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Glassdoor's 50 Best Places to Work

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To no surprise, 70 percent of the top 10 companies ranked in Glassdoor’s 2014 Employees’ Choice Awards, an annual list of the “50 Best Places to Work,” are in the tech and web industries. And a whopping 100 percent of the companies among the “50 Best Medium-Sized Companies to Work For,” a new award category this year, are in tech and web. Among the large companies ranked, social media has a dominating presence, with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google all holding spots in the top 10.

With such a large tech, web and social media presence among the top 10 large companies, the Bay Area houses headquarters for 50 percent. Surprisingly, none of the midsize tech companies call the region home.

Mountain View-based Google, with offices spanning the globe (including Los Angeles’ Venice Beach), has the greatest number of reviews by far: 2,021 at press time. Far behind is No. 3-ranked LinkedIn, with 730 reviews. Google’s lower star rating (4.2 vs. 4.6) partially contributes to its lower ranking of No. 8 on the final list. Google dropped from No. 6 in 2013, while LinkedIn’s ranking is a significant jump from last year at No. 14.

Other notable ranking changes include San Francisco-based Twitter placing No. 2 this year after not being ranked at all last year. Chicago-based Orbitz Worldwide jumped from No. 26 to No. 9, and Qualcomm climbed from near the bottom of the list at No. 38 to No. 13. Conversely, Menlo Park-based Facebook lost its No.1 spot last year to Boston-based Bain & Company. Although Facebook fell to No. 5 this year, it is tied with LinkedIn for the highest star rating at 4.6 and has the third-highest number of reviews.

Exciting for Los Angeles is that Santa Monica’s Cornerstone OnDemand is ranked fourth in the nation among midsize companies and No. 1 in Los Angeles across both large and midsize company categories. In fact, Cornerstone is the only LA-based company falling within the top 10 of both lists. The fast-growing company has the most reviews among the top 10 companies, with 259; Paycom (based in Oklahoma city but has a location in Los Angeles) follows a distant second with 99. Cornerstone also has the second-highest star rating across both categories at 4.6 out of five; No. 1 midsize business Motley Fool has 4.7 stars.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized by Glassdoor and, more importantly, our own employees, as a Best Place to Work,” says Adam Miller, founder and CEO of Cornerstone, which provides cloud-based talent management software to more than 1,500 clients across 190 countries. “I’m proud of the cultural DNA we have established and sustained at Cornerstone amid hyper growth and global expansion. As we help our global clients create engaged and productive workforces, we strive to be a blueprint for how to build and scale a great company culture.”

How did Cornerstone become the best LA-based company to work for? The company’s head of global talent Kimberly Cassady touched on this topic in a recent blog post.

“I don’t believe you can enforce a company culture or can re-invent a company as a ‘Best Place to Work’ overnight,” she writes. “Cornerstone’s unique culture is rooted in its inception 14 years ago – an authentic focus on the workplace as a meritocracy and a belief that if you put together a lot of people who are smart, cool, dependable and visionary, you’ll not only serve your clients in the best possible way, but you’ll also create a meaningful, enriching work environment that people will want to be a part of for the long run.”

The list, which is in its sixth year, is determined using feedback employees have shared on the popular company review site during the past year. More than just looking at the numbers of stars and reviews, though, Glassdoor also evaluates qualitative aspects that employees provide through an anonymous company review survey. It captures insight like their overall job and company satisfaction, as well as sentiment toward career opportunities, compensation and benefits, work-life balance, senior leadership and more. The final lists are compiled based on Glassdoor’s proprietary algorithm and take into account quantity, quality and consistency of reviews.

Glassdoor also compiles lists and reports looking at the best companies to work for by city, as well as those with the best career opportunities and best work-life balance. New to its popular reports are “Highest Rated CEOs” and “Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions.”

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