A good job isn't just about a good paycheck: Benefits also matter. (And, of course, being a pleasant place to work is important.) Indeed took a look at the data and crunched the numbers and came up with the 15 top-rated companies according to pay and benefits

They are:

  1. Costco Wholesale
  2. Kaiser Permanente
  3. Verizon
  4. FedEx Express
  5. Apple
  6. Capital One
  7. HEB
  8. Aldi
  9. Starbucks
  10. General Motors
  11. Publix
  12. Intel
  13. Boeing
  14. Microsoft
  15. AT&T

I find this list fascinating, because it's based on what people reported when they didn't know it would be used to evaluate a company for compensation and benefits. The companies couldn't target their programs to win points with the evaluators of a survey. It's just raw data.

Another fascinating thing about this is the number of companies on this list that have a large population of hourly employees. Perhaps employees rate benefits on the basis of what they could get in another similarly situated job rather than against an absolute scale. The result means that what matters more than your absolute numbers is how you compare with your competitors. And by competitors, I mean businesses that also want to hire your employees, not only companies that have similar clientele.

Employees who work at white-shoe law firms expect top benefits and likely wouldn't rate their benefits as outstanding if they are equal to those at all the other white-shoe law firms. But when you're looking at one retail outlet versus another, Costco, HEB, and the other retail companies on the list are standing out.

Just How Important Are These "Top Company" Lists?

It depends on what's important to you. A company with great benefits and lousy bosses may be better than a company with great bosses and lousy benefits, but it may not. It really depends on your personal situation. 

Do you like big companies? Small companies? Startups? Established firms? Do you want lots of money or lots of free time? (Or both!) Are you ambitious? Or are you happy to go to work and go home without worries about the work?

Having great benefits can certainly reduce your stress. People think about benefits as merely health insurance, but it can cover so much more--from financial advice to legal help to lunch on Fridays. If you need life coaching or a flexible schedule, there's a company out there that offers that benefit. 

For instance, the 2018 edition of the annual Inc. Best Workplaces report is coming out in May. As Indeed did for this list, Inc. asks employees what they think, which is an important aspect of any accurate best places to work survey. Ones that are made by simply asking a PR rep to fill out a form are ridiculously inaccurate.