Twitter named the best place to work in tech for 2014


Twitter was named the best place to work in the tech industry by Glassdoor.com. Above, the Twitter logo is seen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York in this file photo taken November 7, 2013. (LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)
December 11, 2013

Twitter has grabbed the top spot on Glassdoor’s annual list of the best places to work in the tech industry in its debut on the rating site’s rankings.

The firm, which went public earlier this year, unseated former tech list topper Facebook, which fell to third place on the 2014 awards list, behind No. 2 LinkedIn.

Twitter also placed second overall among companies with at least 1,000 employees, behind Bain & Co.

Glassdoor collects company ratings from employees and job seekers to share on its site. Each year, it takes the ratings of companies that have at least 50 reviews on the Web site and evaluates them based on a proprietary scale that looks at everything from work-life balance to evaluations of top management.

Twitter shot to the top of the latest list after employees wrote about their admiration for the company’s culture, said Glassdoor chief executive Robert Hohman. The reviews noted that chief executive Dick Costolo focuses a lot on training good managers at the company, running a quarterly management training course himself, to promote a culture of authenticity, accessibility and transparency, Hohman said.

“What people say is that their work has a global impact,” Hohman said. “And Dick Costolo really sets a unique tone there.”

Firms need to establish these kinds of strong cultures to keep their ratings, Hohman said, particularly after going public. Facebook’s 2012 IPO apparently had an effect on the ratings of its employees, who still gave the social network strong reviews but noted that the company is struggling a bit with its size. Until now, Facebook had led the tech list for the last three years.

“The company is losing some of that scrappy startup feel,” Hohman said, particularly as Facebook matures and some of its earliest employees move on to other projects. “That’s normal for a post-IPO company, but it’s nonetheless tough on the employee base. That saw Facebook drop just a small amount.”

Tech firms account for 22 of Glassdoor’s top 50 companies this year, with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, the Indianapolis-based software firm Interactive Intelligence and travel site Orbitz all making the top 10 on the overall list. Hohman said Glassdoor’s data indicate tech firms tend to make the list for three main reasons: Employees in tech are more likely to feel their work has global impact; those who work there enjoy good perks; and the tech industry tends to draw iconic leaders. He noted that tech firms were also highly represented on the Web site’s new list of top medium-sized companies, or those with 250 to 999 employees. (The Alexandria-based investing site Motley Fool, however, took top honors among mid-sized companies.)

As for major tech firms further down the list, Hohman noted that while Apple has never cracked the top five — it came in 16th for tech this time and 35th overall — the firm has remained fairly consistent in the six years that Glassdoor has compiled the list.

“It is extremely high-rated and has had CEOs with high ratings,” Hohman said. “Given that a significant portion of its workforce is in retail, it’s actually pretty amazing that they’re able to rank as high as they do. In fact, those can be some of the most ferociously loyal Apple employees.”

He also noted that eBay made the list for the first time, coming in 49th overall and 21st in tech, thanks to what employees say is a good work-life balance and excitement about the firm’s ongoing push for success on mobile devices.

And what about Yahoo? Hohman said the tech giant just missed the list because of lower ratings of the company’s executive team. While Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer is popular, the employee ratings of the rest of the senior leadership haven’t moved up at the same pace.

“It will be interesting to see how things change as she rebuilds and fleshes out the leadership team,” Hohman said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on the list next year.”

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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