Best Companies to Work For…some insights

March 02, 2012

Best Companies to Work For…some insights

Each year Fortune publishes the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the U.S.   While the bulk of the company evaluation rests on a comprehensive employee survey, Fortune publishes a wealth of employer statistics about benefits, diversity and jobs. Weber Shandwick has been cataloguing this data since 2006, enabling us to look at how each factor changes over time.

Consistent with the improving job market in the U.S., the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For listing reflects some uptick in the areas of diversity and job statistics. While all of these Best Companies tend to offer a variety of perks to their employees, the number of these employers offering such perks have either plateaued or dwindled. Below are insights into some of these trends.

Jobs

The average Best Company enjoyed its highest job growth rate since 2008 (9%). 2010 and 2011 were bleak years, with growth of just 1% and 2%, respectively. Even more gratifying to report is that the number of companies with negative job growth is at its lowest level since 2009 (11%) when Fortune began providing job growth for all listed companies.  It had been as high as 45% in 2011. While there may be a self-selection factor in this, i.e., companies that experienced very high attrition simply didn’t enter into the list competition this year, it does mean that layoffs do not preclude a company from making it onto this important list. Perhaps, it is the way in which these companies manage their layoffs from a communications and operations perspective that result in their employees voting them onto the list. In fact, only 19% of these highly regarded companies have never had a layoff.

 

An interesting statistic that we assessed this year for the first time is the number of applicants per job opening. We went back to 2010 to see how this has changed, and change it certainly did! In 2012, the average number of applicants per job opening is 312 vs. 83 in 2010. Most likely this is a reflection of an improving job market (employees once cautious to leave stable jobs simply weren’t applying for new jobs), or it may show the effects of the good reputations of these particular companies. (And of course it may reflect the number of people looking for jobs in general but we’d expect the figures in 2010 and 2011 to be more equal.)

 

Diversity

While the average percent of women and of minorities in Best Companies do not show any gains since 2006, we see that 100% of Best Companies now have gay-friendly policies and the trend for gay-friendly benefits continues to edge up from 70% in 2008 to 89% in 2012.

 

Benefits

The most pronounced change over time in the offerings Best Companies extend to employees has been job sharing. In 2007, 71% of Best Companies offered job sharing and in 2012 it is down to 53%. Also a noticeable change since last year is the number of Best Companies that subsidize employees’ gym memberships, down as well (71% vs. 61%). All other benefits are fairly flat from last year.  Perhaps this is an outcome of a prolonged a down economy where employees’ satisfaction with having a job drives their satisfaction with their employer, regardless of job sharing or gym benefits.


Engagement

We wanted to see how many Best Companies represented their organization on the Fortune site with a picture of people (presumably their employees, but we can’t say for sure). The majority did – 64%. However, it begs the question as to why the rest would choose not to showcase their employees when the ranking is so employee-focused and is such a great recruiting tool. Most other pictures were of the corporate headquarters building.

 

 

 

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Jobs

Average Job Growth

7%

9%

9%

8%

1%

2%

9%

% Companies with Negative Job Growth

N/A

N/A

N/A

22%

41%

45%

11%

Average Voluntary Turnover

N/A

N/A

N/A

12%

7%

7%

8%

% Companies that Never had Layoffs

N/A

N/A

N/A

9%

17%

15%

19%

# Applicants per Job Opening

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

83

N/A*

312

Diversity

% Companies with 50% or More Women

42%

40%

40%

41%

46%

42%

44%

% Women (Average)

N/A

N/A

49%

49%

49%

48%

47%

% Companies with 50% or More Minorities

7%

8%

6%

8%

8%

8%

9%

% Minorities (Average)

N/A

N/A

28%

30%

29%

29%

30%

% Companies with Gay Friendly Policies

N/A

92%

95%

95%

96%

99%

100%

% Companies with Gay Friendly Benefits

N/A

N/A

70%

79%

83%

88%

89%

Benefits

% Companies with Unusual Perks

7%

5%

15%

8%

16%

13%

12%

% Companies with On-Site Child Care

33%

32%

29%

32%

32%

30%

31%

% Companies with Fully Paid Sabbaticals

25%

22%

18%

19%

19%

21%

23%

% Companies with 100% Paid Health Care

14%

16%

21%

15%

13%

14%

14%

% Companies with Job Sharing

N/A

71%

63%

61%

68%

56%

53%

% Companies with On-Site Gym

N/A

N/A

69%

69%

69%

67%

69%

% Companies with Subsidized Gym Membership

N/A

N/A

59%

78%

72%

71%

61%

% Companies with Compressed Workweeks

N/A

N/A

82%

75%

81%

81%

80%

Employee/Employer Engagement

% Companies with Posted Comments on their

Best Companies Page

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

15%

% Companies Displaying Images of People on their

Best Companies Page

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

64%

 

*Too many companies on list with “NA” to calculate

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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