Special Report: Best Places to Work in IT 2017

How we chose the Best Places to Work in IT 2017

feedback / survey / questionnaire
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For the 24th year in a row, Computerworld conducted a survey to identify the 100 best places to work for IT professionals. 

Data on these top organizations is sorted by size: Small organizations have fewer than 1,000 U.S. employees; midsize companies have between 1,000 and 4,999 U.S. employees; and large organizations have 5,000 or more U.S. employees. As you browse the lists, keep in mind that some of the organizations featured are divisions of larger, global enterprises, though they may have a small U.S. footprint.

About the surveys

In November 2016, we started compiling nominations for U.S.-based organizations with at least 30 IT employees. Non-U.S.-based employers were allowed to participate as well, provided they had a minimum of 300 total employees at a U.S. headquarters and a minimum of 30 IT employees in the U.S., with at least 50% of their IT employees based in the U.S. 

Participants were asked to provide contact information for an individual at their company with access to employment statistics, financial data and information about benefits policies and programs for the IT department and the whole company.

In January 2017, a contact at each of the 450 nominated companies received a 52-question survey asking about average salary and bonus increases, percentage of IT staffers promoted, IT staff turnover rates, training and development, and the percentage of women and minorities in IT staff and management positions.

Information was also collected on retention efforts; programs for recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance; benefits such as flextime, elder care and child care; and policies for reimbursing employees for college tuition and the cost of pursuing technology certifications. Information from those surveys was used in compiling the 100 company profiles in this issue.

Upon completion of the survey, participants were emailed instructions for selecting a random sample of employees from their U.S.-based full- and part-time IT staffs. All participating companies were required to obtain feedback from their employees. The responses to the employee survey went directly to a third-party research company.

Topics covered in the employee survey included satisfaction with training and development programs, compensation, benefits and work/life balance. In addition, employees were asked to rate staff morale in their IT departments, the importance of various benefits and the degree to which they agreed with a variety of statements on subjects ranging from career growth to management’s treatment of employees. From the final 100 companies, a total of 23,901 IT employees responded to the employee survey. 

The nomination survey, company survey and employee survey were all conducted via the Internet. The company and employee survey portion of the research were closed in March 2017. 

Approximately half of the total scoring was based on employee responses, with the remainder based on the survey of the company’s benefits and other programs. Organizations were separated by size to produce three ranked lists for large, midsize and small Best Places to Work in IT, as outlined above.

Top 10 Lists

Our top 10 lists show the best of the best — the organizations that excel in these four areas of human resources: career development, retention, benefits and training. To determine those lists, we considered the following factors:

Benefits: The range of benefits offered, including sabbaticals, elder care and child care, and health and vision plans; employee satisfaction with the range of benefits.

Career development: Mentoring programs; tuition reimbursement for college classes and technical certifications; promotions within IT; employee satisfaction with tuition reimbursement, opportunities for career growth and management’s involvement in career development.

Retention: Frequency of employee satisfaction surveys; turnover rate; promotions; morale; employee satisfaction with work/life balance, sabbaticals, job-sharing and telecommuting programs.

Training: Number of training days; training budget; employee satisfaction with training and access to training; satisfaction with reimbursement for certification training; satisfaction with continuing education programs.

In scoring the responses from the company and employee surveys, company results were weighted based on the importance ratings provided by respondents to the employee survey. Approximately half of the total scoring was based on employee responses, with the remaining half based on the survey of the company’s benefits and other programs.

This year’s survey process was managed by Mari Keefe, Computerworld’s editorial project manager. Senior features editor Tracy Mayor compiled and edited the Best Places to Work in IT 2017 special report.

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