For most people, this is a good time to be on the hunt for a new job. Unemployment is hovering around record lows, and many industries face a shortage of qualified workers.

The result is that job seekers have more options, and they know it. Instead of just taking the first position they're offered, they can hold out a bit and choose the job and employer that is the best fit for them. And that's more than just a matter of determining which company is offering the best package of salary and benefits.

In a competitive job market, culture matters. Workers will gravitate toward companies with more pleasant environments, and those that make it clear that they consider the needs of their employees. And one excellent way to identify which businesses fit that description is to look at Glassdoor's annual Best Places to Work list.

Two workers appear happy looking at a laptop.

Happy workers are more likely to stay at their jobs. Image source: Getty Images.

How it works

Glassdoor divides its rankings into two lists: one for large companies with more than 1,000 employees, and the other featuring the 50 Best Small & Medium Companies to Work For. Winners are based on employee rankings on a five-point scale across a range of qualities.

"In today's tight labor market, job seekers are in the driver's seat when it comes to deciding where to work and they want to know the inner workings of a company before accepting a new job," said Glassdoor Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain in a press release. "...Glassdoor Best Places to Work winners are strategically investing in company culture, career growth opportunities and more, which also serves as a major recruiting advantage."

On the large companies list, top 10 Best Places to Work in 2019 are:

  • 10. Southwest Airlines (4.4)
  • 9. lululemon (4.4)
  • 8. Google (4.4)
  • 7. Facebook (4.5)
  • 6. LinkedIn (4.5)
  • 5. Boston Consulting Group (4.5)
  • 4. Procore Technologies (4.5)
  • 3. In-N-Out Burger (4.5)
  • 2. Zoom Video Communications (4.5)
  • 1. Bain & Company (4.6 rating)

Perhaps the most notable change is that Facebook fell to seventh place after being ranked first last year. That makes sense, given that the company has been in the news repeatedly for issues around its employment and management practices, and its once-strong morale has taken a hit. The new first place holder, the management consultancy Bain & Company, is no stranger to the top spot, having held it in 2017.

For a bit of perspective on how the top 10 stack up against the field, the average company on Glassdoor earned a 3.4 from its employees.

Why is this important?

While building a reputation as a good employer is helpful on the recruiting front, it's even more important for retention. That's an issue that directly impacts the bottom line: Voluntary turnover (from workers who choose to leave a job on their own) will cost U.S. companies more than $600 billion in 2018, according to Work Institute's 2018 Retention Report. That research also showed that the costs involved in hiring a new employee amount to around 33% of an their annual base pay.

Though only a few companies will ever land in the top tier on a "best places to work" list, all employers should strive to. The qualities that earn those high rankings are cost-efficient business practices in the long run, because happy workers stick around longer. And it's simple human nature to work harder and do a better job for an organization you know values you than for one that makes it clear that it doesn't.