Apple, Facebook Drop in Employee Satisfaction; Twitter Is the Best Tech Company to Work For

By Vincent Trivett,

Shutterstock photo

Glassdoor, the website that allows employees to rate their employers, released its Best Places to Work list for 2014. The results might be surprising, and sometimes, the reviews don't bode well for big tech companies' ability to find the best talent in a competitive field. Specifically, the appeal of start-ups could make it harder (or more expensive) for Apple ( AAPL ) and Google ( GOOG ) to recruit the best and brightest.

The best place to work, according to this ranking, is Bain & Company, the management consultant, replacing Facebook ( FB ), which dropped from one to five. In second place, and taking the crown for top tech company, is Twitter (NYSE: TWTR ). This is very easy to believe, considering that the company just turned 1,600 rank-and-file employees into new millionaires through its IPO. The anonymous reviews show that Twitter is a good place for work/life balance, which is hard to come by in the Valley. LinkedIn ( LNKD ) was close behind.

As the schmaltzy video above shows, free food is a given in Silicon Valley. But parsing through the employee reviews on Glassdoor, it's apparently a mixed blessing. Some list it as a pro, and some as a con. One Facebook employee listed "too much food" as his only disagreement with the company. It's widely seen as a scheme to keep you on the corporate campus for as long as possible.

Surprisingly, Google, a company that is so amazing to work for that it has its own movie about being just an intern there, only ranks eighth. Judging by the negative comments on the site, it seems that the enforced workaholism is the biggest complaint for Googlers.

"I have seen way too many of the following: marriages fall apart, colleagues choosing work and projects over family, colleagues getting physically sick and ill because of stress, colleagues crying while at work because of the stress, colleagues shooting out emails at midnight, 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m.," says one eight-year Google veteran on Glassdoor. "It is absolutely ridiculous and something needs to change."

One part of the survey that might be shocking is that Apple, which owns the #1, #5, #12 and #13 most beloved brands in America, is only the 35th best place to work.

Keep in mind, however, that of the 80,300 full-time Apple employees out there, 42,800 are in retail , making about $12-$18 per hour. These aren't the most fulfilling jobs out there. Employees say that there is almost zero chance of moving from the retail floor to corporate. This is the main complaint from employees.

"After a certain point, the potential to develop beyond your existing role became seemingly impossible. I was promoted twice and then hit the 'glass ceiling' in my development," said one retail employee.

Unfortunately, this is a common issue for retail workers. If you remove those bad experiences, Apple might have a more obvious leg up for recruiting top talent. Nevertheless, this Glassdoor ranking shows a shift in the tech sector away from the biggest of the big names toward somewhat newer, but stable companies like LinkedIn and Twitter.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing Technology
Referenced Stocks: AAPL , FB , GOOG , LNKD , TWTR

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