Few industrial sectors attract as many headlines – or as many passionate fans – as technology.
The profile and success of Britain’s tech sector have made it a magnet for skilled workers, and stiff competition between employers for the best recruits has steadily driven up average wages.
The sector has also succeeded in shrugging off many of the Brexit concerns that have slowed the pace of business investment elsewhere. Data compiled by the industry body Tech Nation found that in 2018, British tech companies attracted venture capital investment of £6.3billion – more than any other European country – with £5billion of this going to fast-growing ‘scaleup’ businesses.
Thousands of new tech businesses launch in Britain every year, creating new products and new jobs, with this growth fostered by hundreds of incubators and accelerators across the UK. In 2018 alone, there was a 14% increase in the number of tech start-ups registering with Companies House.
While start-ups tend to be the major focus for investors, would-be tech workers are often most attracted to the sector’s giants.
But which are the best tech companies to work for? For the first time, Indeed’s data team has analysed millions of employee ratings and reviews on the Indeed Company Pages to determine, from a workers’ point of view, which are Britain’s top-rated tech employers.
Another A for Apple
Last year Apple was crowned the best company to work for in Britain in Indeed’s 2018 round-up of the UK’s top private sector employers.
This year it has kept up the momentum to claim top spot in our ranking of the best tech sector employers. Staff reviews praise the company’s good rates of pay, the offer of free or discounted tech to employees, health and wellness benefits and an enjoyable workplace culture.
Other tech players in the top five of Indeed’s ranking include GDS Group, Cisco, Microsoft and Siemens.
The ranking as a whole was dominated by global tech firms. Just three of the top 15 – second-placed GDS Group, 10th-placed RS Components and 14th-placed Just Eat – are UK-based companies. However all three British firms beat the US tech giant – and the world’s largest retailer – Amazon into 15th place.
Our analysis revealed that perks are one of the main reasons employees are attracted to working in the tech sector. However while perks can be very useful in enticing young people to join a company, creating a happy environment is what counts and keeps employees loyal.
With Apple employees (both current and former) awarding the company an average 4.2 out of five stars for company culture and 4.1 for pay and benefits, it’s clear the Californian tech titan is getting this balance just right.
Many tech jobs require specific skills that are in short supply, meaning tech professionals with the right skills can expect to be wooed by would-be recruiters seeking to poach them.
The ongoing battle for talent is also forcing tech employers to offer an ever-increasing range of benefits in order to retain existing staff. But above all, many tech companies are having to look in the mirror and work out how to make a good workplace a great one.
Let’s lift the lid on which ones are getting it right…
Who are the UK’s top-rated tech employers – and why?
The internet may be 30 years old this year, but Apple has been around a little longer – since the mid-70s – when it was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. It began life as a manufacturer of personal computers, but quickly established itself as a leader in consumer electronics with the invention of iconic products such as the iPod music player, iPad and iPhone to name but a few.
Last year Apple topped Indeed’s league table as Britain’s most popular corporate employer, beating companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever and the BBC. Apple’s continued success is down to its promotion of an enjoyable work culture, good rates of pay, free or discounted tech for staff as well as health and fitness benefits.
Overall, Apple employs 6,459 people in the UK and has 38 retail stores. It opened its first store in Europe on London’s Regent Street and it now employs over 2,500 people in the capital.
One employee from Leeds told Indeed that Apple provides a “cool vibe, supportive management and loads of freebies!” They also praised the company for its “good discounts and very good progression rates, and a non-orthodox approach to retail in the sense that the company values creativity and unique personalities.”
2. GDS Group
GDS Group, which describes itself as a global events, research and tech services company, came second in Indeed’s ranking of the best tech companies to work for.
It is headquartered in the UK, with offices in New York, Miami and Kosovo. The company, which has over 300 staff employed across the business, prides itself on being “as close knit as the day we started in 1993.”
One employee from Bristol told Indeed that “I would have no problem recommending GDS to anybody who is looking for an exciting and rewarding career. The management team work tirelessly to hire, induct, train and retain the best talent in the market with the priority being to further develop and upskill all employees.”
This international company specialises in IT, networking and cybersecurity solutions. It was founded in 1984 in San Francisco, California and now employs over 74,200 employees worldwide.
Its UK headquarters are in Feltham, West London, but it also has offices in central London, Reading, Manchester and Edinburgh.
The company prides itself on making a “meaningful difference that will benefit everyone – our people, our customers and the world around us.”
One current employee told Indeed: “Cisco has been a big part of my working career and it is a great place to work. Each day brings a new and different challenge. There is a great amount of diversity in my role. The people at Cisco are passionate, hardworking and supportive.”
Like Apple, the US multinational tech company Microsoft was born in the mid-70s. It was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen and is headquartered near Seattle on the West Coast of the US.
Microsoft employs around 144,106 people worldwide and has several bases in the UK, including its headquarters in Reading as well as sites in Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester and London.
One former Reading-based employee described the company as a “wonderful place to work, with so much scope to develop and a brilliant management team. This is a company full of promise, excitement and consistency, along with keeping you surprised.”
The only German company in our ranking is also the only one to have been founded in the 19th century.
Siemens is a global tech powerhouse with a 170-year history – which is a real rarity in the tech sector.
In the year ending September 2018, the digital and industrial manufacturing giant generated revenue of £5billion in Britain alone and had 15,000 UK-based employees. Globally, it employs around 377,000 people.
One former employee from Manchester told Indeed: “working at Siemens gave me confidence and experience. I learned how to work well with a team, take instructions and put plans into action.”