Facebook fails to make list of top 100 employers, again

Facebook is not on Fortune's list of the 100 best companies to work for in the United States. This is the seventh year running that the social networking giant has been omitted.

Fortune magazine today released its 2012 edition of the "100 Best Companies to Work for" on CNN. IT companies represent the largest segment of the list, occupying nearly 17 of the slots. In the top 10, tech companies include Google, SAS, and NetApp. In fact, Google topped the list this year, and once again, Facebook, one of the search giant's biggest rivals, didn't make it.

I say "once again" because Facebook has never been listed in the top 100. The company wasn't mentioned when the first edition of the compilation was released in 2006, but then again it did only launch in February 2004. Still, it still wasn't listed in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and now in 2012. So, what gives?

It seems the list makes a point to exclude young companies. A quick check shows that this is indeed the case, although it's not explicitly stated. In fact, Fortune magazine this year admitted that "with Silicon Valley booming again" and "a number of high-tech startups headed for IPO" (cough Facebook cough), infant companies will be fighting well-established tech companies "when competing for talent" in 2012.

In other words, Facebook will likely get there as it matures. Although Facebook was named the best tech company to work for in 2011, that was by career website Glassdoor, which asks employees to submit their ratings of companies. Fortune magazine sends out its own surveys, and clearly has a different methodology for rating employers.

The 17 tech companies that appear on the list are as follows: Google at #1, SAS at #3, NetApp at #6, Intuit at #19, Qualcomm at #23, Ultimate Software at #25, Salesforce.com at #27, Adobe Systems at #41, National Instruments at #45, Intel at #46, World Wide Technology at #50, Autodesk at #52, Rackspsace Hosting at #74, Microsoft at #76, Hitachi Data Systems at #86, Cisco at #90, and GoDaddy.com at #93.

Facebook was the first company I checked the list for, but there are also a few others that I noticed missing (some more surprising than others): AMD, HP, IBM, Oracle, Texas Instruments, Yahoo, and Zynga. Did your employer make the top 100?

Update: The mystery is solved. It turns out the reason Facebook never makes the list is its own fault. "Facebook has never applied to be considered for Fortune's Best Companies list," a Fortune spokesperson told me in a statement. Here's Fortune's methodology:

To pick the 100 Best Companies to Work For, Fortune partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America; 280 firms participated in this year’s survey. More than 246,000 employees at those companies responded to a survey created by the institute, a global research and consulting firm operating in 45 countries around the world. Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of the institute’s Trust Index survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company. The survey asks questions related to their attitudes about management’s credibility, job satisfaction, and camaraderie. The other third is based on responses to the institute’s Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs, and diversity efforts. After evaluations are completed, if news about a company comes to light that may significantly damage employees’ faith in management, we may exclude it from the list. Any company that is at least five years old and has more than 1,000 U.S. employees is eligible.

I have contacted Facebook asking the company why it doesn't apply. I will update you if I hear back.

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