top 10 coolest companies to work for in philadelphia
By o.c. tanner
Culture | April 30, 2013
Since the days of Ben Franklin, Philadelphia has been a major player in history, science, and industry, just to name a few. Boasting a host of large and small businesses as rich and varied as cheesesteak recipes, Philly has a knack for attracting cool companies—organizations that, along with offering great benefits and perks, know how to encourage, recognize, and reward outstanding employee performance. Savvy HR professionals encourage this kind of cool corporate thinking, as it enables companies to attract and retain top talent. If you’ve been searching for ways to dial the corporate coolness of your business up a notch or two, here’s a look at the top 10 coolest companies to work for in the Philadelphia area.
1. SAP North America
A worldwide provider of software and services to assist a multitude of businesses in the management of accounting, distribution, human resources, and manufacturing functions, SAP North America has garnered an impressive employee approval rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars on Glassdoor. The company, headquartered in Newton Square—about 15 miles west of Philadelphia, also ranked number four among the top 20 large places to work in Philadelphia in a recent survey conducted for Philly.com. Regarded by employees as innovative and always open to recommendations to improve operations, SAP North America has a reputation for attracting and retaining passionate, dedicated employees who take pride in contributing to the company’s overall success. Can a company get any cooler than that?
2. Subaru of America, Inc.
Although not located in Philly, Subaru of America is just nine miles away in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and employs an overwhelming number of Philadelphians. With its impressive array of cool and popular all-wheel drive vehicles, Subaru has managed steady growth by navigating the rough terrain of a troubled economy. According to one Glassdoor review, the plant promotes a “very warm, family-like culture”. Subaru offers a competitive retirement and benefit package including partial matched 401K, profit sharing, and tuition assistance for employees looking to further their educations.
3. SEER Interactive
Currently claiming a very cool 13,000 square foot renovated church as its corporate headquarters located right in the heart of Philadelphia, SEER Interactive has come a long way from its humble beginnings in an apartment back in 2002. Awarded Best Places to Work in 2011, the SEO company has also made the “100 Fastest Growing Companies in Philly” list every year since 2008. With the goal of assembling the “best team the web has ever seen”, SEER attracts top talent by offering serious perks and benefits including generous compensation, killer bonuses, free quality healthcare, unlimited vacation, and flexible hours. The company also hosts world-class events featuring top speakers. But the coolest thing about SEER is how they give back. Each month the company donates $700 to an employee’s favorite charity. Through organizations worldwide, SEER employees log well over a thousand volunteer hours per year, all in an effort to make the world a better place.
4. The Vanguard Group, Inc.
Ranked number eight out of 20 large companies in the Top Workplaces of 2013 survey for philley.com, Vanguard is known for “all but inventing the mutual fund business”. Referred to as a “crew”, Vanguard employees enjoy many generous benefits. For starters, they have an unheard of retirement savings program where Vanguard kicks in the equivalent of 10 percent of an employee’s salary, then matches 401(k) contributions up to four percent. Committed to optimizing work/life balance, Vanguard is big on vacations—granting a generous 16-21 days to employees in their first year with the company. To top it off, Vanguard offers employees on-site MBA and CFP programs, generous annual tuition reimbursements, and super cool services such as on-site automobile maintenance.
5. Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI)
Free breakfast, lunch and dinner, free onsite laundry and dry cleaning drop off, on-site massages, haircuts, oil changes and car detailing, free snacks in break rooms—these are just a few of the many perks that’s earned AGI, an advanced aerospace software company, a 2013 Top Places award in the category of employee work/life flexibility. At the top of the list of cool perks for the Exton based company is a flexible work schedule that accommodates the demands of personal and family life.
6. Toll Brothers
Recognized as the nation’s leading builder of luxury homes, Toll Brothers is positioned to provide its employees some very cool perks. For starters, paying only a fraction of what the public pays, employees can vacation in ultra-luxurious company guest houses located in 11 different resorts around the country. And to help make the purchase of a Toll Brothers’ home within their budgets, the Horsham company offers discounts of up to 7.5 percent to employees and family members. Toll Brothers is also big on recognizing and rewarding employee loyalty, celebrating 10th, 20th, and 25th anniversaries with paid vacations for two to any of their luxurious locations.
7. Accolade, Inc.
Voted the top midsize company in the Philly.com 2013 Top Places survey, Accolade prides itself in simplifying the complexity of healthcare by helping employees of large companies make informed decisions about what health benefits are best for them. Deriving a high level of job satisfaction from knowing what they do every day makes a difference in people’s lives, Accolade employees express appreciation that their company provides a contagious team spirit, great benefits, and a pleasant work environment that acknowledges individual achievements and allows ample opportunities for promotion. As one employee responded in the survey, the Plymouth Meeting company “is the best place, in every way, to work. I am treated well. My work environment is positive and healthy. I love coming to work!”
8. Campbell Soup Company
With a solid Glassdoor employee review rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars, Campbell’s Soup’s trademark slogan “m’m m’m good” seems to resonate with employees as well as consumers. Campbell’s has called Camden, New Jersey (just five miles outside Philadelphia) home since 1869 and is currently investing millions of dollars to become a more green-friendly facility. And the fact that well over 3,000 of the company’s current worldwide workforce have stayed with Campbell’s for more than 20 years says quite a lot about employee satisfaction.
9. AWeber Communications
The recipient of a 2013 Top Places award in the category of employee benefits, AWeber is a small business that understands the importance of taking care of its employees. “The health benefits are amazing,” said one worker in the survey. The Chalfont company, a developer of email marketing software for small businesses, provides a comprehensive medical, dental, and vision plan. Profit sharing and a company-matched 401(k) make for a very attractive retirement plan. As far as on the job perks are concerned, the company provides free catered lunches, an abundance of free snacks, and Wii and Xbox 360 gaming in a very cool HD theater room.
A leading provider of food services, facilities management, and career attire to institutions and businesses all over the world, ARAMARK continues to receive four-star employee reviews on indeed.com. “If you are in HR this is the place for you,” one employee commented. The Philadelphia based company also received high marks for providing a fun and productive work environment with understanding supervisors, and flexible scheduling. ARAMARK was also praised for having a promotion-friendly philosophy, and for providing training programs that enable employees to gain diverse skill sets that lead to advancement. In 2012, ARAMARK made Fortune magazine’s list of “World’s Most Admired Companies”. That’s one serious “shout out” for a very cool company.
Is this the definitive list of cool companies to work for in Philadelphia? Not by a long shot. Still, for those looking to take corporate coolness to the next level, this list offers a Hoagie-sized portion of food for thought.