How We Chose the Best Places

For the 15th year in a row, Computerworld conducted a survey to identify the 100 best places to work for IT professionals. In March 2007, Computerworld started accepting nominations from U.S.-based companies. Participants were asked to provide the name and contact information of the appropriate individuals at their companies who were familiar with or had access to employment statistics and financial data.

In January 2008, the contacts at the nominated companies received a 100-question survey asking about their organizations' average salary and bonus increases, percentage of IT staffers promoted, IT staff turnover rates, training and development programs, and the percentages of women and minorities in IT staff and management positions. Information was also collected on how each organization rewards outstanding performance, as well as retention programs and benefits. Information from those surveys was used to compile the 100 employer profiles.

Upon completion of the company survey, all participating companies were required to obtain feedback from their employees and were e-mailed instructions on selecting a random sample of their U.S.-based full- and part-time IT staffs. The responses to the employee survey went directly to a third-party research vendor. Topics covered in the survey included satisfaction with training and development programs, base salary, bonuses, health benefits and work/life balance. In addition, employees were asked to rate morale in their IT departments and the importance of various benefits.

A total of 31,317 IT employees responded to the employee survey from the final 100 companies selected. The nomination survey, company survey and employee survey were all conducted via the Internet. The company and employee survey portions of the research ended in March 2008. To qualify to complete the company survey, participating companies, both public and private, had to have 2007 revenue of $100 million or more and employ a minimum of 300 total employees and a minimum of 50 IT employees.

The top-five lists show the best of the best — the organizations that excel in five areas of employment: diversity, career development, retention, benefits and training. To determine the lists, we considered the following:

  • Diversity: Percentage of women and minorities in staff and managerial positions.
  • Training: Average number of training days and average cost of training per IT worker per year.
  • Career development: Mentoring programs and tuition reimbursement for college classes and technical certifications.
  • Retention: Frequency of employee satisfaction surveys, turnover rate, promotions and communication initiatives.
  • Benefits: A range of benefits, including sabbaticals and health and vision benefits.

In scoring the responses from the surveys, company results were weighted based on employees' benefit-importance ratings in the employee component. Approximately one-half of the total scoring system is based on employee responses, with the remaining half based on the survey of company benefits and other programs.


Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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