How we ranked our list of the 50 best companies to work for in America

Google was named the best company to work for in America for 2016. Google

Business Insider just released its annual list of the 50 best companies to work for in America, based on exclusive data from PayScale,
a company that tracks and researches employee compensation and benefit information.

Data used for the list was collected from employees who completed PayScale’s employee survey. PayScale surveyed employees in the US (not including territories such as Puerto Rico or Guam) who work at companies that appeared on the 2015 Fortune 500 list.

To calculate scores for the companies, PayScale used six criteria: high job satisfaction, low job stress, ability to telecommute, high job meaning, experienced median pay, and salary delta.

Here’s how they define each:

Percentage high job satisfaction: This is the percentage of respondents who work at a given employer who answered “Extremely satisfied” or “Fairly satisfied” to the question, “How satisfied are you in your job?”

Percentage low job stress:This is the percentage of respondents who work at a given employer who answered “My job is relaxing” or “Not stressful” when asked whether their job was stressful.

Percentage able to telecommute: This is the percentage of respondents who work at a given employer who answered, “Yes, I telecommute 100% of the time,” or “Yes, I telecommute most of the time,” or “Yes, I telecommute some of the time,” to the question, “Are you able to telecommute/work from home?”

Percentage high job meaning: This is the percentage of respondents who work at a given employer who answered “Very much so” or “Yes” to the question, “Does your work make the world a better place?”

Experienced median pay:This is the median (50th percentile) pay for people who have at least five years of experience in all applicable jobs in the field and work at the given company. Half of the employees with five or more years of work experience will earn more than this amount, while half will earn less.

Salary delta: This measures whether a given employer typically pays above, below, or at market price for their employees. By using PayScale’s database of over 54 million employee profiles, we have determined how various compensable factors — like work experience, education, and job responsibilities — affect pay, all else equal. From this analysis, PayScale can calculate what a worker with a given set of compensable factors will earn across different employers. This measure is reported as a percentage premium or loss. Any employer that pays above market will have a positive percentage. The larger the percentage, the higher the premium these employers pay for their workers. On the other hand, if an employer pays below market, the percentage will be negative.


After accumulating all of this data, PayScale standardised it and plugged it into their scoring system. Here’s how they describe the process:

“In order to turn these various measures into a score, we first standardised each company specific measure. This was done by dividing the company specific value by the median across all observed values across the set of companies.

Next, we fit these scores into a distribution between 1.4 and 0.6 and is evenly proportioned by rank. This transformation is necessary to remove the heavy influence of outliers on the overall rank of an employer. Once we have a company specific score for each of the 6 measures (job satisfaction, job stress, ability to telecommute, job meaning, experienced median pay and salary delta), we calculate the final score by multiplying each measure together. This method inherently places equal weighting on each measure.”

Note: For some companies, PayScale did not have enough data yet to report on ability to telecommute, percentage low stress, percentage high job satisfaction or percentage high job meaning. These companies are given an average score of 1 in these areas.

Find out how your salary stacks up on PayScale.