Glassdoor Lists the Best (Yes, Really!) Places to Work

From a site best known as the home of the disgruntled worker comes “The 50 Best Places to Work” list.

It’s true. It’s true. Glassdoor actually has loads of reviewers who like where they work, are happy there, and are telling the world about it. Their favorite employer? Facebook by a nose.

The social networking site made the Glassdoor list for the first time with a 4.6 rating. Next was Southwest Airlines, which headed the list last year.

This is the third year Glassdoor has released a best-places-to-work list. Based on a survey of at least 25 company employees, the list demonstrates pretty convincingly that not every one who posts to the employer review site is angry, bitter, or unhappy.

“Through anonymous employee reviews and surveys, Glassdoor offers a unique look into the top U.S. employers and some of the factors that make employees at these companies more satisfied with their jobs,” says Robert Hohman, co-founder and CEO of Glassdoor.

To be sure, there are plenty of negative reviews on the site. “AA is not worth it unless you’re not planning on going to college or finishing high school,” says one reviewer about American Apparel, a company that rated a 2.7.

But Glassdoor has plenty more to offer than just a place to vent. The list released Tuesday night in California shows a consistency with other top employer lists. A comparison with the venerable “Best Companies to Work For” list, published in Fortune, shows the two lists share 11 employers in common. Even more companies might have made the two lists but for the fact that Glassdoor lists 50 and Best Companies to Work for has 100.

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The methodologies of the two lists is also vastly different — companies have to apply and pay to be rated in the the Best Companies to Work for list. Glassdoor’s list is based on a survey. Here’s how Glassdoor explains the process:

“Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards rely solely on the input of employees, who provide constructive feedback on their work environment and senior management throughout the year via an anonymous survey. The survey addresses eight key workplace factors that include work/life balance, career opportunities, communication, compensation and benefits, fairness and respect, employee morale, recognition and feedback, and senior leadership.”

Besides rating the company, reviewers also rate the CEO, which Glassdoor turns into a ranking. Ken Powell, CEO of General Mills, topped the list with a perfect 100 percent score. The lowest scorer was Jerry Fishman, CEO of Analog Devices. However, his 55 percent was an anomaly. All the rest of the rated CEOs scored above 70 percent; in most cases, well above.

The complete Glassdoor list is here, and includes, where appropriate, the Best Companies ranking.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.