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Esri makes it to Forbes list of best employers, once again


Esri headquarters in Redlands, California
Esri headquarters in Redlands, California

Esri has been ranked 11th on the Forbes list of best America’s Best Mid-size Employers. Though this is a drop from its last year’s fourth place in the Best Mid-size Employers list, but it comes close on the heels of it ranking in Fast Company magazine’s annual list of the world’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Data Science in February 2016. In 2015, Esri had featured in Forbes’ top 10 IT and software employers list.

How the Forbes survey was done

Businesses in Forbes’ midsize list have 1,000 to 5,000 workers. Esri has about 3,200 workers. Cosmetics company Lush tops this year’s midsized list.

Forbes worked with research firm Statista to compile the definitive list of the best employers in America. A total of 30,000 American workers were then approached “to discover which companies operating in the U.S. today are best at making their employees feel happy, inspired, and well-compensated”. They were asked to rate their company on a scale of zero to ten on how likely they were to recommend their organization to friends or family. These results were the most important factor in determining a company’s ranking on this list.

In terms of the factors that drove employer recommendations, the most profound were atmosphere at work (25%) and pride in service or products the company provides. That was followed by salary, which was a 16% driver of company recommendation. The 30,000 sample size was then split into two groups — midsized and large employers.

What sets Esri apart

What sets Esri apart is its strong work ethics and inclusive culture. While it employs some of the brightest minds in the industry, its casual, team-oriented culture allows the staff to collaborate and share knowledge throughout the company. Work-life balance, outstanding benefits, an on-site fitness facility, and collaboration with colleagues around the world are just some of the things employees like about working at Esri. With an innovative staff of 3,800 people worldwide, the company anticipates hiring 400 more this year. Esri employees are involved with the development of an advanced location technology based on real-time data analysis that helps its users build the maps that run the world.

“The combination of Esri‘s purpose to improve the world with its products and a supportive, collaborative workplace is one of the keys to employee happiness at Esri,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “There is a satisfaction in having a workplace that values its employees and gives them not only the benefits they deserve but also the opportunity to make a difference by providing users with constantly developing technologies. Esri helps spur innovation in fields ranging from infrastructure management to nature conservation, and our employees are behind the location strategies that are making cities run more efficiently and saving the environment, in many cases.”

Jack Dangermond: The Godfather of GIS

Founder President Jack Dangermond of course has made a habit of winning awards, including the Jane Goodall Award for Leadership in 2012, and was named last year in the Business Insider’s top 100 business visionaries creating value for the world, joining the elite list of companies that had the likes of Google, Apple, Facebook and General Motors.

Starting off in 1969 as a small consulting company that made maps, Esri has come a long, long way in 48 years. Today, it is the unrivalled king in GIS space with over 40% market share and its technology being used by more than 350,000 organizations worldwide, including more than two-thirds of the Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, it enables hundreds of thousands of others to solve complex problems and invests heavily into corporate social responsibility (CSR) and R&D. It spends about 22% of its revenue on research and development, which at least two to three times more than what most technology companies spend on R&D.

Dangermond had once famously told us that Esri is in the evolving geospatial industry because of the smart people it has who are interested in crafting and creating tools that actually work. While explaining how Esri’s motivations are different from a typical public company that is into this business, he had said: “We do not try to make money or be a great company from financial point of view. Wall Street doesn’t matter to us. Quarterly revenues do not matter to us. What matters to us is seeing neat stuff done to our customers.”

It seems it is this value and philosophy and strong work ethics of Dangermond that makes Esri what it is. And what attracts and nurtures talent.

To see the top 300 midsize employers — companies with 1,000 to 5,000 employees — view America’s Best Midsize Employers 2017.

The full list of the 500 best large employers, organized into 25 industries: America’s Best Employers 2017.