Best place to work? Google, Facebook slip down rankings after year of controversy

Facebook's ranking as the best place to work in the US takes a dive after 2018's scandals.

Facebook's year of controversy appears to have taken its toll on the company's consistent top ranking in Glassdoor's Best Places to Work list.

The 2019 Best Places to Work would have been the fourth year in a row that Facebook occupied one of the top five places in Glassdoor's US rankings, which is now held by consulting firm Bain & Company.

Facebook ranked top in 2018 but has since sunk to seventh spot, ahead of Google in eighth. The search giant's ranking is also down from fifth place in 2018.

Facebook's overall rating fell from 4.6 out of 5 at the end of last year to 4.5 today, which follows a year of public controversies over its handling of election meddling and for allowing data on 87 million users to be shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Only a month before the Cambridge Analytica scandal surfaced, Facebook's head of HR, Janelle Gale, shared the secrets of its success in Glassdoor's ranking, highlighting that employees are told from day one that they should own and contribute to company culture.

Google's overall rating fell from 4.6 to 4.4 over the year, with it too facing a year of unrest among employees, including worker protests over its work on the Pentagon's AI Project Maven and the global walkout over its handling of sexual harassment by top executives.

Glassdoor relies on anonymous employee reviews for its rating system. As expected, there are conflicting reviews about all large companies. Some Googlers vouch that it supports a good work-life balance, while others complain that it's poor.

One Googler in New York notes that the company's growing pains include "bureaucracy, slow to respond to market threats, bloated teams, cross-divisional tension, though nothing remotely approaching Microsoft's internal tension".

SEE: How to optimize the smart office (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

A Facebook employee at the company's Menlo Park headquarters warned Glassdoor visitors not to believe all the negative press. "While some of it may be deserved, a lot of it feels sensationalist," the employee wrote.

As noted by ZDNet sister site CNET, there are 29 tech companies in the top 100 this year, including LinkedIn in sixth place, Salesforce 11th, SAP 27th, Adobe 30th, Microsoft 34th, Nvidia 36th, VMware 51st, T-Mobile 59th, Cisco 69th, Apple 71st, Texas Instruments 77th, NetApp at 82nd, and HP Inc 87th.

The last time Twitter was among the top 100 US large companies was 2016 when it was ranked 26th. Major tech firms missing from the top 100 for the past few years include Oracle and IBM.

Glassdoor's 2019 top 10 places to work:

  1. Bain & Company
  2. Zoom Video Communications
  3. In-N-Out Burger
  4. Procore Technologies
  5. Boston Consulting Group
  6. LinkedIn
  7. Facebook
  8. Google
  9. Lululemon
  10. Southwest Airlines

Previous and related coverage

Google tops another chart as the best place to work in the US: Glassdoor

Tech companies accounted for 14 of the top 50 spots this year, down from 22 tech brands last year.

Job review site Glassdoor is being acquired in a $1.2bn deal

Job and salary data website has 40 million reviews of companies.

Data and UX people have the best work-life balance

Glassdoor compiles list of jobs with the most flexibility, family time and fun. But for many, it may be to mitigate stress.

How to achieve happiness at work and build your personal brand TechRepublic

Creating trust and connections with people you work with can help build a stronger team dynamic in your workplace.

The 10 best companies to work for in 2019 TechRepublic

Tech companies took a third of the top spots in terms of best places to work based on employee ratings, according to a Glassdoor report.

Facebook's ranking drops in 'best places to work' list CNET

The social media company's scandals may have caught up with it.