These 40 companies are the best in the world at attracting and keeping top talent, according to LinkedIn data. Read on for how they do it.
Last year, Apple introduced a novel benefit, doling out restricted stock to the majority of its more than 100,000 employees. That’s not unusual in the tech world, but it’s nearly unheard of in retail — workers who now make up 30 percent of Apple’s staff. Not surprisingly, Apple has sky-high retention at Apple Stores: 81 percent, according to retail chief Angela Ahrendts. But it’s Apple’s “transformative” products that account for the “essence of employee satisfaction,” HR chief Denise Young Smith said. While even CEO Tim Cook (above) jokes that Apple has “more secrecy here than the CIA,” ex-employees gush on LinkedIn about talented co-workers and great flexibility. The company’s diversifying, too: It hired 11,000 women during a recent 12-month period, a 65 percent increase.
While planning its new San Francisco office, Salesforce took design advice from an unlikely source: Buddhist monks. They were visiting CEO Marc Benioff (above) and suggested that he add quiet areas to his workplace. So Salesforce listened, installing “mindfulness zones” and meditation spaces on every floor of its new tower. The cloud software provider is serious about wellness: “employees can't guide customers to success if they aren't first taking care of themselves,” it told LinkedIn. It employs 20,000 and is known for high-growth, above-market pay and lots of philanthropy. Salesforce has long offered paid volunteer time off; this past year, it upped the perk from six business days to seven.
When you’re competing for the most cutting-edge engineers — and you need an army of them each year — a culture that brings them in the door isn’t just a competitive advantage, it’s a must-have. Facebook promises that those people who are builders will get plenty to work with at the company: managers “set them free” to conquer projects. There are plenty of benefits for life outside the office, too. Last year, Facebook extended its four-month paid parental leave program to all full-timers. Another draw: The strength of its business. Revenue has increased by more than 40 percent for 14 straight quarters. As startup life gets more difficult, the appeal of landing at a growing safe-haven like Facebook is appealing: It recorded a 34 percent increase in new hires during our Top Attractors reporting period.
In the arms race for perks, few can top Google. The company lavishes its 60,000 workers with mountains of food, A-list speakers, on-site massages — even benefits after death, as HR chief Laszlo Bock shared. The bigger draw, though: working on noteworthy projects with “impatient overachievers,” as one ex-Googler wrote on LinkedIn. The company obsesses about employee happiness, rigorously studying how to build the perfect team. It doesn’t allow managers to make hiring decisions — removing bias — and bases pay on the job, not someone’s prior salary, to close the gender gap, Bock wrote.
Amazon used to have ambitions to be the “everything store.” Now it’s on path to be just “everything.” As a cloud-computing powerhouse, device manufacturer, voice-driven AI pioneer, and drone-delivering dreamer, it’s hiring needs are diverse and demanding. Amazon got some bad press after the New York Times called it a "bruising workplace," a characterization one Amazon engineer famously disputed. Our data shows that the NYT didn’t make a dent: Applications for Amazon jobs are up 25% since last year. The company provides excellent salaries and such perks as the Amazon Career Choice Program, which pays 95 percent of tuition for in-demand fields. Women in tech are championed, too; Amazon Women in Engineering provide ongoing mentorships.
Microsoft continues to be a magnet for job-seeking techies. On its Redmond, Wash. campus, the company offers restaurants, cafes, espresso stands (37 to be exact), retail shops and a sports field. Another draw for candidates is Microsoft’s unique approach to career development: “an individual adventure,” as it’s called. Its 118,000 employees are encouraged to plot their own path, working towards becoming a specialist or a generalist. Management might suit one employee; working abroad in one of the 200 locations, another. Microsoft provides career resources like mentoring, coaching and 2,000 training programs. (Note: This list was finalized before Microsoft said it would acquire LinkedIn in a $26 billion deal. For more, read here.)
Uber, the poster child for the gig economy, has become one of tech's elite destinations for engineers, operations and product managers. Word is that the interview process is grueling — but worth it. It may be different for independent contractor drivers, but its 6,700 official employees enthusiastically back Uber's mission to change livery as we know it. By far the most valuable unicorn, at $62.5 billion, Uber operates in 444 cities around the globe. While it has its critics, Uber has no problem attracting talent looking to change the world: It's already looking past delivering people to delivering anything (UberEATS) and is an unabashed proponent of driverless cars (starting with an extended trial in Pittsburgh).
There are few companies where your work can be found in every room of your house, from the kitchen (Lipton and Hellmann's) to the bathroom (Dove and Axe). Consumer goods giant Unilever has brands everywhere — as well as people. The company’s 169,000 employees get trained in the ways of Unilever at hiring; its Future Leaders Programme takes entry-level employees, for example, and gives them training and mentoring to become managers in two to three years. The company tells LinkedIn it has an “agile/flexible” working environment, and an entrepreneurial, “go for it!” culture. Employees are also committed to giving back; its Lifebuoy soap brand has taught 330 million people better hand-washing habits in an effort to reduce causes of childhood death, like diarrhea.
Coca-Cola’s in the midst of change, streamlining its business and tweaking everything from its benefits to work practices. To move faster, the company cut a layer of management and tied regional units directly to headquarters, as CEO Muhtar Kent noted in a letter to investors in April. It also added “zero-based work,” resetting budgets each year so that they “must be justified annually, not simply carried over at levels established in the previous year.” The company’s on track to cut $3 billion in costs by 2019, which it says it will reinvest in marketing and innovation to spur growth. Coca-Cola employs about 123,000 and will soon offer six weeks of paid leave to all new parents, an idea driven by its millennial employees.
When J&J shares glimpses into its workplace on LinkedIn, there’s a familiar refrain in the comments section: “So proud to work for this company!” After the healthcare giant noted that it offers eight weeks of paid parental leave for fathers, one employee remarked that it was J&J living its credo. More recently, it expanded fertility, adoption and surrogacy benefits, and announced it would ship temperature-controlled breast milk to mothers traveling on business. Again, raves. The company employs about 127,000; HR chief Peter Fasolo said at a conference that employee engagement scores are at about 90 percent globally. It’s constantly looking for ways to make workers happier, too. J&J abolished employee self-ratings, for example, after finding that they had different cultural implications around the world.