Facebook no longer the top place to work in America

Facebook's "best places to work" ranking

A year ago, Facebook touted its ranking as the top employer in the U.S. by employment site Glassdoor. How things have changed in 2018. 

A year later, Facebook has slid to No. 7 on Glassdoor's annual ranking of employers, which is based on thousands of employee reviews of senior management, compensation and other workplace concerns. Several employers including In-And-Out Burger pulled ahead of the social media giant, Glassdoor said.

The tumble comes as Facebook has struggled with a series of scandals, including the Cambridge Analytica allegations and new revelations that Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg asked employees to look into billionaire George Soros' finances after he criticized the company. 

To be sure, Facebook remains one of the top employers in the country, according to Glassdoor's ranking. Yet the company's drop may reflect rising anxiety about the tech giant's mission, as well as long-standing struggles to balance sometimes brutal work hours with a healthy lifestyle.

"The company is full of self-inflicted wounds and senior leadership (Mark [Zuckerberg], Sheryl) live in an absolute impenetrable bubble of privilege and cluelessness," one reviewer, who has worked at the company for more than a year, wrote on Glassdoor's site. 

Facebook earned an overall rating of 4.5, based on a 5-point maximum rating, down from its rating of 4.6 a year earlier. Taking its place in the top slot is consulting firm Bain & Co., which earned a 4.6, Glassdoor said. 

"One of the themes we saw in Facebook reviews this year was poor internal communication -- internal teams not being organized in such a way that they can address some of the problems that have been raised," said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist with Glassdoor, in an interview with CBS MoneyWatch. It's very likely people are seeing Facebook in the headlines, and they're not being prepared for it internally through communication. They're not sure how to connect it to their daily work."

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Across all companies with employee reviews, the average score is 3.4, Glassdoor said.

Plenty of reviewers awarded top scores to Facebook, lavishing praise on its generous benefits and pay. But the past year's turmoil seems to be weighing on employees. One worker noted that executives' "motives will always be suspect" after the series of scandals. 

Another said, "Having Facebook on your resume is no longer a plus, actually can work against you."

2,600 open jobs

Chamberlain emphasized that most Facebook employees continue to give the company high marks, citing the high pay and generous perks and benefits. But he noted that the kind of rapid growth the social network has experienced in recent years can weaken corporate culture, diluting a founder's original vision and changing a company's values.

Some computer engineers are avoiding taking jobs at the social network, citing concerns about fake news and criticism about Facebook's approach to privacy, The New York Times reported last month. With more than 33,000 employees across the world, Facebook continues to hire. It now has more than 2,600 openings for full-time workers. 

Job applicants are asking questions about what types of tasks they would be asked to do at Facebook, the Times noted. 

"I've had a couple of clients recently say they're not as enthusiastic about Facebook because they're frustrated with what they see happening politically or socially," Paul Freiberger, president of career counseling group Shimmering Careers, told the publication. 

Mission versus pay 

Facebook provides strong compensation and benefits packages, with software engineering interns earning almost $8,000 per month. Full-time data scientists and product engineers take home more than $130,000 in annual pay, Glassdoor data show. 

Such numbers may lure workers through the door, but big pay packages or lush benefits aren't what keep employees satisfied, Glassdoor research has found. More important is having a shared sense of mission, such as connecting business goals to a larger social purpose. Workers also need to know their careers can advance in a company, and no one likes working for a jerk, Chamberlain said.

Facebook receives a 4.6 rating for compensation and benefits, but employees give it a 4.4 for culture and values. 

Bain & Co, this year's top workplace, matched Facebook for its pay and benefits rating, but its culture and values rating, at 4.8, edged it ahead of the social media network. 

"What we see across all the companies on this list is that they really have to keep their employees satisfied," said Glassdoor economic research analyst Amanda Stansell. "We see themes of strong mission-oriented cultures where people want to go to work."

Top employers for 2019

Bain & Co., founded in 1973 by former partners from the Boston Consulting Group, is known for its long hours and stressful work. But employees pushed it into the No. 1 spot, praising its career opportunities and corporate culture. 

"In the reviews for Bain, we see three main themes jump out," Stansell said. "If you work hard, you will succeed. Employees say they work directly with clients on difficult business problems. And it gives them the ability to make great career advancements."

The runner-up in this year's ranking of top employers is Zoom Video Communications, which earned a 4.5 rating. While not a household name, Zoom has grown quickly due to demand for its remote video-conferencing services. Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, a Chinese immigrant, was named the top CEO in the U.S. in a Glassdoor ranking of bosses earlier this year. 

With unemployment near a half-century low, corporations are providing stronger benefits and surveying employees to check on morale and satisfaction, Glassdoor noted. 

"It's definitely a job seeker's market," Stansell said. "It's a great time to be looking for a new job, and we hope this list helps job seekers identify great companies to work for."

Top 10 companies to work for in 2019, based on Glassdoor's analysis of employee reviews:

1. Bain & Co. (4.6 rating)
2. Zoom Video Communications (4.5)
3. In-N-Out Burger (4.5)
4. Procore Technologies (4.5)
5. Boston Consulting Group (4.5)
6. LinkedIn (4.5)
7. Facebook (4.5)
8. Google (4.4)
9. lululemon (4.4)
10. Southwest Airlines (4.4)

--With reporting by Alain Sherter and Irina Ivanova.