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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

Fake news? Well, what about fake reviews?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Amazon is swamped with fake reviews, making it harder than ever to trust whether or not a product is legit. How can you spot them and avoid falling victim to this shady practice?

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Person shopping online with credit card, but are they reading fake reviews?

These days, most of us have turned to online shopping in lieu of brick-and-mortar establishments to get our favorite items shipped directly to our front door. With many retailers still closed, and many more of us understandably wary of exposing ourselves to the risk of COVID-19, it’s easier to just click “buy” and then spend the next two days with our noses pressed to our windows in anticipation of the arrival of our new toy or garment. But are we at risk of being tricked by fake reviews?

If you’re like most people, you probably depend on product reviews to make a purchasing decision. Honestly, it’s perfectly reasonable to see what others thought of the item before you buy it. These online reviews are almost like your neighbor, who whipped out his lawnmower and bragged how it goes from 0 to 4 mph in less than thirty seconds. Obviously — obviously — you had to run out to your nearest garden center to pick up one of your own after his glowing review of it, right?

That’s kinda like online reviews, too. You can’t just knock on the purchaser’s door and ask them what they thought of it, which is why you carefully peruse those reviews and weigh those pros and cons. Okay, this shirt fits loose. Fine, these kitchen shears broke after three uses. Whoa, this brand of potato chips puts hair on your chest…? Sweet! And you also probably looked at those 3-star reviews, too, to see what was merely “meh” about the product. With this assortment of mixed reviews, you can be confident that you’re making a rock-solid choice.

Uh, sadly, nope.

Unfortunately, Amazon (as well as other major retailers, such as Walmart) are often fraught with a glut of fake reviews. In fact, there are numerous Facebook pages dedicated to the purchase of these reviews, and many of the reviewers are compensated with a monetary reward (usually the cost of the item, plus a few extra dollars for their work) for posting the glowing 5-star rave.

So what can you do to help protect yourself for falling for these seemingly harmless lies?

Well, first and foremost — a fake review isn’t necessarily harmless. If a defective or dangerous product is boosted by a false review, it can seriously harm you. Sure, there’s a good chance the fake reviews are benign, and the worst you’ll be in for it is losing a few bucks on a crap item. But if something is using counterfeit or unsafe ingredients (such as minoxidil in potato chips because, real talk, chips aren’t supposed to put hair on your chest), then yes, you need to be informed of it so you can make an educated decision about whether or not that item is coming home with you.

So, the question remains: How can you, intrepid shopper extraordinaire, avoid purchasing a lemon? (Unless, of course, your goal was to buy an actual lemon in the first place. Margaritas, anyone?) The good news is that there are a couple things you can do. For starters, common sense goes a long way. Do the reviews offer any context, or is it just line after line of, “Loved it!” without any actual feedback on the item? That’s why those 3-star reviews are so priceless. Usually the reviewer actually used the item and had a valid reason for their tepid review, allowing you to make an educated decision about it.

Finally, there are a couple of websites you can use to help you out. First, there’s Fakespot. This web extension will cull out all the fake reviews, allowing you to see at-a-glance the remaining genuine reviews. It then reviews the item for its credibility, letting you know if the seller was trying to pull a fast one on you. Then there’s ReviewMeta. Unlike Fakespot, this website goes through the views and instead of grading the seller, it actually grades the item based on the average score of the remaining real reviews. And by using both of these websites together to check those reviews? You’ve now got yourself a pretty decent idea if the product is actually worth your hard-earned dollars.

It’s far too easy to get scammed these days. However, by staying alert and remaining mindful about your online purchases (and avoiding the temptation to give into those stress-motivated impulse buys), you can avoid being bilked, too. And hey, instead of looking at online reviews, maybe you should go back to the old-fashioned way of doing it: By asking your neighbor for their opinions of items. Just, y’know, do it from at least six feet away, while wearing a face mask.

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Manufacturing is bouncing back, but supply of materials is struggling

(BUSINESS NEWS) As manufacturing demands surge, so do material costs. The pandemic has shifted where we’re putting our money, but supply is struggling to keep up.

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Manufacturing worker sealing a large pipe together.

As the United States’ manufacturing process comes back up to speed, a surge in demand is creating a shortage of the one thing manufacturers need in order to do their jobs: Supply.

Fox Business reports that, due to a much quicker return to normalcy for manufacturing than some expected, a price hike for materials is affecting everyone from the bottom up: “Prices for steel, aluminum, lumber and other materials are rising in response to higher order volumes. Commodity supply chains are now clogged with orders, causing some producers to add weekend hours and overtime for employees.”

The fast manufacturing rebound seems to be a harbinger of better days ahead, but this supply bottleneck could dampen producers’ resolve.

It should be noted that the spike in demand for goods which use the materials in question isn’t an entire surprise. As Fox notes, much less of consumer money has been going toward travel and dining out. This has resulted in more money flowing into things like appliances, vehicles, and entertainment commodities.

But the toll is hitting producers coming and going as things like depressed oil and the paper used in packaging undergo substantial price hikes, leading some companies to stockpile resources in hopes of having an edge in the future.

Others find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between lower profit margins or higher prices on manufactured productsa choice that is sure to impact consumers, if not the rate of consumption.

Indeed, some companies, such as Northwest Hardwoods, have an upper limit on the price they can charge on a finished product regardless of rising material costs.

It’s not all bad, of course. Global prices for materials like aluminum and scrap steel have gone up, which means people like Brad Serlinthe president of United Scrap Metalcan make a killing. “We can sell everything we have,” says Serlin, referencing “big orders” from recently busy steel mills.

As the pandemic wears on, though, one thing is crystal clear: The high demand for domestic goods coupled with rising global prices for materials is going to make for some severe price hikes in the coming months.

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Jeff Bezos steps down as Amazon CEO, moves into space travel

(BUSINESS NEWS) Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon’s CEO in order to focus on other passions, such as his space company, Blue Origin.

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Jeff Bezos standing in front of very large Blue Moon spacecraft.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will no longer be Amazon’s CEO starting in the third quarter of 2021. On Tuesday, Bezos announced he is resigning and will hand the job over to Andy Jassy, Amazon Web Services’ CEO. Bezos will transition to the role of Executive Chair on Amazon’s board.

“I’m excited about this transition. Millions of customers depend on us for our services, and more than a million employees depend on us for their livelihoods. Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming,” said Bezos to employees in an email. “When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else,” he said.

By stepping down, Bezos says he will have more “time and energy” to focus on “other passions” like Blue Origin, his space company. In 2000, the billionaire started the rocket company to make space travel affordable and easily accessible by using reusable launch vehicles.

Since the company was founded, it has yet to reach orbit and is lagging behind Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX). SpaceX, which began two-years after Blue Origin, has already achieved some huge milestones.

In September 2008, Falcon 1 became the first privately developed liquid-fuel rocket to reach Earth orbit. In May 2020, SpaceX launched two NASA astronauts to space.

Blue Origin has a lot of catching up to do, but, with more free time, Bezos might make sure the company moves full-speed ahead.

I mean, look at what he did with Amazon. In 1994, Bezos founded the multinational technology company. Since then, the e-commerce giant has grown into a trillion-dollar company. It has more than 1 million employees and millions of customers.

“This journey began some 27 years ago. Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name,” Bezos said. “Today, we employ 1.3 million talented, dedicated people, serve hundreds of millions of customers and businesses, and are widely recognized as one of the most successful companies in the world.”

There is no word about how much more involved Bezos will be with Blue Origin, but the company already has things to look forward to.

Last December, NASA selected Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket to “launch planetary, Earth observation, exploration, and scientific satellites for the agency.” This contract will allow the company to “compete for missions through Launch Service Task Orders issued by NASA.”

Last month, it conducted a successful flight test of its New Shepard capsule, and many more tests are, without a doubt, in the company’s future.

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