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large_5711733741Google is the best company to work for in 2013, according to Fortune. I guess that’s what benefits like paying your spouse for 10 years after your death will do for you. Or providing 100,000 hours of nearly-free massages.

Other tech companies on the list include SAS in second place, cloud services company NetApp at number six, and Qualcomm,, and Intuit in the top 25. Rackspace clocks in at #22, Intel at #68, and Microsoft at #75.

Apple didn’t make the list, nor did Facebook.

My big question: How is this list made? What data goes into the mix? SAS is the second-best place to work in America? Really? And Wegman’s Food Market is the fifth best? Is retirement planning and personal financial services so much fun that Edward Jones is the eighth-best company?

Part of it is turnover — how many employees leave. And part of it is perks — the prototypical foosball tables and free food. Another part is salaries.

That can all be judged from the descriptions that Fortune includes in its blurbs about each company, and they make sense. But nowhere can I find an actual methodology — what data the publication looked at, what weighting each piece of data had, and why some companies appear on the list while others do not.

Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft topped LinkedIn’s list of most desirable employers, with Twitter not far behind. And college students have quite different ideas about who they want to work for.

Fortune’s list, which doubtless contains many good companies, ranks SAS second partly because it has two artists in residence. Really? And CGH Healthcare Services is third because its employees can compete in talent shows and have dress-up days in which they can “dress as your favorite president.”

I’ve contacted Fortune for details and will update if the company responds.

Meanwhile, here are the top 10:

  1. Google
  2. SAS
  3. CGH Healthcare Services
  4. Boston Consulting Group
  5. Wegman’s Food Markets
  6. NetApp
  7. Hilcorp Energy Company
  8. Edward Jones
  9. Ultimate Software
  10. Camden Property Trust

photo credit: @FiverWeed via photopin cc

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