Employee retention stock image.
Image: Andrii Yalanskyi/Adobe Stock

In a repeat performance, Amazon again tops the list of LinkedIn’s 2022 Top Companies list, which ranks the 50 best workplaces for professionals to grow their careers.

The number two spot went to Alphabet also for the second year in a row. Wells Fargo placed third, bumping JPMorgan Chase from the position last year to fourth place this year.

LinkedIn said it used internal data to rank companies on career progression, and the list of top companies spotlights the organizations investing in employee success and continued skill development.

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This year’s U.S. honorees offer training, education and mentorship to help employees grow, providing everything from fully paid tuition to paid time off to upskill–and they offer the flexibility and resources (including four-day workweeks, remote/hybrid workplaces and mental health benefits) that employees need to thrive, LinkedIn said.

There are 530,000+ jobs open now across the U.S., more than 70,000 of which are remote, according to the company.

The top 10 2022 U.S. LinkedIn companies:

  1. Amazon
  2. Alphabet
  3. Wells Fargo
  4. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  5. Walmart
  6. IBM
  7. AT&T
  8. Bank of America
  9. Apple
  10. Comcast

Flexible work is no longer a nice-to-have

LinkedIn cited a number of key trends implemented by companies on the list. For example, with job seekers and employees in the driver’s seat and able to ask for the work-life balance they need, flexible work has become required to attract and retain top talent, the company said. Most companies on this year’s list offer some form of work-from-anywhere flexibility, with more than 70,000 remote jobs open now across the top 50 companies.

Many companies also allow employees to set their own schedules and work custom “on” hours through asynchronous work. Some, like Amazon (1), Raytheon Technologies (21) and General Motors (44) are encouraging work-life balance with company-wide days off, while others offer unlimited paid vacation and sabbaticals.

Many companies are testing out new flexible offerings–employees at Cisco (30) have adopted a four-day workweek through the company’s Interim Reduced Workweek program, IBM (6) has set mandatory “off” hours, Cognizant (33) offers the option to work a compressed week through its WorkFlex program.

Realogy (40) has a no meetings policy on “Focus Fridays,” Publicis Groupe (41) allows employees the freedom to work from anywhere they like for up to six weeks per year and PwC (32) allows employees to step away from work for up to six months while paid through its new Leave of Absence program.

Top companies offer stability in an unstable world

While many companies across the U.S. faced challenges and disruptions over the last year, the top companies offer stability and upskilling opportunities that employees can count on–from tuition assistance and PTO for professional development to mentorship programs and job shadowing, LinkedIn said.

Many organizations instituted new programs to retain employees. Deloitte (11) introduced a new Talent Experience Office focused on employee sentiments and preferences to help inform company choices, EY (22) offers a Pathway to Purpose virtual program to help employees discover and live their personal purpose and vision and Kimley-Horn (31) offers job rotations so employees learn from different roles and departments.

Walmart (5) gives field-based associates access to a no-cost college degree through its Live Better U program and Verizon (18) offers an apprenticeship program for those facing employment loss due to automation in technology to prepare them for the jobs of the future.

PwC (32) invested $3 billion in a “New World, New Skills” initiative to equip employees with digital training and awarded a thank-you bonus of one-week extra pay.

Bank of America (8) provided an additional $1 billion in compensation stock awards to employees globally and Northrop Grumman (38) enhanced its annual bonus plan, according to the career site.

Mental health goes mainstream at work

To keep employees healthy and happy at work, almost all of this year’s honorees now provide services that address mental health and wellbeing. Companies like Intel (23), Salesforce (28) and Juniper Networks (46) provide dedicated mental health days, with many–including FedEx (47) and Blackstone (43)–offering company-paid mental health benefits, according to LinkedIn.

EY (22) has expanded its no-cost counseling and mental health coaching sessions to 25 per year for employees and family, Deloitte (11) provides a $1,000 wellbeing subsidy in addition to individualized psychological health resources, and UnitedHealth Group (13) provides complimentary access to wellness apps offering coaching, talk therapy and more.

New must-have skills: curiosity, authenticity and compassion

Most of the top companies do not require college degrees and instead look for soft skills that can translate across departments and roles. For example, the No. 1 skill Comcast (10) seeks in new hires is authenticity, according to LinkedIn.

HCA Healthcare (37) seeks compassion in new hires, and Dell Technologies (14) looks for people who thrive in an environment with a diversity of people and ideas. Accenture, (17) Oracle (27) and Lockheed Martin (29) value candidates with curiosity and eagerness to learn and grow. Alphabet (2) looks for problem-solving skills and a growth mindset, according to the career site.

Takeaways for tech recruiters

Several tech honorees on this year’s top companies list look for soft skills like compassion, curiosity and authenticity, said LinkedIn News Senior Managing Editor Laura Lorenzetti.

“Many candidates might not know that they need to dial-up these skills in the application stages, so recruiters should help candidates identify–and humble brag–about these skills during the interview process,’’ Lorenzetti said.

For example, Alphabet (2) “looks for a number of different skills in new hires including leadership, teamwork and role-related knowledge, the top skill by far is a general cognitive ability—especially problem-solving skills,’’ she said. “Even if a potential hire isn’t as well-versed in a particular field or technique as another candidate, if they show a strong ability to work through a problem they haven’t encountered before, that’s the best indicator of success.”

Google is looking for candidates with “a growth mindset” and who will meet new challenges as they come and grow into new responsibilities over time, according to Lorenzetti.

“There is no perfect mold to land a career at Google, and the company encourages people with different talents, passions and knowledge to apply. If you are a good fit for the company, recruiters will find a way to hire you with a role that meets your skills,’’ she said.

Attributes cited by other tech companies, according to Lorenzetti:

  • IBM (6) is looking for candidates who have a desire to keep learning and stay curious, are critical thinkers and work/communicate well with others. To get hired now, IBM encourages candidates to be themselves, do their homework about the company, know what skills are in demand, be curious and ask questions (about the culture, etc.). In the interview, be prepared to answer questions like, “Why do I need to hire you.”
  • Dell Technologies (14) is looking for those who thrive in an environment with a diversity of people and ideas, and who can bring breakthrough thinking to the company, customers, and industry.
  • Accenture (17) is looking for curiosity, and an eagerness to learn and grow.
  • Verizon (18) seeks talent driven by the pursuit of their ambitions and motivated by the opportunity to create meaningful change in their careers, communities and the world at large.
  • Cognizant (33) seeks candidates with a balance of analytical, technical and interpersonal skills, and focuses primarily on graduates in computer science/ information science, business, and analytics. Digital skills, including Java and .NET capabilities, are primary areas of focus.
  • “To nail the interview, Cognizant says you should ‘show that you are humble, yet hungry,’ as this combination has proven to bring the right blend of motivation and dedication,” Lorenzetti said. “Cognizant is looking for a growth mindset, strong work ethic and inclusiveness, strong communication and problem-solving skills.”
  • Oracle (27) is looking for curiosity in its new hires and encourages candidates to connect with people in their network who may work at or understand the company, organization, expectations, and what can make you successful.
  • Salesforce (28) is looking for values of trust, giving back to the community and responsibility for one another.

Investing in employee success and career development

With many workers going remote during the pandemic, companies started beefing up their digital learning and development programs, as well as virtual services that help with work-life balance.

In particular, the no. 1 company on this year’s list–Amazon–is investing $1.2 billion to expand its education and skills training initiatives, according to Lorenzetti. Also for virtual upskilling, Bank of America (9) offers the Learning Hub’s Academy for Families, which has provided access to 7,800+ employees for learning and development opportunities for children.

Verizon (18) offers the Thrive apprenticeship program to address the Human Prosperity initiative of preparing 500k individuals for jobs of the future by 2030, she said. The program is focused on those facing employment loss due to automation in technology roles in full-stack Java, web development, cloud practitioners, digital marketing, etc.

PwC (32) invested $3 billion in a “new world, new skills” initiative to equip employees with digital skills, tools and training needed to thrive in an increasingly tech-first workforce. Realogy (40) provides the Real U learning and development platform for training and resources, and EY (22) offers the Pathway to Purpose virtual program to help employees discover and live their personal purpose and vision.

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