2018 Global Brand Health Report

Tech workers reveal the companies they want to work for and what they value in a job offer.


When job candidates set out to find a new job, they’re considering a spectrum of factors before making a final decision. They’re deciding between interviews to pursue, evaluating whether the role aligns with their career goals, and debating the best approach for landing their ideal compensation package. At every stage of the interview process, candidates are measuring their experience while companies have an opportunity to create a lasting impression to seal the deal.

Why does this matter? Beyond a company’s corporate brand, an employer brand stems from how job seekers and potential employees perceive your company. Factors such as company benefits, flexible schedule and company culture weave into a job seekers interest to join your company. Talent acquisition is at the forefront of a company’s ability to attract and retain talent, and serves as the foundation for a successful company.

To determine which factors job seekers prioritize when evaluating a company’s brand health, and which companies are doing it best, we surveyed our marketplace of technical talent, spanning software engineering, product management, design, and data science roles. We asked them which companies they’re most interested in working for, what attracts them to begin interviewing, and key motivators that drive them to accept or reject a job offer.

We release this report to help companies improve their employer brand and offer clarity into what matters most to job seekers. We’re on a mission to get everyone a job they love, so we want to empower companies to do just that.

Tech workers name their most desired employers in the world

To gain a deeper understanding of what people value in a potential employer, we asked our marketplace of tech talent to rank the companies they’d most like to work for. We provided candidates with a list of companies to choose from, and they ranked their interest in working at each company on a five point scale (and offered a sixth option if they had never heard of the company). Companies with a larger number of candidates selecting the top two scores earned a higher ranking, or a higher brand positivity index.

This year, respondents named Netflix as the most appealing place to work, moving up the ranks from fifth place last year and inching ahead of Google and Tesla — and SpaceX. Our list of the top 25 global employer brands also reveals the promising footprint innovative companies like DeepMind and Virgin Hyperloop One are creating on the world stage. As companies of every size continue investing in their employer brands for talent acquisition and employee retention, their efforts are not going unnoticed.

Top Global Employer Brands

Sort By:
Rank Company BPI*

*BPI: Brand Positivity Index. Companies with a larger number of candidates selecting the top two scores earned a higher ranking, or a higher Brand Positivity Index.

The global rankings are sourced from respondents in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Employer branding is critical for hiring, and retaining, folks that will thrive at your company. Tech company cultures are often stereotyped and generalized, while they are in fact very nuanced and different from each other. If you don’t take the time to thoughtfully and accurately differentiate and define your culture you run the risk of being just another open floor plan with a ping-pong table. Colleen Finnegan Recruitment Marketing at Squarespace

Job seekers reveal companies they want to work for in their local market

Tech talent also had the opportunity to rank the companies they found most attractive to work for in the market they currently live in. Consumer tech companies dominated the local lists, including Grubhub in Chicago and Hulu in Los Angeles. Media and enterprise companies, like The Washington Post in Washington, D.C. and SendGrid in Denver, are scattered throughout the local top-10 rankings as well. In our survey, each company was listed in the market nearest to where they are headquartered.

Top Employer Brands by City

Click on each city to see top local employer brands below.

Top 10 Employer Brands

Rank Company BPI
1 Microsoft 79
2 Zillow Group 75
3 Tableau Software 73
4 Redfin 71
5 Amazon 66
6 Expedia 62
7 Starbucks 59
8 Alaska Airlines 59
9 Valve Corporation 59
10 Seattle Children’s Hospital 56
Seattle by the Numbers

climbed this year’s list, coming out #1 compared to #4 in 2017 — and made the global list for the first time


would switch jobs for a better location or commute

Top 10 Employer Brands

Rank Company BPI
1 Google 86
2 Netflix 86
3 Airbnb 81
4 Slack 78
5 Lyft 74
6 LinkedIn 74
7 Facebook 73
8 Apple 73
9 Dropbox 73
10 GitHub 68
SF Bay Area by the Numbers

will engage with a company that reaches out if they have prior knowledge about the company
(the #1 reason)


say they’d be interested in working 100% remotely — coming in last among the cities ranked

Top 10 Employer Brands

Rank Company BPI
1 Arrow Electronics 48
2 HomeAdvisor 42
3 CenturyLink 40
4 SendGrid 38
5 DigitalGlobe 37
6 Ibotta 35
7 JumpCloud 34
8 Tendril 29
9 NetApp 29
10 DaVita Healthcare Partners 29
Denver by the Numbers

cite poor reputation as a top reason not to work at a given company


weigh company culture when evaluating job opportunities

Top 10 Employer Brands

Rank Company BPI
1 Hulu 83
2 SpaceX 83
3 The Walt Disney Company 73
4 Virgin Hyperloop One 70
5 Virgin Galactic 68
6 Warner Bros 67
7 Blizzard Entertainment 66
8 Jet Propulsion Laboratory 65
9 Riot Games 64
10 Snap 57
Los Angeles by the Numbers

are interested in working 100% remotely


focus on providing meaningful benefits like tuition reimbursement likely contributes to its number one local ranking

Top 10 Employer Brands

Rank Company BPI
1 Shopify 80
2 Kijiji 56
3 RBC 49
4 FreshBooks 48
5 Scotiabank 48
6 Flipp 47
7 Thomson Reuters 47
8 TD Bank 46
9 Loblaw Digital 46
10 CIBC 44
Toronto by the Numbers

comes in first once again, gaining attention for remote work, relocation and a company-wide focus on recruiting


would engage with a company that reaches out to them about a job if they know someone already working there

Top 10 Employer Brands

Rank Company BPI
1 Grubhub 70
2 Groupon 57
3 United Airlines 56
4 Peapod 55
5 Orbitz 50
6 Uptake 49
7 Morningstar 48
8 Trunk Club 44
9 Citadel 37
10 Sprout Social 37
Chicago by the Numbers

look for the flexibility to work remotely when job searching


perks put them at the top: employees get food credits, flexible vacation and regularly go on company outings

Top 10 Employer Brands

Rank Company BPI
1 The Washington Post 68
2 Capital One 66
3 Booz Allen Hamilton 50
4 Marriott 48
5 Lockheed Martin 44
6 ThinkGeek 44
7 Geico 42
8 Applied Predictive Technologies 38
9 CAVA 38
10 Custom Ink 37
Washington, D.C. by the Numbers

say lack of interest in a company’s mission is the number one reason they wouldn’t want to work there


cite “knowing the salary upfront” as the main reason they’d engage with a company that reaches out about a job — highest out of the cities surveyed

Top 10 Employer Brands

Rank Company BPI
1 Indeed 80
2 Whole Foods 69
3 HomeAway 65
4 RetailMeNot 56
5 Spiceworks 45
6 Silicon Labs 45
7 SolarWinds 45
8 WP Engine 44
9 National Instruments 44
10 Dell 40
Austin by the Numbers

cite poor reputation as a top reason not to work at a given company
(the #1 reason)


are interested in working 100% remotely — the highest concentration of all cities surveyed

Top 10 Employer Brands

Rank Company BPI
1 iRobot 68
2 ZipCar 52
3 TripAdvisor 52
4 GE 48
5 HubSpot 48
6 MathWorks 47
7 Akamai 46
8 LevelUp 44
9 athenahealth 42
10 Toast 42
Boston by the Numbers

say knowing a colleague that works at a company is the number one reason they’d respond to a company that reaches out to them


would leave a job if they didn’t feel valued by their manager

Top 10 Employer Brands

Rank Company BPI
1 Squarespace 72
2 Vimeo 68
3 Kickstarter 67
4 Etsy 64
5 Bloomberg 62
6 Tumblr 56
7 BuzzFeed 55
8 Jet.com 54
9 NBCUniversal 52
10 American Express 52
New York by the Numbers

are interested in working 100% remotely


will engage with a company that reaches out about a job if they recognize the company name

Top 10 Employer Brands

Rank Company BPI
1 Monzo 74
2 DeepMind 64
3 BBC 63
4 McLaren Applied Technologies 63
5 Skyscanner 60
6 Revolut 57
7 Deliveroo 54
8 ASOS.com 45
9 Blockchain 44
10 Sky 44
London by the Numbers

would leave their current job if a new offer gave them a chance to solve new problems


cite lack of interest in the product as a top reason not to work at a given company

Top 10 Employer Brands

Rank Company BPI
1 Criteo 44
2 Chauffeur-Privé 41
3 Drivy 40
4 Vente Privée 35
5 PriceMinister 33
6 Algolia 32
7 Datadog 32
8 Dashlane 31
9 Tinyclues 25
10 Payfit 25
Paris by the Numbers

say the opportunity to learn new skills is the number one factor they consider when job searching. All other cities rank compensation and benefits first.


say a personalized message is the number one reason they will engage with a company that reaches out about a job

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Understanding the mind of a job seeker: why candidates accept or reject an offer

In addition to asking job candidates to rank the companies they’d most like to work for, we asked them what matters most when they’re looking for a job or evaluating an offer. While the results show that salary still reigns, it’s far from the only factor that seals the deal.

Top 5 Factors Job Seekers Consider When Applying

55% Compensation & Benefits
45% Company Culture
40% Opportunity to Learn New Skills
29% Challenging Technical Problems to Solve
27% Team

Unsurprisingly, compensation and benefits are the most important factors job seekers consider when they’re evaluating job opportunities. Coming in second this year is company culture, which moved up from third place since last year’s report.

Top 5 Factors that Turn
Job Seekers Away

Lack of Knowledge about the Company
Negative Company Culture
Not Interested in the Mission
Not Interested in the Product
Poor Reputation

Companies can’t control all the factors that can turn job seekers away. In fact, the number one reason candidates don’t engage is simply based on lack of interest in the product and, coming in third, lack of interest in the mission. However, companies can control their brand reputation and company culture, which are just as important to job seekers.

Top 5 Reasons Employees
Leave Their Jobs

74% Higher Base Salary
64% New Challenges & Problems to Solve
40% Location & Commute
37% Not Feeling Valued by Manager
28% Higher Title

Salary is (still) king. For nearly three out of four of respondents, higher base salaries will influence them to take another job, and another one in four say that a better title plays a role, too. So what matters that’s not tied to compensation? Opportunities to learn something new, feeling valued by managers, and a location and commute that works for their lifestyle.

Top 5 Reasons Candidates Engage with a Company

Salary Range Up Front
Work Experience Expectations
Personalized Message
Recognizable Company Name
Friend or Former Colleague Works There

Just as compensation is the most important factor job seekers consider, salary transparency is the top reason candidates will engage with a company that reaches out with an offer to begin the interview process. Friends and company recognition play a factor, as well — and half will engage with a company that reaches out with a personalized message.

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Improve your company’s brand health with these three strategies


Provide Opportunities to Change Tracks

Our report revealed a clear theme across all markets: candidates are seeking ways to advance their careers. When applying for jobs, 41% are looking for training and development, and 64% move on when another company provides a chance to solve new problems and challenges. Plus, they’re future-focused: when asked if they’re worried about AI eliminating their job in the next 3-5 years, only 4% said yes. Job candidates aren’t afraid of changes in their job landscape, and companies can cater to that by providing more opportunities for them to learn and stay ahead of the curve.


Send Personalized Notes

The way recruiters and talent acquisition managers engage with potential candidates can be the difference between “I’m interested” and “No, thanks.” Data shows that sending personalized notes can go a long way. Fifty percent of survey respondents said they’ll engage with a company that sends a personalized note — and that personalization is 12% more important to women*. Taking the extra time to customize outreach will improve the candidate’s experience with the company and increase the chances of a response.


Offer Remote Work or Flexible Hours

With 70% of survey respondents expressing interest in working 100% remotely, and 19% showing they’re looking for remote work when evaluating a job offer, flexible schedules are clearly important. Today’s workforce already understands how to use the necessary tools to work from anywhere, so companies need to adjust their benefits to cater to the demand.


At Hired, we’re dedicated to helping everyone find a job they love. We recognize that every individual’s career journey is unique and dynamic, with a variety of factors that contribute to how they evaluate their next job opportunity. We want to be a partner through this decision-making process for candidates, and empower companies to create productive environments where people want to work. Our report takes the guesswork out of understanding job seekers and recognizes the incredible brands that are already making an impression.

We see that while compensation is the number one factor that matters most to tech talent when they’re evaluating a job opportunity, it’s not the only consideration. Coming in at a close second and third are company culture and opportunities to learn new skills. Tech workers are looking to join companies that invest in their professional development and offer programs designed to refine their current skill set while learning new ones. Beyond factors that impact learning and career growth, they want to feel connected to the product and mission of a company.

As great people continue to be the foundation of successful businesses, every company should strategically approach their employer brand. From providing tech talent opportunities to advance their careers, to sending personalized messages during outreach to show thoughtfulness, every touch point with a candidate — online or in-person — reflects what a company believes in. It’s clear that tech talent pays attention to and makes decisions based on their knowledge of a company. With job seekers listening intently, a defined employer brand gives companies an edge in the highly competitive market for tech talent.


Hired surveyed 2,200 tech workers, who were provided a list of top local companies who have recently been hiring for tech talent and asked them to rate their level of interest in working for each company. The highest-scoring local brands were added to a larger global list of companies that were then evaluated by a geographically diverse set of tech workers. To evaluate top brands in local markets, we relied on rankings from local survey respondents only. For global insights, we took both the global rankings and the location of companies’ offices into account. The Brand Positivity Index combines survey respondents who would ‘love to work’ and ‘might like to work’ at a particular company. Lastly, we asked a series of questions to determine the factors that make our respondents prefer some companies over others, and what companies with low brand awareness can do to make sure they will be considered by top tech talent. All markets surveyed include: Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.

About Hired

Hired (hired.com) is a marketplace that matches tech talent with the world’s most innovative companies. Hired combines intelligent job matching with unbiased career counseling to help people find a job they love. Through Hired, job candidates and companies have transparency into salary offers, competing opportunities and job details. This level of insight is unmatched, making the recruiting process quicker and more efficient than ever before.

Hired was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in the United States, Canada, France, and the UK. For more information, news, and tips for job candidates and employers, visit Hired’s blog.