Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

The Top 10 Companies to Work For in 2016!

By Anthony Hughes | Jan 12, 2016 | Candidate Tips

The Top 10 Companies to Work For 2016There will be a HUGE rise in the number of job-seekers over the next couple of weeks (it’s to do with those dreadful January blues)!

If you’re one of them then the most important (and seemingly counter intuitive) piece of career advice that I can give you is to be fussy – when you’re applying to jobs.

There’s really no point moving from one dud position to another; you should take the time to do your research and actually attempt to improve your working life!

Recruiter Pro Tip:

Here are just a few things that you should be thinking about BEFORE applying for a job…

  • How does the company treat their employees?
  • What benefits do they offer?
  • Will they give you the freedom to use your creativity?
  • Is there clear opportunity for progression?
  • Do you think you’d fit in, IE, with their values, culture and personality?

And luckily for you, the internet provides a whole host of resources that you could use to identify positives, negatives and downright deal-breakers.

Glassdoor actually release a list of the top 25 places to work every year to give you a helpful little nudge in the right direction – based on employee reviews, scores and comments.

To save you some time, I’ve highlighted the top 10 companies on this list with a breakdown of their most talked about benefits and most common reviews…

1. Expedia

Working for Expedia almost seems to good to be true if you check out the reviews!

If you’re considering a career in transport; I’d highly recommend taking a look at their latest vacancies!

Benefit Highlights:

  • Cycle to work scheme.
  • Computing scheme.
  • Flexible working.
  • Travel reimbursement.
  • Travel discounts.
  • Health insurance.
  • Gym membership.
  • Private healthcare.
  • Car allowance.

Employee Comments:

Positives: “Best employer in the UK,” “Fantastic place to work,” “Great place to work… really, even after all the hype.”

Negatives: “Working hours are sometimes unsociable due to workload and US reporting lines,” “Senior Management is always too busy to help.”

Click here to read more reviews about working for Expedia.

2. Hays PLC

The recruitment sector has a fairly bad reputation for being a little bit ruthless but Hays have clearly been doing something right making it to Glassdoor’s number 2 (a great improvement from last year when they reached number 14).

(It’s obviously not quite as great a place to work as Coburg banks…)

Benefit Highlights:

  • Uncapped commission.
  • Pension plan.
  • Sick pay.
  • Annual leave.
  • Life insurance.
  • Health insurance.
  • Bereavement leave.
  • Save as you earn.
  • Share scheme.
  • Maternity and paternity.
  • Family medical leave.
  • Childcare vouchers.
  • Bike to work scheme.
  • Training opportunities.
  • Performance bonuses.
  • Unpaid extended leave.
  • Employee discounts.
  • Car allowance.
  • Company car.
  • Professional development.

Employee Comments:

Positives: “An amazing journey!” “A great 10 years!” “Great Development.”

Negatives: “Sometimes work/life balance can be a challenge,” “very SLA and KPI driven, which can be a downside sometimes,” “long working hours, same as industry.”

Click here to read more reviews about working for Hays.

3. AKQA

If you’re interested in progressing in the digital services industry then you might want to take a glance at the fabulously stylish AKQA website.

Their core values are innovation, service, quality and thought.

Benefit Highlights:

  • Childcare vouchers.
  • Sick pay.
  • Life insurance.
  • Company events.
  • Free lunch/breakfasts/snacks.
  • Friday massages (occasional).
  • Unpaid leave.
  • Pension plan.
  • Gym membership.
  • Death in service.
  • Training programmes.
  • Health insurance.
  • Income protection.
  • Flexible working.

Employee Comments:

Positives: “Great place to grow with great people,” “great for creative/digital marketing,” “great development.”

Negatives: “Work/life balance difficult to achieve,” “sometimes required to work long hours,” “can be long hours when approaching deadlines.”

Click here to read more reviews about working for AKQA.

4. GE

Building, curing, moving and powering, GE (General Electric) have their fingers in an awful lot of pies – across the globe.

Click here to start browsing their careers (across 13 whole sectors!)

Benefit Highlights:

  • Life insurance.
  • Income protection.
  • Private healthcare.
  • Pension plan.
  • Sick pay.
  • Annual leave.
  • Cycle to work scheme.

Employee Comments:

Positives: “Challenging, in constant flux,” “excellent learning place with a lot of training opportunities,” “very caring company with great prospects.”

Negatives: “Too many processes,” “we are just a number,” “shift work can be a pain.”

Click here to read more reviews about working for GE.

5. Schuh Limited

Are you a fan of shoes? It’s fantastic to see a retail brand making it into the top 5 (if you’ve got any friends/have ever worked in retail, you’ll know why).

From the looks of most of the reviews, staff have a really fun time working for the company, suggesting that they employ a great bunch of people.

Sound like your cup of tea? Click here to check out career opportunities at Schuh.

Benefit Highlights:

  • Bonuses.
  • Employee discounts.
  • Annual leave.
  • Flexible working.

Employee Comments:

Positives: “Good pay and discount. Relaxed environment,” “great place, great people,” “Schuh employ very bubbly and nice people, making the workforce a really pleasant bunch to work with.”

Negatives: “Contracted to small hours and then you add overtime,” “contract hours minimum 3 hours a week,” “busy days can be stressful!”

Find out more about what Schuh employees really think, here.

6. Oxfam

If you’re hoping to break into the charity sector and truly make a difference to the world then Oxfam is up there with the best of them (despite some of the rumours you may have heard!)

Charity work can have it’s downside (often to do with salary & work-life balance) but by the looks of the reviews, the company environment certainly makes up for it.

Benefit Highlights:

  • Share scheme.
  • Flexible working.
  • Pension.
  • Annual leave.
  • Sick pay.

Employee Comments:

Positives: “Friendly working environment and a lot of responsibility,” “staff were very friendly and I got along well with other volunteers,” “great people, great building and very values driven. I loved working here.”

Negatives: “Not much salary benefit, not sure on career progression either,” “huge disparity in remuneration between middle management and senior management,” “no development once you’re in unless you switch jobs.”

Fancy working at Oxfam? Check out their careers page here.

7. ARM Holdings

Is tech more your thing? Arm Holdings have received some absolutely glowing employee reviews over the years, many with the same message “they are the best.”

The environment sounds exciting, fun and innovative – however there are 2 main downsides: salary (which is a bit disappointing) and a lack of work-life balance (for some employees)!

Benefit Highlights:

  • Sick pay.
  • Work from home.
  • Pension plan.
  • Private healthcare.
  • Health insurance.
  • Sabbatical.
  • Bonuses.
  • Gym membership.
  • Share scheme.

Employee Comments:

Positives: “Best place I have ever worked,” “probably the best tech company in the UK to work for, ” “the best place to start your career.”

Negatives: “Could make more money working elsewhere: pay is not adjusted according to local living expenses,” “Pay can be higher,” “even though the working environment is great, the low salary is very frustrating.”

Intrigued? Check out the career page here.

8. Google

Unsurprisingly in the top 10, the internet giants have a fantastic reputation for  keeping their staff happy with both weird and wonderful perks; they’ve won over fifty awards for employee satisfaction over the years!

If you’re looking for an energetic, yet demanding work environment, Google’s your choice, however, job positions are incredibly competitive and it can take weeks for them to make a decision.

Benefit Highlights:

  • Pension plan.
  • Flexible working.
  • Sick pay.
  • Performance bonus.
  • Annual leave.
  • Cycle to work scheme.
  • Free food and snacks.
  • Personal development.
  • Maternity leave.
  • Gym membership.
  • Share scheme.
  • Private healthcare.
  • Health insurance.

(And those are just some of the many, many benefits that Google offer to their lucky employees!)

Employee Comments:

Positives: “The best place I’ve worked and also the most demanding,”  “great balance between big-company security and fun, fast-moving projects,” “best employer in the world… if they don’t have it, you really don’t need it!”

Negatives: “You can lose all work life balance if not careful,” “Large company, less personal more team focussed,” “Work/life balance. What balance?”

(Check out some of Google’s more wacky employee perks on our recent “Friday Funny” blog the 20 weirdest and most wonderful employee perks)

For more info on Google careers, click here.

9. Unilever

Unilever hope to make ‘sustainable living commonplace’ and their brands are used by billions of people across the world, so if you want to be a part of a huge corporate giant – then this is definitely a company to look into.

Find out more here.

Benefit Highlights:

  • Pension plan.
  • Bonuses.
  • Private healthcare.
  • Work from home.
  • Flexible working.
  • Sick pay.
  • Gym membership.
  • Training opportunities.
  • Maternity leave.
  • Life insurance.
  • Share scheme.

Employee Comments:

Positives: “One of the best companies to work for, ” “Great Culture,” “lovely company to work for.”

Negatives: “The pay isn’t as high as some other FMCG’s,” “you basically work all the time,” “terrible working hours.”

Check out Unilever careers here.

10. London Underground

You really wouldn’t expect London Underground to make it into our top 10 – staff held strikes throughout last year!

Yet, Glassdoor reviews would beg to differ – it appears some staff are more than happy to work for the Tube! Click here to see what they have to say!

Benefit Highlights:

  • Pension plan.
  • Sick pay.
  • Childcare vouchers.
  • Free travel (for families).
  • Staff discounts.
  • Bonuses.
  • Maternity and paternity leave.
  • Salary

Employee Comments:

Positives: “Great benefits, Interesting people, challenging work,” “Great money and holidays,” “Free travel, good pay and helping customers as well as meeting so many amazing people on a daily basis.”

Negatives:  “Difficult shifts, hostile environment, dangerous encounters, lots of risk, heavy responsibilities,” “Shift work can be detrimental to social life,” “we work shift work and that can have an impact on you family life as staff.”

Summary

So there you go! 10 amazing businesses for you to choose from, in a variety of industries – do any take your fancy?

Either way, next time you decide it’s time to look for a new career, remember, above all else – be fussy!

For more information on the kinds of things YOU should be researching before accepting a job offer, click here.

Or, if you’d like to discover more secrets to job-seeking and career tips in general, click here to subscribe to this blog!

- Anthony Hughes

Anthony Hughes

Anthony is a recruitment veteran of 18 years and is also one of the original founders of Coburg Banks. He now trains recruitment consultants on the best methods to utilise when sourcing and assessing applicants for their clients. 

 

> More blog posts by Anthony Hughes

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