Cisco, Microsoft & other big enterprise IT firms miss Best Places to Work cut

Airbnb tops Glassdoor's Best Places to Work in 2016 rankings

It’s not that the biggest names in enterprise IT and networking aren’t good places to work, according to employees submitting reviews to jobs and career marketplace Glassdoor. It’s just that they aren’t “Amazing!” or “Great!” places to be employed, according to Glassdoor’s list of the 50 Best Places to Work in 2016.

When approached by Glassdoor about this list, we weren’t surprised to see a buzzy young company like Airbnb atop the rankings, dethroning Google, which fell from No. 1 last year to No. 8 this time around. The likes of Hubspot, Facebook, LinkedIn and Zillow in the Top 10 also didn’t come as surprises.

But the very top companies weren’t all fresh faces: 40-plus-year-old Bain & Co. came in second.

MORE: 10 real-world oddball tech job interview questions | Glassdoor scores $70M in funding – and is hiring

So why didn’t some of the biggest names in enterprise networking and IT make the top 50? (Rankings are based on a proprietary algorithm that crunched information from 1.6 million anonymous reviews.)

Well, first, consider that the numbers across many of these companies are pretty darn close. The 50th company in the rankings, SolarCity, had a rating of 3.9 stars, whereas Microsoft, for example, has 3.8 and Cisco has a 3.7.

google Google/Glassdoor

What passes for fun these days at Google, #8 on Glassdoor's Best Places to Work 2016 list

A Glassdoor spokeswoman says that for Microsoft, “What seems to make the difference based on the data we're seeing is Microsoft's reviews are more subdued, and use the word ‘good’ a lot. For example: ‘Good salary and benefits’ and ‘Good work/life balance’ and ‘Good environment if you are in a good team with good management’.”

Compare that to the sort of language used in Airbnb reviews ("Amazing people, vibrant workplace, and an unbeatable culture" and "the founders are great people and I believe they have the best intentions for the company, the employees, and our community.")

Common themes among the top-rated companies included employees feeling valued, unique cultures aligned with mission, smart colleagues, and great perks/benefits.

All this isn’t to say enterprise IT companies didn’t show up in the Top 50. In fact, #3 Guidewire makes back-end software for insurance companies – so, an enterprise IT company, but one you might not know if you’re not in that market. More familiar enterprise IT companies such as Akamai (#31), Salesforce (#32), F5 Networks (#33), Workday (#35) and Red Hat (#37) are all on the list, and then there are those big consumer AND enterprise outfits like Apple (#25).

Looking back at Glassdoor’s recent rankings – it has compiled this list for 8 years now – enterprise companies (depending on how you define them) are actually making a slightly stronger showing than in years past. So, it’s not like people working for Airbnbs and other cool companies are having all the fun.

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