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There’s no doubt that career advancement opportunities are important for both employees and employers. If firms can’t provide staff with ways to grow, then this can have a negative impact on job satisfaction and talent retention. Today, people want to know they will be able to develop their skills and contribute meaningfully to their workplaces.
But job security? The received wisdom is: it’s dead, and story after story heralds its demise. Today, we are often told, gig work is on the rise, employees and employers don’t have much loyalty toward each other, and millennial workers in particular are frequently portrayed as job-hoppers .
But the reality, as always, is more complex. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017, only about 10% of American workers were employed in “alternative work arrangements,” a broad category that includes temps, freelancers and people in the “gig economy.” This comes hot on the heels of a 2016 study that surveyed workers across 25 different countries and found that 87% of respondents ages 21 through 36 named job security as a priority, second only to money.
Little wonder: Job security and advancement go hand in hand. It may be true that few people today expect to be with a single company for life, but they do want the ability to advance and “change careers” within an organization, and you can’t feel confident doing that without a sense of security. Rather than declaring the death of one and the triumph of the other, it’s probably more accurate to say that our understanding of these ideas has evolved.
To deepen our understanding of what job security and advancement mean today, we analyzed data from over 72 million ratings and reviews listed on Indeed Company Pages to find out which firms are leading the way in making sure their employees stick around and grow.
The top 15 companies for job security
What did we find? Retail stores claimed most of the top five spots, but it was California-based food chain In-N-Out Burger that landed in first place.
These results are especially interesting in the context of another much-discussed idea: “the retail apocalypse.” And while it’s true that some brick and mortar retailers are facing challenging times, reviews data indicates that employees working in others feel confident about their opportunities for security and advancement.
To be more specific—certain supermarket chains do especially well, occupying the #2, #3, #4 and #7 spots (Costco, HEB, Publix and Wegmans, respectively). Other industries that make a strong showing for job security and advancement include shipping (FedEx at #9 and UPS at #14) and air travel (Southwest Airlines at #11 and American Airlines at #15).
By contrast, major tech companies are absent from our list, even though on other rankings—such as Top-Rated Compensation and Benefits and Top-Rated Work–Life Balance—we typically see representatives from the tech world placing highly.
What helps a company rise to the top when it comes to job security and advancement? Many of the firms on our list have made training…