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LinkedIn’s 50 top companies people want to work for

(BUSINESS NEWS) LinkedIn recently published a list of the 50 top companies everyone wants to work for.

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LinkedIn’s list

LinkedIn has released its annual Top Companies list, detailing the 50 companies LinkedIn users seem to have the most interest in working for.

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Here, however, I’ve detailed the Top 10 companies from that list, for your reading enjoyment.

10.) Comcast NBCUniversal

a.k.a. Probably Your ISP
Number of global employees: 160,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 1,424
Headquarters: Philadelphia, PA

Not only is the cable TV and Internet juggernaut reportedly planning a Netflix rival, but with its 25 million Internet subscribers, and the high-quality programming coming out of NBCUniversal, it may actually stand a chance in the On-Demand streaming market. With its annual Comcast Cares community volunteering program, as well as its recent commitment to hire 10,000 military veterans by the end of 2017, Comcast is doing its best to live up to CEO Brian Roberts’ goal in making the company culture “the one thing [he’s] got to get right”.

9.) The Walt Disney Company

a.k.a. Time Warner’s Rival
Number of global employees: 195,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 163
Headquarters: Burbank, CA

Everyone knows the House of Mouse, but did you know that Disney also owns networks such as ABC and ESPN? If one is looking for a job in entertainment, there are certainly worse places one could go. Not only is the Walt Disney Company home to entertainment powerhouses such as Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, Marvel, and LucasFilm, but there are also branches of the company such as the Disney Cruise Line, Disney Parks and Resorts, the Disney Store, and more. Plus, all Disney employees get free passes to Disney theme parks for themselves and their dependents. Free passes to the “Happiest Place on Earth” seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.

8.) Time Warner

a.k.a. the Walt Disney Company’s Rival
Number of global employees: 25,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 309
Headquarters: New York City, NY

Parent company to iconic entertainment companies such as Warner Bros., Turner and HBO, those seeking to join an entertainment empire certainly applied this past year. This is likely in part due to the company’s upcoming acquisition by AT&T. Combining numerous high-value entertainment assets with AT&T’s 50 million customers? I think it’s safe to say the company’s future seems bright. Perks include things such as film and TV screenings at the office, as well as a Fit Nation program- promoting employee participation in various exercise activities.

7.) Apple

a.k.a. the Apparent Influence for Every Technology Company in Modern Media
Number of global employees: 110,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 391
Headquarters: Cupertino, CA

The upcoming completion of Apple’s new campus, Apple Park, may have piqued some extra interest in the tech giant. Makers of the Mac computers, and inventors of the iPhone, Apple’s legendary legion of loyal fans are well-known. However, what you may not have known is that the company offers employee stock grants to all employees. Apple’s retail stores turn over just barely more than 10% of employees each year, in comparison to the 80% turnover rate for the rest of the retail industry. Huh. Maybe those overly enthusiastic folks working at the Apple Store really do enjoy their jobs.

6.) Tesla, Inc.

a.k.a. Rockets, Bullet Trains, and (Autonomous) Automobiles
Number of global employees: 30,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 2,168
Headquarters: Palo Alto, CA

Tesla, pulling in at number 6 on the list, has recently taken over as the largest U.S.-based automaker, surpassing both Ford and General Motors. Therefore, it makes total sense that folks looking to work on cars would pick as Tesla as their prime work destination. Those interested in working on sending humans to Mars might, as well. Or those interested in working on a bullet train, running from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The same could also be said for those interested working on autonomous vehicles. And, with the company’s recent acquisition of SolarCity, there are likely even more avenues to explore. With Elon Musk’s recent announcement that Tesla’s Autopilot feature should be capable of a fully autonomous trip from L.A. to New York by the end of the year, it seems awfully likely the number of applications that Tesla receives will only continue to increase for the foreseeable future.

5.) Uber

a.k.a. Your Saturday Night Ride Home, a.k.a. Bad Press Magnates
Number of global employees: 12,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 3,445
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

Uber may not be getting the best press lately, but it certainly hasn’t seemed to have stopped folks from applying there. It couldn’t hurt that Uber is the highest-valued private technology company, currently being valued at $69 billion. It’s possible also that the company’s Uberversity program – a 3-day program attended by new hires, or nUbers (because apparently, Uber loves their puns) wherein they get to meet directly with the company’s leadership team- is way more exciting than it sounds.

4.) Salesforce

a.k.a. That Company That Basically Provides the Backbone to Your Business
Number of global employees: 25,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 724
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

Salesforce, the company known for its cloud-based business software and its massive annual San Francisco-based conventions comes it at number 4 on the list. Aside from every company previously listed using its platforms, Salesforce is also likely raking in the applications due to its highly touted inclusive company culture. Not only did the company famously invite Buddhist monks to consult on the design of its headquarters, but it also is well-known for its regular employee pay audits to ensure equal compensation is given regardless of race, gender, sexual identity, ethnicity, etc. Adding to its reputation as a socially conscious company, all employees are offered an additional 8 days of paid time off per year to contribute to causes they find important.

3.) Facebook

a.k.a. Socializing for the 21st Century
Number of global employees: 17,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 1,152
Headquarters: Menlo Park, CA

Facebook ranks at number 3 on the list, as with a website reaching nearly 1.9 billion active monthly users, that’s kind of what you would expect. Aside from its social media focus, the company’s acquisitions of various messaging platforms, audio companies, and virtual/augmented reality technologies allows for a variety of career options and opportunities. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for the company is quoted as being to “build the new social infrastructure to create the world we want for generations to come”. Regardless of your opinion on Mark Zuckerberg and/or Facebook, you’ve got to admit that’s a pretty grand vision.

2.) Amazon

a.k.a. That Site Where You Do Most of Your Online Shopping
Number of global employees: 341,100
Current LinkedIn job opportunities: 17,016
Headquarters: Seattle, WA

E-tail (is that still a phrase?) giant Amazon also made it onto this year’s list of top companies. Aside from being the most recognizable online retailer, it also happens to be the parent company of ventures such Audible, Goodreads, and Comixology (building on its online bookstore beginnings). Not only have the number of subscribers to its Prime service grown by the “tens of millions”, but the company is also reportedly planning to add over 100,000 full-time, fully benefited jobs over the next 18 months. The company is a great place to work for dog-lovers as well, as not only are employees’ canine pals welcome at their Seattle headquarters, but there is dog park complete with dog treats on site! After all, it would be egregious if they did not cater to their canid employees as well.

1.) Alphabet Inc.

a.k.a. Google
Number of global employees: 72,000
Current LinkedIn job opportunities: 1,135
Headquarters: Mountain View, CA

Is it really all that surprising that Alphabet, Inc. is at the top of the list? Pretty much anything you’re interested in doing, they seem to have a hand in. Not only are they the owners of the uber (see number 5) super-popular Android platform, the creators of the ultra-useful Chrome web browser, ChromeOS, key players in the Autonomous Vehicle Wars, and, oh yeah, essentially Masters of the InterWebs, they also have a pretty awesome company culture. Not to mention, of course, the fact that the company is set to be using 100% renewable energy for all its operations by the end of the year. Yay, environmentalism!

(Also, it should be mentioned that those Google bikes are pretty rad.)

The rest of the list

If you are interested in reading up on all 50, their list is available here.

#LinkedInTop50

Andrew Clausen is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and when he’s not deep diving into technology and business news for you, he is a poet, enjoys rock climbing, monster movies, and spending time with his notoriously naughty cat.

Business News

Working through job interview adrenaline and anxiety

(CAREER NEWS) Find out how to use the pressure and adrenaline of a face-to-face job interview to your advantage.

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It’s undeniable that there is a certain amount of adrenaline that flows through you during a face-to-face job interview. You’re theoretically vying for a job you really want (or need), so you have to make sure that you put in your best effort.

Even under the best of circumstances, this can make you feel like you’re in an interrogation room being asked what you were doing the night of December 2nd, 1997. This is where that adrenaline can come into play, which can make things harder – just make sure you’re properly utilizing it.

First off, use that adrenaline to get you to the interview location with plenty of time to spare. No employer values tardiness, and it’s good to walk into a high-pressure situation with all of your ducks in a row.

Being early also gives you a chance to get a feel for the environment and gives you a chance to make an impression with the receptionist. Speaking as a former receptionist, this is not something you should overlook as our opinions are often asked by the employer.

Once you’re in the interview setting, use the adrenaline to keep you engaged in the conversation. An important aspect of this is making eye contact.

Don’t confuse this with being creepy and staring without blinking. Just be sure to look into the eye of the person you’re speaking to, and be sure to share that eye contact with others if you’re speaking to a panel of interviewers, keeping a happy, interested (but not scared or overly enthusiastic) look on your face.

With rushing adrenaline, you may use self-soothing movements like playing with your hair or wringing your hands. You may exhibit anxious movements like toe tapping. Don’t do any of these things – they’re within your control. But if something like a shaky voice from these nerves are not within your control, apologize up front (“Apologies for my shaky voice, I have normal interview jitters, I usually speak like a normal human person”) and move on.

Depending on how the interviewer leads the conversation, the entire interview doesn’t have to be this stiff discussion. If given the opportunity, use this time to work in some small talk so they can see the personable side of your personality. For example, you can keep it related to the situation by making small talk about the traffic and asking how the interviewer typically gets to work each day (buying time is another great way to work through the anxiety of rushing adrenaline).

Throughout the course of the conversation, whether the small talk or the interview itself, make sure you’re showing your true colors and not lying. It isn’t hard (especially these days) to be caught in a lie, so don’t waste anyone’s time with the nonsense.

Once everything is said and done, say your thank yous and your goodbyes and make your way to the exit. Don’t try and overstay your welcome or linger in the lobby, just be on your way. But, don’t forget to send a courteous “thank you” email.

Above all, remember that everyone is nervous in a job interview situation – you’re not alone!

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Business News

If Amazon puts HQ in Chicago, they’ll get a cut of their workers’ income taxes

(BUSINESS NEWS) Amazon continues the hunt for a new city to set up shop, and cities across the nation are offering plenty to attract the brand.

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If Amazon sets up a new headquarters in Chicago, the company could get over two billion dollars in tax breaks, including $1.32 billion from their workers’ income taxes. How would they achieve this fiendish feat?

With the magic of personal income tax diversion, where employers withhold state income taxes from employee paychecks. Workers still pay full income taxes, but the company holds onto all or part of the funds.

This happens when a city says to a business, “please come live here, we want your money so much you can just not pay taxes okay?” In this case, both Chicago and the state authorities of Illinois presented this offering to Amazon.

In September, Amazon announced plans for a second headquarters, which was very originally dubbed Amazon HQ2. The new headquarters is intended to supplement the existing one in Seattle. Amazon intends to spend around five billion on new construction alone, and said it plans on having 50,000 workers at HQ2.

Amazon outlined core requirements for HQ2, including access to mass transit, metropolitan population of over one million, and up to eight million square feet of office space just in case they need to expand even more. Proximity to major universities and airports with direct flights to New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. were part of the optional rider.

At least 238 other bids have been made for the headquarters. Chris Christie proposed paying Amazon up to $10,000 for every job created even though New Jersey has $60 billion in unfunded pension obligations.

Plenty of other cities want to take Amazon to prom too, and have launched promotional campaigns to stand out from the crowd. One Arizona economic development firm sent a 21-foot cactus, which was rejected due to Amazon’s corporate gift policy. Don’t worry about the cactus’ feelings though, it was donated to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

In another proposal, Kansas City, Missouri mayor Sly James purchased one thousand Amazon products, donated them to charity, then wrote five star reviews for every item, which all included shout outs to Kansas City’s positive attributes. James either has way too much time on his hands, or employs very productive interns.

This lovely display of cities offering incredible legal loopholes for Amazon is pretty heartwarming. After all, the company is definitely in need of financial help and government perks. Except that oh wait, founder Jeff Bezos is currently the only person in the world worth over $100 billion dollars.

Amazon’s soaring share price added around $43 billion to founder Jeff Bezos’ personal fortune this year, and Black Friday alone raked in $2.4 billion. There’s also all that fun stuff about subpar
workers’ conditions in Amazon’s warehouses that we all pretend to forget when there’s free two-day shipping on that thing you really, really want.

So far, Amazon has yet to accept Chicago’s tax-tastic bid, or any other offer. Based on the list of requirements, Moody’s Analytics released a data-specific analysis of the top cities.

Austin, Texas topped the list, followed by Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Rochester, New York. Other contenders include Pittsburgh, Portland, and New York City.

Amazon will announce the final site selection and plan sometime in 2018.

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The worst of the retail apocalypse is on the way

(BUSINESS NEWS) We’ve long lamented the decline of big box retail, but one report says the “Retail Apocalypse” is just beginning and it’s about to get much worse.

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You have likely already noticed the impacts of what has been darkly dubbed America’s “Retail Apocalypse”: Half-empty strip malls, brightly-colored signs announcing closing sales, or maybe your once-favorite department store has declared bankruptcy.

Whatever you’ve seen, it’s only going to get worse, according to a comprehensive report from Bloomberg, implying certainty in the fall of the retail industry as more than just sensational news headlines.

U.S. retailers announced more than 3,000 store openings in the first three quarters of this year, but that’s coupled with 6,800 chain store closures. All while consumer confidence levels are high and unemployment is low, and the economy keeps growing – a mix you’d think would be conducive to retail growth and strength.

However, more and more retail chains are filing for bankruptcy and financially distressed. This has caused an increase in the number of delinquent loan payments from malls and shopping centers containing said retailers.

So what’s the deal?

No, it’s not because Amazon.com is taking over the world (yet) or because millennials would rather travel than buy more “stuff.”

The primary cause for the retail apocalypse is not buying habits, it is that many failing retail chains are overloaded with debt.

There are billions of dollars tied up in the borrowings of troubled stores, and that strain is going to become even harder for the market to handle.

The impact of retail’s crash and burn will be felt across the country and economy. Low-income workers will be displaced, local tax bases will shrink, and investor losses on stocks, bonds, and real estate will grow.

In a nutshell: It’s only going to get worse.

Until recently, retailers avoided bankruptcy by refinancing their debts. However, as the market has evolved, lenders have become less forgiving, according to the Bloomberg report.

Additionally, an overwhelming amount of risky retail debt is coming due within in the next five years. For example, teen costume jewelry chain Claire’s Stores, Inc. has $2 billion in borrowings that will start maturing in 2019 – and it still has 1,600 stores open in North America.

In fact, $100 million of high-yield retail borrowings are set to mature this year alone and that will jump to $1.9 billion in 2018, according to Fitch Ratings Inc. data cited by Bloomberg. Between 2019 and 2025, that figure will expand to an annual average of almost $5 billion.

And, while the demand for refinancing increases, credit markets are tightening. Thus far, retailers have delayed their doom thanks to the money the Federal Reserve has pushed back into the economy since the Great Recession. Low interest rates made the risker retail debt (and the higher return it brings) more appealing. But now as the Feds raise their benchmark interest rates, that demand will decrease.

Then there’s the matter of store credit cards. The largest private-label card issuer, Synchrony Financial, has already increased reserves in order to help cover loan losses this year. Citigroup, Inc. has reported declining rates on retail portfolios, too. Why? Because shoppers are more likely to stop paying back their retail card debt if the store they went to has closed.

As all this compounds, it could directly impact the industry that employs the largest number of Americans who are at the low end of the income scale. According to Bloomberg’s research, salespeople and cashiers in this industry totaled a whopping eight million. Since our last financial crisis, employment rates have been steadily increasing, even in the retail industry. Until this year, that is. Retail store jobs have decreased by 101,000 this year so far, no thanks to store closures.

Many of the largest U.S. retailers (think Target and Walmart) have decided to reduce their brick-and-mortar space. Sure, the e-commerce boom has taken a toll, but the U.S. has been considered “over-stored” ever since investors poured money into commercial real estate as the suburbs boomed decades ago, which began an era of big box stores.

It’s time for that boom to bust.

At the end of Q3, 6,752 U.S. retail locations were scheduled to close, excluding grocery stores and restaurants, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. That’s more than double the 2016 total and inching close to the all-time annual high of 6,900 recorded in 2008, the midst of the recession.

Clothing stores have taken the hardest hit, as 2,500 locations are closing. Department stores aren’t faring well, either. Macy’s, Sears and J.C. Penney are all downsizing.

Overall, about 550 department stores plan to close their doors.

This really does sound apocalyptic, doesn’t it?

The consumer impacts of what’s to come will be widespread. Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan and Illinois have been some of the hardest hit so far, but other states will feel the burn, too. Florida, for example, relies on retail salespeople more than any other state, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics cited by Bloomberg.

Insert a grimacing emoji face here.

I think Charlie O’Shea, a Moody’s retail analyst for Moody’s, summed up the retail industry’s prospects impeccably at the end of Bloomberg’s report: “A day of reckoning is coming,” he said.

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