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This Is What Employees Of Companies Like Google, Facebook, And Amazon Think About Their Employers

Two different analyses parse out what employees are thinking at tech’s biggest firms and where they’re headed if they are unhappy.

This Is What Employees Of Companies Like Google, Facebook, And Amazon Think About Their Employers
[Photos: courtesy of Google, Facebook, and Amazon]

By many reports, 2017 is a buyer’s market for job seekers. In tech, the competition is especially fierce, as companies rise or fall from consumer favor or teeter under the weight of internal troubles (looking at you, Uber).

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For example, LinkedIn just revealed its list of the top global companies based on the rates of applications and job openings, the number of people asking for connections within a company, and how long staff are sticking around. The top five:

  1. Alphabet
  2. Amazon
  3. Facebook
  4. Uber
  5. Apple

All of the data was gathered through the 12 months ending this past February. (Note: Susan Fowler’s explosive blog post about sexual harassment at Uber was published on February 19. So next year’s list may look very different.)

Another way to take the temperature of which companies are winning the war for talent is to measure how their workers feel. Comparably, a compensation, culture, and jobs monitoring site, conducted a survey to find out. They asked current employees of the top five public tech companies–Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft–to rate their compensation, leadership, environment, team, ​retention, and opportunities for women and minorities​. Each company had over 2,500 responses from staff members.

Separately, Comparably ran the same stats exclusively for Fast Company on five other companies that have made news lately: Lyft, Airbnb, Pinterest, Uber, and Twitter. They stress the fact that it’s not an accurate comparison to the top five because each of the companies we chose has significantly fewer employee participants. Uber and Twitter have 125 and 150 responses each, Lyft and Airbnb have about 50, and Pinterest has 30.

Here’s what we found out from Comparably’s stats:

The Culture Trickle Down

Google came out on top for overall company culture scoring 71 out of 100. Facebook was a close second at 68; Microsoft at third place scored 66. Apple and Amazon rank at the bottom, but their scores were close to the others, each earning 65 out of 100.

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We know that culture starts at the top and trickles down. Comparably’s survey revealed that employee sentiment toward the CEO, executive team, and managers at the company were highest at Facebook, which scored a 79 overall. CEO Mark Zuckerberg ranked the highest of the five chiefs with an 82. This complements a previous survey from Glassdoor where Zuckerberg garnered rave reviews and a 95% approval rating from his staff.

Facebook also topped the list for how employees feel about their coworkers and the way meetings are run. Google and Apple tied to nudge out the others on how employees rate the workplace environment and the time they spend their each day. And Google beat the other on how employees feel about going to work each day, the company’s future success, and perception by customers.

Overall, employees at the five companies we selected voted Airbnb the highest for culture based on compensation, leadership, team, environment, and sentiment. They scored 71 compared to last place Uber with 61. Airbnb’s Brian Chesky also came in first with a score of 80 while Uber’s embattled Travis Kalanick earned a 63.

The Best Places For Diversity

Apple is the best ranked company among women with 69 out of 100. Amazon was on the bottom with 61. Interestingly, Google’s female workers didn’t seem to feel all that badly about their employer in light of the Labor Department’s suit that charges the company with “extreme discrimination” against women. They scored a 66 to tie with Microsoft and Facebook. Apparently, Facebook’s claim that they’ve achieved parity and don’t need to produce a pay equity report to prove it hasn’t troubled the social network’s female staffers, either. 

Minorities rated their experience the best at Facebook and Google (both got 68) and Apple scored 63 out of 100.

Gender and diversity were not ranked at the five other companies because there weren’t enough responses.

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However it’s worth noting that Pinterest hired its first diversity chief in January 2016, while Uber just released their diversity numbers for the first time in March following their sexual harassment investigation. Among the recommendations made by former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder and his firm Covington Burling suggested expanding the chief diversity officer’s role in addition to creating an employee diversity board, and having employees undergo implicit-bias training.

Salary And Benefits

Facebook ranks first for perks and benefits and employees of Google are happiest with their salaries. Pinterest staff gave the company an 83 out of 100 for salaries and an 85 for benefits, while Uber only scored 47 and 63, respectively.

Getting And Keeping Talent

Uber, unsurprisingly, scored lowest for employee retention which measures how successful the the workers think the company is at creating the kind of workplace that makes people want to stick around. Uber received 55 out of 100.

Amazon scored hightest for how successful the company is at providing valuable feedback, opportunities for mentoring, and a challenging work environment. Among the others, Pinterest was on top, with Apple and Uber at the bottom.

Another Look At Talent Flight

At the same time, Paysa, a big-data platform providing market insight about compensation and retention, ran its own annual analysis focusing on the flight of talent at 100 tech companies.

Paysa uses a proprietary machine-learning algorithm to track retention and flux of tech workers over time. If a company continues to hire from high-quality companies, their score will increase. If a company loses in hiring people from top companies, or starts hiring from lesser-quality companies, their score, and relative ranking, will decrease.

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Fast Company reported on the winners and losers last yearIt’s interesting to note how the same companies ranked by Comparably stack up to Paysa’s data on which ones saw the greatest loss or gain of their best, most valuable tech and engineering professionals. Uber ranked highly last year, and is still attracting talent from the likes of PayPal, Square, Dropbox, and even Google.

The data suggests that Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter “are starting to see the flight of their employees to companies that are seeing dramatic improvements in CompanyRank,” according to Paysa’s blog post.

Lyft (#17) and Airbnb (#22) were among the top 25 companies that showed the greatest increase in attracting and retaining talent. Dropbox, Square, and Twitter staffers moved over to Lyft while Airbnb gained staff from Google, Square, and Twitter.

Google didn’t rank among the top because they logged a 50% loss in talent leaving for other companies over last year. Their workers made the leap to Facebook, Uber, Microsoft, YouTube, Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn, Dropbox. Similarly Twitter is showing a 36% decrease in talent. These workers headed to Facebook, Uber, Snap Inc., Apple, LinkedIn, Stripe, and Fitbit.

“Companies need to pay attention to where their best employees are coming from and whether their compensation strategies, HR practices, and treatment of employees, in general, are attracting the best people or driving them away,” according to Paysa’s CEO Chris Bolte. “Money always follows talent.”

About the author

Lydia Dishman is a business journalist writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, commerce, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.

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