The Big Apple, Sin City, Steel City… every city has its unique style and distinct vibe. And that also extends to the industries and employers you find there.
So while we’ve analyzed the data on the Top-Rated Workplaces on Indeed at a national level to get a sense of the big picture, it’s now time to get local. To do this, we tapped into the 72 million ratings and reviews listed on Indeed Company Pages, zooming in on 12 major cities and their respective metropolitan areas to identify which firms are doing the best job of delivering great employee experiences at that all-important local level. Our focus was on firms with corporate or satellite offices in each metro area.
The result? A set of companies ranging from engineering to construction to consumer brands that showcase the diversity of opportunities available in the US today while also highlighting the fact that no single industry has a monopoly on delivering great employee experiences. There are local “hometown heroes” as well as instantly recognizable Fortune 500 firms that have ranked highly on our other lists. We also get up close and personal with the reviews to see what the locals are saying about their experience in these cities.
There are also a few surprises in store — there’s even a zoo, for instance. What else did we find? Let’s check it out.
From Atlanta to Washington, DC: The Top-Rated Workplaces in the US, city by city
Atlanta is known for being the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. and home to many of the civil rights movement’s most prominent leaders and organizations. It’s also a growing tech hub. However, the company that scores the highest ratings on Indeed is the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity, which has its headquarters in the city and also placed first on our Top-Rated Workplaces: Nonprofits list last year.
Next comes airline giant Delta, also headquartered in Atlanta. A former team leader based in the city said the company is perfect for those who desire “employment that challenges you,” while a former customer service representative said there was “never a dull moment” working at the airline.
The “Live Music Capital of the World” also happens to be one of the eight major tech hubs in the country, according to research from Indeed’s Hiring Lab. Little wonder, then, that Facebook, Microsoft and Apple all feature prominently among top-rated workplaces in the city (Facebook also placed first on our Top-Rated Workplaces: The 50 Best rankings in 2018). An Austin-based marketing expert at Facebook praises the company’s “relaxed culture” but also emphasizes that one must “embrace constant change” and “adapt quickly while delivering results.”
Placing first, however, we see real estate giant Keller Williams Realty, which is not only headquartered in Austin but also placed first on our list for top-rated workplaces for work-life balance. What’s so great about Keller Williams? One real estate consultant says “their training is unmatched,” adding that “starting here is the best way to learn how to be an amazing agent.” Grocery chain H-E-B also performs strongly, placing second — it also ranked first in our list of Top-Rated Workplaces: Retail in 2017.
Boston is definitely loyal to local firms, with Boston Consulting Group placing first and shoe firm Converse, also headquartered in the city, placing fourth. An executive assistant at Boston Consulting Group says that the “team environment is strong” and that people “strive to build each other up and support one another.”
It seems like Bostonians really like footwear, as not only Converse but also Nike, home of the Air Jordan, makes the list. (And that’s not all: New Balance and PUMA fall just outside the top five at number six and number ten, respectively). Meanwhile, multinational semiconductor company Analog Devices, which is headquartered in nearby Norwood, Massachusetts, places second. Semiconductors are fundamental to anything that’s computerized or reliant on radio waves; a former technical editor at Analog Devices praised the dynamic and strong team culture, adding that employees respected one another’s ideas and work.
Over in the Windy City we see some firms making repeat appearances: Boston Consulting Group once again places at the top in a city, while SAP and Microsoft perform well. However, we also see something a little different — a 216-acre zoo housing no fewer than 2,000+ animal residents.
Hometown hero Brookfield Zoo is located in the Chicago suburb of Brookfield, Illinois. It opened in 1934 and was the first in America to exhibit giant pandas. An artist who works there says going to work is like “going to a fun place surrounded by people who really care about their jobs.”
Another employer we see is the Argonne National Laboratory, operated by the University of Chicago Argonne for the US Department of Energy — which was initially formed as part of the Manhattan Project during World War II. Here, a former technical adviser praises the benefits, which include “generous sick leave, vacation and retirement contributions” and other factors such as “flexible schedule and telecommuting options,” as well as a “strong and active mentoring program.”
Known as one of the most diverse cities in the US, Houston also has a diverse set of companies in its top five. However, despite the fact that it is a center of the oil industry, companies from that sector do not make an appearance in the top five. Instead, SAP makes its third appearance, this time placing first, while Microsoft makes its fourth appearance and scores second place among Houstonians.
We also see national construction company McCarthy Building Company performing well, as does the Camden Property Trust, a real estate investment trust that invests in luxury apartments in the United States. Sprawling Houston provides ample opportunities for both construction and real estate investment, of course; and a contact center consultant who works at Camden Property Trust praises the “sense of family” at the firm and the great management. “The people at the top know what they’re doing and it shows,” he said.
Last but not least, Discount Tire, a tire and wheel retailer, rounds out the top-rated employers in the city.
Los Angeles has an especially hip list of top employers. At the top we see skateboarding shoes and apparel firm Vans, followed by social media behemoth Facebook, appearing for the second time in a city’s top five.
Fourth-place Live Nation is a music/events promoter and venue operator based in Beverly Hills. But it’s not all about gigs and tours — a former postproduction supervisor describes it as a “well-positioned company” with “unlimited potential,” adding that “management empowered you to manage your responsibilities.”
Given the high real estate prices, it’s not surprising to see homestate hero New American Funding on the list, an independent mortgage lender that aims to help other families and individuals own homes. And finally, rounding out the list is none other than Microsoft, making its fifth appearance.
Although better known as a center of the banking industry, when it comes to job satisfaction in the city that never sleeps, tech titan Facebook leads the way, making its first appearance at the top of a local ranking.
Also on the list is JetBlue Airways Corporation, which has its HQ in New York. Like Facebook, JetBlue also placed highly in our Top-Rated Workplaces in 2018 rankings. The company puts a strong emphasis on fostering a great company culture and weaving it into everything they do; everyone at JetBlue is either a “crewmember” or “crewleader” to emphasize the importance of helping out the collective. An IT manager at JetBlue calls the the company a “diverse place to work” with good work-life balance and good leadership.
Health-care company Johnson & Johnson (second in our top-rated health-care companies to work for in 2018) is also a top NYC employer. The company manufactures everything from medical devices to pharmaceuticals and consumer-packaged goods. And speaking of pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, headquartered in NYC, rounds out the top five employers in the Big Apple as rated on Indeed.
Philadelphia is where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the city is well-known as the home of the Liberty Bell (and some delicious pork roast sandwiches, of course). But it’s also a short drive from the Newtown Square HQ of German tech titan SAP, which makes its fourth appearance in a city’s top five and first appearance at the top.
A former manager at SAP praised the high productivity that keeps employees “challenged and motivated” as well as the “passionate CEO.” The 46-year-old company has consistently been a powerful contender to younger, more buzzed-about Silicon Valley tech companies. What makes SAP such an extraordinary place to work? As Jewell Parkinson, head of human resources at the firm recently told us, “strong leadership and vision and culture” are fundamental.
Also ranking highly is local firm Power Home Remodeling, which specializes in services related to energy-saving exterior home solutions. A current director at Power Home Remodeling says the fact that people care so much for each other “is a unique attribute of the organization.”
Rounding out the list are Pennsylvania-based Wawa — a $10 billion dollar revenue convenience store chain that is expanding across the East Coast and whose hoagies are so famous that a festival is held in their honor each year — and Cubesmart, a provider of self-storage facilities.
Appropriately enough, the top-rated workplace in sunny Phoenix, Arizona, is First Solar, Inc. The company, which has its HQ in the city, manufactures solar panels, and it has developed and built and currently operates many of the world’s largest grid-connected power plants. A former control systems developer at First Solar describes the work as “fascinating,” adding that it requires “integrating a wide range of technologies and disciplines.”
Meanwhile, Seattle-based coffee chain Starbucks is a popular employer in Phoenix, placing second. San Francisco-based Bechtel, an engineering and construction firm, also has very satisfied employees in its Phoenix location.
The McCarthy Building Company makes another appearance at number four, and then Nextiva, a telecommunications company with its HQ in Arizona, rounds out the list. One inside sales representative says the company has “big goals” and is “constantly developing new technology,” leading to work that is always challenging and exciting.
San Diego-based Intuit, a financial software company known for TurboTax and QuickBooks, leads the top employers in its home city. A content strategist for the firm describes Intuit as “a generous company with smart people who are easy to work with,” adding that the CEO is “terrific.” The bottom line? “If you can get a job there, go for it.”
Entertainment conglomerate NBCUniversal also places highly among local employers. The company, owned by Comcast, has two main divisions, NBC and film studio Universal Pictures (which includes DreamWorks Animation and film franchises such as Shrek and Kung Fu Panda). NBCUniversal also owns Universal Parks and Resorts, including the Universal Orlando Resort, which is home to attractions such as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Rounding out the list is Life Cycle Engineering, another firm with its HQ in the city. It provides engineering solutions to business organizations, government bodies and the military. A former office operations manager says the emphasis on a culture of family “wasn’t just a trendy buzzword” and that all employees felt like they belonged.
Maybe when you think of Seattle, the iconic Space Needle comes to mind, or the water, mountains and forests that surround it, making it a nature enthusiast’s paradise. But it’s also home to major tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft.
Even so, neither tech giant makes the top five for employers as rated on Indeed — although Microsoft makes a total of eight appearances elsewhere and places a highly respectable seventh in Seattle. A tech company that does make the list, however, is Facebook, making its fourth appearance overall and second at the top. Flexibility is top of mind for one technical recruiter, who praises the “work from home on Wednesdays” as well as the ability to “come in when I want and leave when I want.” The great benefits and interesting projects don’t hurt either.
Adobe is another top-rated tech employer. Besides tech, we also see Canadian athletic apparel company Lululemon Athletica, as well as Washington-state-based BECU, a credit union headquartered in Tukwila, and Costco Wholesale, the warehouse club chain headquartered in Issaquah.
What are the top employers in our nation’s capital? It’s a very different list here. Applied Memetics LLC, which provides business management consulting services, takes the top spot. A current producer working at Applied Memetics appreciates the lack of micromanagement and bureaucratic obstacles as well as having access to current technology and tools — and above all, “interesting work assignments that deal with significant contemporary issues.”
Also on the list is the AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, which is headquartered in the city. This nonprofit, which has the mission of “empowering people to choose how they live as they age,” offers a range of programs, from working to ensure that low-income older adults have access to food and housing while also providing legal services for the elderly.
As for the other employers on the list, SAP makes its fifth appearance, claiming the third-place slot. AvalonBay Communities, a real estate investment trust, places fourth, while Microsoft crowns an impressive run by making its eighth appearance in a city’s top five.
So here they are — the firms that are doing well in each major city and its respective metro area, based on what the locals are saying. The diversity of these companies, from tech to retail to health care and more, will no doubt continue to shape each city’s unique vibe and culture. But what will the results look like a year from now? We will be watching!
Methodology: Indeed has over 72 million ratings and reviews. Indeed compiled this list by including the highest-rated companies with recent job postings in each specified metro area. These companies are the most highly rated on overall employee experience.