure screening
- Complete biometric screening
- Subsidized offsite gym memberships
- Prostate cancer screening
- Cholesterol tests
- Flu shots
- Fitness center
- Medicare facility
- Healthcare facility
What inspires employees' company spirit here? Do people stand by their teams' work? What impact do people have outside the organization?
At SAS, 91 percent of employees report that they often or almost always carry meaningful responsibilities within the organization and are proud of their accomplishments, community impact and the company's reputation in the world. Another 7 percent report that they sometimes experience this pride as well, for a combined positive rating from 98 percent of employees in the Great Pride category.
SAS' goal is to offer a service that will increase performance, cut out unnecessary risk and provide financial savings. Employees are proud to help organizations strengthen their relationships with the consumer and make sense of an immense amount of information.
I'm proud to tell others I work here.
The products we produce are world-class. I am extremely proud of the quality and commitment our company has to building, supporting and presenting to the world the products that we create. You will not find any organization with smarter, more caring and dedicated technical minds.
Supporting the Community
- Nearly $24 million in philanthropic donations in the last year
- SAS focuses its philanthropy on education. Specifically, SAS supports education initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and has programs available both for K-12 and higher education.
- SAS also donates to a number of charities, either by matching employee contributions, supporting employees who volunteer or giving back directly to the community in unique ways. These include last year's donation of 155 pounds of leftover Halloween candy to charity.
- The SAS Employee Volunteer Fund provides cash contributions to nonprofit organizations where employees frequently volunteer. Last year SAS partnered with DonorsChoose.org and donated over $88,000.
I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.
Employees are encouraged to donate time and money to various schools in need, with SAS often matching the monetary donations!
How easy is it to talk with managers and get the information I need? Will managers listen to my input?
At SAS, 84 percent of employees say they often or almost always experience a free and transparent exchange of ideas and information within the organization. Another 11 percent sometimes has this experience as well, for a combined positive rating from 95 percent of employees in the Great Communication category.
Communication is key in creating what SAS employees describe as a respectful work-life balance and a friendly workplace. A large majority of employees (85 percent or more) believe they are kept informed about important issues and changes and are able to ask any reasonable question and receive a straight answer from their managers. Nearly 90 percent agree that managers are approachable and easy to talk with.
I would say there's a high level of trust here. Management expects to be able to give general or even minimal guidance and the employees will work together to figure out what to do. It works. There's trust that people will do their part and do the right thing, and there's a desire to reciprocate that trust by doing a good job.
What are managers' leadership strengths?
At SAS, 82 percent of employees say their managers often or almost always act with integrity and care, are competent in their positions and provide clear directions and vision for the organization. Another 13 percent say their managers sometimes display these characteristics, for a combined positive rating from 95 percent of employees in the Great Bosses category.
SAS employees widely appreciate the tremendous pride and work-life balance their leaders encourage at the company. Nine out of 10 or more employees say their leaders are honest and ethical in their business practices and would only lay people off as a last resort. Nearly as many say they believe managers are not only competent at running the business, but also show a sincere interest in them as a people, not just as employees.
Management truly appreciates employees' work and treats everyone with respect.
Great Perks and Programs
- Lunch Ambassador Program: New hires are welcomed into the SAS organization by a current employee taking them to lunch, showing them around the campus and running through its many perks.
- Visual Feasts: With the help of 37 landscapers, 17 craftsmen and multiple artists in residence, SAS does business on a 300-acre spread that more closely resembles a college campus than a corporate headquarters. Employees travelling between buildings do so on wooded trails with relaxing vistas and sculpture installations.
- On-Site Library and Information Services: Employees have access to more than 16,000 books, research resources, business tools and loaner equipment that help them work toward their professional and personal goals.
- CEO Award of Excellence: These are awarded yearly to 25 of the most deserving SAS employees worldwide. CEO Jim Goodnight personally presents these awards to those expressing the company's values.
- Patent Recognition: Employees whose work resulted in new patents are treated to a special breakfast.
Great Rated! collected feedback from SAS Institute Inc. employees via an anonymous survey. Following are common reasons employees said they appreciate their workplace.
"SAS does so much for the employees. I always feel this is my second home. I want to give my best to this company and would like to help in any way possible to make this company more successful."
"SAS has offered a number of seminars in the last year that encouraged us to find our voice and dare greatly. These seminars, a number of books that I borrowed from the SAS library, and many heart-felt conversations with managers and co-workers has led me to feel truly privileged to work somewhere that has enabled me to start uncovering my true self."
"The environment and the people. Just driving onto campus in the morning makes me feel relaxed."
"The daycare centers show the commitment to family. It is always so much fun to eat in the cafeteria and see the people who are able to have lunch with their kids, because the daycare center is so close by. It makes the cafeteria such a happy place."
"I am so proud to work at SAS. There is no other company on earth that better supports working mothers. The only reason I am able to have a professional career and be the mom I want to be is because of the benefits that SAS provides to me and my family such as child care, health care and work-life resources. My niece has been hired as a summer student. I even gave her and her parents a tour of SAS. They were blown away by the beauty and size of the campus and the amenities and benefits offered even to our students."
"Beautiful landscape and art, gym facilities and activities including a yoga program. Travel department is excellent and forward-thinking for those who travel at SAS. Health facilities and pharmacy are excellent and on site."
"I work with good people, many of whom I have worked with for many years."
"SAS provides many services on campus to make life easier, from professional advancement (employees are able to take SAS classes, certification exams, virtual and e-learning) to personal conveniences (onsite health care, child care, pharmacy, cafes, fitness and the list goes on.) It truly is a great balance. I'm thankful to be a part of it!"
"By far, the work-life balance is exceptionally good, as you are free to come and go as you please as long as you get your work done. Benefits are very good. Facilities are fantastic and employees are encouraged to take advantage of them. This includes cafeterias with subsidized lunches, all kinds of classes, gym and workout facilities, onsite daycare and medical facilities."
"It's really a very nice place to work. Employees have power over their jobs and life (flexible work hours, push back on project management, ideas are considered). This doesn't seem to exist in other places."
"SAS is a truly caring company for its employees, its customers and the community. It is also a very open and accepting culture, regardless of race, sex, sexual preferences, religion, etc."
How to Get Hired
We asked SAS for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.
What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?
SAS looks for people, not only with the right skills, but also for a cultural fit. We seek colleagues who will contribute to the unique culture that makes working at SAS so great. Candidates must demonstrate that they have what is at the very heart of SAS – innovation and creativity, as well as qualities that match our company values. We look for the total candidate – technical skills, culture fit, relationship skills, problem solvers, good communicators and, of course, innovators!
What can prospective employees do to get your attention?
We look for people who understand who we are and what we do. We are innovators. If you embrace risk, pursue creativity, thrive on relationships and have the skills and knowledge to boot, that’s what we look for! You should be able to communicate what your skills are and why SAS needs those skills to remain an industry leader.
Are there any unusual or especially rigorous steps of your hiring process that candidates should be aware of?
During the interview process, SAS recruiters partner with hiring managers to ensure that the best person is selected. Interview questions designed to reveal candidates’ core competencies, their previous company’s culture and their ideal work environment help indicate long-term compatibility. Because teamwork and collaboration are part of our daily life at SAS, candidates may also participate in less-structured team interviews in an informal setting to help ensure a good fit with prospective coworkers.
Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?
We are mainly hiring in critical revenue generating areas such as sales, consulting, and research and development.
What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?
||43Average number of applicants per opening
|1%Total voluntary turnover in past year
||52530Applicants in past year
|1239Openings in past year
||52%New hires by employee referrals