- Facebook and Google are considered some of the best places to work.
- Employees at both companies report they’re extremely satisfied working there — and the great perks don’t hurt, either.
- But one company truly dominates as a best place to work in a head-to-head comparison: Facebook.
If you’re faced with the decision of whether you should accept a job at Facebook or Google, consider yourself one of the privileged few.
Both tech giants are extremely competitive in their quest to hire the best and the brightest talent, earning them reputations as best places to work.
For years, Facebook and Google have duked it out on Business Insider’s and Glassdoor‘s annual lists of the best places to work in the US. Both employers ranked in the top five on this year’s Glassdoor list.
But while both tech giants are considered to be great companies to work for, Facebook edges out Google in a number of head-to-head comparisons.
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Employees from both tech companies are pretty happy to be there, but Facebook has the edge over Google.
To find the companies with the most satisfied workers for its annual Employees' Choice Awards, Glassdoor scanned its massive database of company reviews and ratings from current and former employees.
Reviews include employees' opinions on some of the best reasons to work for their employer, any downsides, advice to management, and whether they'd recommend their employer to a friend, as well as ratings on how satisfied they are with their employer overall, their CEO, and key workplace attributes like career opportunities, compensation and benefits, culture, and values.
Based on employees' reviews, companies received overall ratings on a scale of one to five, with five representing the most satisfied employees.
Facebook scored 4.5 out of 5, while Google scored 4.4.
'Every morning when I go in, I feel like the luckiest guy on earth for ever landing a job here,' writes a Facebook data scientist in Menlo Park, California, on Glassdoor.
'From its openness to its diversity, Facebook has truly surpassed all tech companies in terms of culture, perks, and employee lifestyle,' a software engineer at Facebook in Menlo Park writes.
Facebook trusts its people.
Don Faul, a former Facebook executive, told The Wall Street Journal that, compared to Google, which he says is more structured and places more importance on 'manager' titles, Facebook employees are often placed in roles that cater to their strengths and are encouraged to question and criticise their managers.
And this kind of freedom is perhaps one of the best drivers for employee engagement.
'You get zero credit for your title,' he said. 'It's all about the quality of the work, the power of your conviction, and the ability to influence people.'
We know money isn't everything when it comes to job satisfaction -- but it certainly helps.
In fact, while a higher salary won't necessarily boost your happiness, researchers from the University of British Columbia and Michigan State University found that people with higher incomes reported feeling less sad, something Facebook employees surely know well.
According to data gathered by Glassdoor, a software engineer at Facebook makes about $US126,780 per year, while a software engineer at Google makes $US126,733 per year.
On the lower end of the spectrum, a software engineering intern at Facebook makes about $US7,080 a month, whereas a software engineering intern at Google makes $US6,634.
'Does your work make the world a better place?' That's what PayScale asked Facebook and Google employees last year, and 81% of Facebook employees answered with a resounding yes. At Google, on the other hand, 67% of employees said they feel their work gives them meaning.
'It can be tough to feel a sense of accomplishment about what you do, and that sense is actually quite important to the type of people who are ambitious enough to get over the Google hiring bar,' they said.
While it may seem counterintuitive that more competitive hiring practices could work against Google, an ex-employee explains that the tech giant has its pick of the best and brightest candidates and often hires them for lower-level jobs.
'There are students from top 10 colleges who are providing tech support for Google's ad products, or manually taking down flagged content from YouTube, or writing basic code to A|B test the colour of a button on a site,' the ex-employee says.
Another former Google employee says that Google is too big for most of the company's more than 60,000 employees to have a real impact. Facebook, however, employs a much smaller team of less than 24,000 people.
'Unless you are an amazingly talented engineer who gets to create something new, chances are you're simply a guy/girl with an oil can greasing the cogs of that machine,' the former Google employee says.
And when it comes to moving up the ladder, Facebook employees report to Glassdoor that they have greater opportunities for growth. Compared to Googlers who feel satisfied in their ability to move up, Facebookers report that they are very satisfied with the career opportunities at Facebook.
Facebook and Google have great perks -- free food, a vibrant office environment, easy transportation to and from work -- but Facebook trumps Google, especially in the parenthood department.
Facebook is one of the first companies to offer coverage of up to $US20,000 for egg-freezing, it provides $US4,000 in 'Baby Cash' to employees with a newborn, and its employees love that they can enjoy parenthood on their terms, giving the tech company's maternity and paternity leave policies an almost perfect score on Glassdoor.
Current employees are particularly excited to report that Facebook makes its 17 weeks-paid-leave policy available to women and men, whereas Google offers 18 weeks of paid maternity leave but between seven and 12 weeks of paternity leave.
Facebook offers a compelling case study for how companies can make parental-leave policies work.
Overall, Facebookers report on Glassdoor being happier with their benefits than Googlers.
'There is literally nothing bad about it -- the perks and benefits are incredibly generous, and only get more so over time,' writes a current employee in Menlo Park, California.
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