Best Places to Work in IT 2010 Employer Profile

No. 4

General Mills Inc.

Minneapolis [North Central]

Why you want to work there

Top 10 ranking: No. 3 for retention, No. 3 for benefits, No. 2 for career development The employee-employer relationship at this Minneapolis-based food giant is a long-term one. A rigorous recruiting process, combined with an intern-to-full-timer conversion rate that hit 90% in IT in 2009, yields a crop of young employees who embark on lifelong careers at General Mills. In a 2009 in-house survey, 82% of IT employees reported they had the opportunity for growth and development at the company. Among other things, they said they had challenging assignments and were able to participate in development programs to enhance their technical and interpersonal skills. An "onboarding" survey measures new employee opinions after six months and again after 36 months. Working with Web 2.0: IT employees have collaborated with internal marketing divisions and external marketing services providers on a number of Web 2.0 projects. Among other things, they have developed Facebook applications designed to promote the General Mills brand, partnered with Microsoft to build a Windows 7 multitouch application called the Betty Crocker Kitchen Assistant, developed a Betty Crocker iPhone application, built Web services to expose the Betty Crocker and Pillsbury recipe libraries to external partners, and evaluated mobile coupon technology vendors. A global reach: IT employees support business applications used around the world, so they have an opportunity to learn about international processes and commerce. IT employee networks, such as IS Diversity Champions, Women in IS and the Experienced Hire Forum, strive to address the needs of employees in specific demographic groups through mentoring and volunteer programs and other initiatives. Events led by these networks range from career development panel discussions to a sock drive for a homeless shelter and mindfulness training workshops. An IT manager's forum addresses topics such as working with global teams, project management and social networking. The IT rotation program provides specialized training and job assignments for employees hired through college recruiting efforts. This program, which includes three rotations in five years, ensures that early-career employees have broad developmental opportunities.

Rank by company size:
Large, No. 3

Employee Statistics

Total U.S.-based employees: 17,024

Total U.S.-based IT employees: 662

IT employee turnover in 2009: 3%

IT promotions in 2009: 12%


Training days offered per IT employee in 2009: 10

Training budget per IT employee in 2009: $4,500

Women in IT

Total percentage of women within IT: 36%

Percentage of IT managers who are women: 41%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are women: 37%

Minorities in IT

Total percentage of minorities within IT: 14%

Percentage of IT managers who are minorities: 4%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are minorities: 17%