100 Best Companies to Work For 2018

Congratulations to the 2018 class of Seattle Business magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For!
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

This story appears as the cover story of the July 2018 issue. Click here for a free subscription.

Across four categories — small firms, midsize firms, large firms and firms headquartered outside Washington state — we have evaluated the results of confidential surveys and determined this year’s honorees. (Pssst. Because of a tie, there are 101 winners.)

Firms must nominate themselves to be considered and their employees respond to a survey administered by the research firm Fieldwork Webwork. The survey ranks employees’ anonymous responses across 10 categories: corporate culture, executive leadership, benefits, communication, hiring/retention, performance standards, responsibility/decision making, rewards/recognition, training/education and workplace environment. The scores in each category are combined to arrive at an average score, which determines a firm’s ranking. 

Note: Rankings derive from scores assigned each company from confidential employee surveys. Quotes are qactual comments by employees.

HQ Outside Washington

1. HAYDEN HOMES
LOCATION: SPOKANE
HOME OFFICE: REDMOND, OR  
WA EMPLOYEES: 62 
Since 1989, the home builder has constructed more than 14,000 residences throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho, “promoting personal and professional growth at all levels.”

2. WEST MONROE PARTNERS
LOCATION: SEATTLE
HOME OFFICE: CHICAGO 
WA EMPLOYEES: 84 
A member of the management consultancy says, “I love West Monroe. … The caliber of people who make up our teams is incredible!”

3. WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
HOME OFFICE: MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO  
WA EMPLOYEES: 60 
“Amazing culture.” “Best place I have ever worked.” “I truly enjoy going to work.” These are some of the accolades employees give this IT services provider.

4. AIMMS
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
HOME OFFICE: HAARLEM, NETHERLANDS  
WA EMPLOYEES: 15
The supply-chain-management provider lets teams handle decision making, prompting one associate to proclaim, “Everyone feels empowered every day.”

5. NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
LOCATION: 11 BRANCHES IN WA
HOME OFFICE: VIENNA, VA  
WA EMPLOYEES: 116 
As it expands in Washington, Navy Federal wins praise as “an amazing company that allows individuals to grow in areas they may never have envisioned.”

ENCOURAGING ENTREPRENEURS: Facebook Seattle Office Lead Eva Kness, seated at left, with, from left, Sunny Sagar, Brandon Sidney, Grace Qiu and Hayden Schoen. Photograph by Hayley Young

6. FACEBOOK
LOCATION: SEATTLE
HOME OFFICE: MENO PARK, CA
WA EMPLOYEES: 1,600 
Vijaye Raji, head of community and culture at Facebook’s Seattle office, joined Facebook seven years ago for “the company’s openness and ability to have impact on a large scale,” he says. “One of the things that struck me was the level of responsibility for each engineer; we have the ability to move fast, make decisions and quickly launch products.”

The entrepreneurial spirit and individual freedom were cited by employees. Facebook’s transparency and effort to ensure employee comforts are met permeate the culture. Employees pick projects they’re passionate about, identify new areas of opportunity and lead initiatives. They can cross team boundaries and participate in providing product feedback. “Leadership at this company has many times made major pivots based on the feedback of individual contributors from across the company,” writes one employee. “I’m continually impressed at [Facebook’s] dedication … to be inclusive, to be positive, and to do right by its team members and audience, especially at its scale,” adds another.

That practice extends to the little things, notes one employee, writing, “Facebook is an amazing place to have a period, with appropriate painkillers, sanitary products and dark chocolate easily available.” Facebook’s stellar benefits include a 17-week paid parental-leave policy for both men and women, and $4,000 in “baby cash” to employees with a newborn.

7. FINITY GROUP
LOCATION: SEATTLE
HOME OFFICE: PORTLAND, OR
WA EMPLOYEES: 15 
Offering financial planning for medical professionals, Finity provides fully paid health and life insurance. “Fantastic benefits!” gushes one associate.

8. EDWARD JONES
LOCATION: SEATTLE
HOME OFFICE: ST. LOUIS, MO 
WA EMPLOYEES: 1,131 
The financial services provider’s executive leadership earns appreciation from staff members for “leading by example” and “encouraging open communication.”

9. ACCOLADE
LOCATION: SEATTLE 
HOME OFFICE: PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA 
WA EMPLOYEES: 99 
This concierge for employers, health systems and health plans is growing rapidly, and leadership “is always available for questions, concerns and comments.”

10. GODADDY
LOCATION: KIRKLAND 
HOME OFFICE: SCOTTSDALE, AZ 
WA EMPLOYEES: 230 
Besides its location on Lake Washington, the environment at this provider of website domain registry services is “a little bit like the utopian aspect of Star Trek.”

11. SAP CONCUR
LOCATION: BELLEVUE 
HOME OFFICE: WEINHEIM, GERMANY 
WA EMPLOYEES: 1,500 
Praise for the maker of travel-expense-management products: “We hire adults. Creativity and innovation are encouraged. We make room for people to be humans.”

12. ANDERSEN CONSTRUCTION
LOCATION: SEATTLE 
HOME OFFICE: PORTLAND, OR 
WA EMPLOYEES: 110 
“What I love about Andersen,” says one employee, “is the culture of empowerment and willingness of management to listen and respond to new ideas.”

LARGE COMPANIES: 150 or more employees

1. PAYSCALE
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 320
One employee of the compensation data firms says, “I’m convinced [CEO] Mike Metzger has the best interests of his employees at heart … primarily because he’s a good person.”  

2. REDFIN
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 500
The online realty firm provides free lunch three days a week and snacks 24/7. “Our execs,” says a staffer, “know that a well-fed employee is an energized worker.”

EVERYONE'S AN OWNER: Parametrix CEO Jeff Peacock, second from right, with, from left, Butch Purganan, Dallas Graham, Alex Atchison and Toni Selhaver. Photograph by Hayley Young

3. PARAMETRIX
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 299
If you are voted “Employee of the Year” at engineering firm Parametrix, you enter rarefied air: Among your duties for the next year and a half are sitting in on board meetings, making decisions and acting as an employee ambassador. Last year, the task included recognizing the company’s growth by rewarding employees with five extra days of paid vacation.

 At Parametrix, everyone is an owner as part of its corporate structure, an ESOP. It’s a rarity in the industry but “it actually drives every element in our culture,” says CEO Jeff Peacock.  “Everyone has a shared stake in our success. As a result, we end up with people who are inspired and engaged with what they are doing and excited about making a difference.”

Highly transparent in disclosing financial performance, Parametrix encourages autonomy and independent decision making to foster employee initiative. One employee suggestion led to a program called LEAP, in which 10 employees identify projects they want to own. Another, called POET, allows entry-level employees and managers to travel, meet team members and learn different positions.

The firm rewards employees monthly for demonstrating its core values, often with food, which Peacock jokes “may be an unwritten core value.”

4. BOB’S HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING
LOCATION: WOODINVILLE
EMPLOYEES: 285
A moral commitment at Bob’s to protecting customers, employees and the organization “has created a culture of ‘doing the right thing’ in every situation.” 

5. OUTREACH
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 235
One employee learned of the sales-engagement-software firm from last year’s Best Companies coverage. “It ultimately led me to my job here — the best move I’ve made in my career.” 

6. ZILLOW GROUP
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 1,418
“Other companies talk about equity and belonging,” one member of the online real estate marketplace observes, “… but Zillow puts words into action.” 

7. NINTEX
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 154
A worker at the provider of workflow software says, “I can clearly see my contribution to our mission, I get recognized for my efforts and my input is taken seriously.” 

8. EVERGREEN HOME LOANS
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 525
With offices in seven western states, Evergreen wins praise for operating a large lending enterprise in the manner of a “warm and friendly family company.” 

9. MUTUAL OF ENUMCLAW INSURANCE COMPANY
LOCATION: ENUMCLAW
EMPLOYEES: 368
As one of King County’s larger employers outside the Seattle/Bellevue metroplex, MoE earns praise for creating “an environment in which employees can succeed.”

10. SEQUOYAH ELECTRIC
LOCATION: REDMOND
EMPLOYEES: 364
A collection of testimonials: “Would not work anywhere else.” “Great people, great work environment.” “Our company is truly special.” “Happy to work every day for Sequoyah.”

11. REALSELF
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 175
One person at the online resource for cosmetic surgery praises coworkers who “care about … keeping alive the flame of what makes it a great place to come to every day.”

12. MG2
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 200
Leadership at this architecture firm is outstanding, says a staffer. “They are down to earth and have a growth mindset and strive to deliver the best for clients.” 

13. AFFIRMA CONSULTING
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 221
An employee believes Affirma “ranks at the top due to its total compensation and benefits package, fun atmosphere, easily accessible leadership team and resources to get your job done.”    

14. YESLER
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 285
Yesler is a B2B marketing agency. “[It is] one of the most caring companies I’ve worked for.”  “Flexible hours and telecommuting options are great.” “Fantastic culture, solid leadership.”

15. DISCOVERORG
LOCATION: VANCOUVER
EMPLOYEES: 391
The provider of sales and marketing intelligence software “is an excellent company … that fosters diversity in the workplace and champions performance and integrity over all else.”

16. ROVER.COM
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 325
The pet-services provider gets kudos for competitive pay, open communication and core values. But it’s hard to top “having a dog stop by your desk and ask to be petted.” 

17. VALLEY ELECTRIC
LOCATION: EVERETT
EMPLOYEES: 450
“I left a great job to come to work at Valley. It was a tough decision but I have had zero regret. Valley is an awesome company to work for.”

MAKING CONNECTIONS: Convoy CEO Dan Lewis, center, with, clockwise from lower left, Miranda Van Minnen, Paul Garrison, Jason Kopec, Rachel Stearns, Grant Goodale, Kristen Forecki and Nikhil Jaipuria. Photograph by Hayley Young

18. CONVOY
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 200
Things move fast at Convoy, which connects shippers with truckers. The 3-year-old startup has grown to more than 250 people, with at least 50 more expected to join this year, and has raised a whopping $80.5 million from an all-star group of investors. 

CEO Dan Lewis is aware of the challenges such growth brings and is working to build a company for the long term. It’s a task that includes making sure everyone knows where the company is headed and understands the company is constantly evolving.

He starts by hiring curious, autonomously minded people who want to solve problems. The right mindset provides a sense of purpose and motivation, he says. Case in point: The first 10 employees, including five engineers, are still with Convoy.

Employees are encouraged to recover quickly from mistakes and bring out the best in others, a value created to overcome the tendency by new managers to distance themselves from employees, Lewis says. Instead, he explains, leaders succeed by helping others do their best work.

Benefits include unlimited PTO and transparent, weekly chats with leadership that sometimes include its very high-profile investors, a group that includes Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

19. VENTURE GENERAL CONTRACTING
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 160
Says one Venture employee: “In the dark sea of corporate box-checking known as construction, the lack of red tape is endlessly refreshing and [it] enables efficiency.”

20. EXTRAHOP NETWORKS
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 198
The provider of IT operations and wire data analytics platforms “has built a great culture that embraces diversity of thought and background and practices servant leadership.”  

21. PRIME 8 CONSULTING
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 150
The business management consultancy earns praise for “super-smart and funny people,” “genuinely accessible leadership,” a “warm and welcoming” atmosphere and “compassionate charity work.”

22. CLARK NUBER
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 180
Here’s one assessment of the accounting firm: “When people ask how come I have been with the company so long, I say it’s because it’s a company built on integrity.”  

23. EXXEL PACIFIC
LOCATION: BELLINGHAM
EMPLOYEES: 211
The Bellingham-based construction/development company, founded in 1989, now does much of its work in Seattle yet manages to maintain what one staffer describes as “an outstanding company culture.”

MIDSIZE COMPANIES, 50 to 149 employees

1. TEXTIO
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 69
As Textio uses data analysis to unlock the power of words, cofounders Kieran Snyder and Jensen Harris earn praise as “incredible advocates for the company and their employees.”
 
2. ICERTIS
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 53
Openness starts at the top. CEO Samir Bodas tells employees of the contract management software provider: “Ask me any question you want, and you will not get a bulls--t answer.”

3. BERNTSON PORTER & COMPANY
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 97
Consensus among employees is that an appreciation for work/life balance sets this accounting firm apart from the rest. Says one: “The people at Berntson Porter truly care!”

CLOSING THE SALE: Highspot CEO Robert Wahbe, standing at right, with, from left, Napoleon Huynn, Jake Braly, Julie Levine and Mickinzi Serles. Photograph by Hayley Young

4. HIGHSPOT
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 71
For Highspot CEO Robert Wahbe, having an attractive office and offering a strong benefits package are just table stakes. People join Highspot, he says, for the rare opportunity “to be a founding part of what will be a successful public company.” Think stock options.

The company makes software that uses artificial intelligence to pull up just the right presentations, case studies and other data to help salespeople “have the most relevant conversation possible with customers.” Clients include the likes of Amazon and SAP Concur, and Highspot expects employment to reach 200 this year and double that next year.

Wahbe says Highspot’s values, which include a commitment to making breakthrough software, stretching people to do their best work and providing a great customer experience, lead to hard work and collaboration because people are confident those doing a great job will be recognized and rewarded. 

The approach appears to be working. “Everyone wants to be at the top, but everyone [also] wants to help you get there,” says one employee. “It’s like, ‘Hey, I want to summit Mount Everest [and] I want you to come with me, so I’m going to show you exactly how I’m training for success.’” 

5. DOMAINTOOLS
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 63
“More food than you can eat, free cross fit, flexible work arrangements, trivia nights.” It’s a long list of perks at this brand monitoring and cybersecurity firm.

6. OAC SERVICES 
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 87
One member of the forensic architecture and engineering firm cites “great benefits and … executive leadership consistently leading with integrity and strong moral principles.” 

7. SWEENEY CONRAD
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 73
At this financial services and business planning firm, one associate lauds “the bravery of our leadership and the unbridled loyalty of our employees.” 

8. ALLEN INSTITUTE FOR ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 75
The research institute provides benefits “on par with those of the biggest and best companies in the world, and even better in some respects.”  

9. WHITEPAGES
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 116
Rob Eleveld, CEO of the online directory, “provides an amazing example of a leader who walks the talk. He never asks anybody to do anything he wouldn’t do himself.”

BLAZING TRAILS: From left, Jessica Moore, Oscar Cauich, Lauren West, Bobby Powers and Christopher Chico. Photograph by Hayley Young

10. GRAVITY PAYMENTS
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 85
Gravity Payments, a credit card processing firm for small businesses, is better known — much to CEO Dan Price’s chagrin — as “that $70,000-minimum-wage firm.” Few know it’s also a trailblazing company where everyone is encouraged to be the CEO.

“Everyone — regardless of pay or tenure or title — has equal opportunity and responsibility to make strategic decisions and be a CEO,” says one employee. And they do. One customer service employee made a $100,000 decision without consulting anyone, says Price proudly. Others have also made six- and seven-figure decisions.

“I jump out of bed every morning and tap dance to work,” says one employee. “I love the people I work with, the customers I help, and the projects I get to ‘CEO’ and lead from start to completion. Dan isn’t just living the American Dream; he has created it.”

Employee benefits include unlimited time off, helping the company decide which nonprofits to support and corporate matching of employee giving up to $1,000.  A Good Health Challenge offers employees bonuses for making healthful lifestyle changes. These perks are on top of weekly catered breakfasts and lunches from local restaurants, fully subsidized gym memberships, and a fully stocked healthy snack and juice bar.

11. PACIFIC CAPITAL RESOURCE GROUP
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 68
“Leadership is quite fantastic,” says one member of this wealth management advisory firm. “Management knows … the industry and how the pieces fit together.” 

12. FRESH CONSULTING
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 51
The IT consulting firm pays 100 percent of employee benefits and provides free lunches. The leadership team, meanwhile, “is made up of really nice and professional people.”

13. OOKLA
LOCATION: Seattle
EMPLOYEES: 50
Leadership at this provider of internet testing and analysis is described as “open and honest with employees about everything from financials to future goals and company direction.” 

14. PACIFIC LIFESTYLE HOMES
LOCATION: Vancouver
EMPLOYEES: 50
Founded in 1996, this home builder wins big points for its executive leadership, described as “committed to forward thinking” and “supportive of the team.” 

15. OLYMPIA FEDERAL SAVINGS
LOCATION: OLYMPIA
EMPLOYEES: 112
In the savings-and-loan business for 112 years, OlyFed operates eight branches in Thurston and Mason counties. “Benefits are fantastic,” say several employees. 

16. AUTH0
LOCATION: Bellevue
EMPLOYEES: 63
One staffer sees Auth0, which provides universal identity platforms for mobile and web applications, as “the most transparent company I have ever been a part of.” 

17. VICIS
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 70
An open-door policy at this creator of new football helmet technology wins praise. “Any individual … can walk into an executive’s office to ask questions without feeling like a burden.” 

18. CHEF SOFTWARE
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 112
One person at this IT management software provider says, “Chef really puts people first. A lot of companies say they do this; Chef really does it.”

19. AMERICAN INCOME LIFE – ALTIG
LOCATION: REDMOND
EMPLOYEES: 95
The largest distribution system for American Income Life Insurance earns praise as a place that “gives you the freedom to grow, personally and professionally.”

PUSHING THE PURPLE: From left, Beth Hayes, Rob Silvernagel, James Chen, Xiao Yan and Glenn Curtis. Photograph by Hayley Young

20. LEVEL 11
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 54
Four things make software consulting firm Level 11 distinctive: its design-plus-engineering approach; its desire to go above and beyond; its motto of ‘Get Shit Done’; and the corporate embrace of the color purple.

“We are a technology company committed to disruptive thinking, we work on the coolest projects, we work with the greatest people at the greatest location and we get along super well and encourage each other’s hard-work ethic,” says partner Glenn Curtis.

Unlike other firms where engineers and designers operate in isolation, team members in those roles work collaboratively and often wear custom-made purple Converse sneakers or purple T-shirts.

“We have a super sense of pride; we like to go out and do great work that’s unique and never been done before, get it done and do it with flair,” says CEO Mark Hadland, known for his wardrobe of purple-lined sport coats. Pair that pride with the company’s mission of performing at an 11 on a scale of 10, or 1 Louder if you’re a This Is Spinal Tap fan, and that’s Level 11. 

21. STAY ALFRED
LOCATION: SPOKANE
EMPLOYEES: 125
People at this short-term-rental management business say things like, “The company is a dream to work for,” and, “It’s like working with your best friends every day.”

22. REDCLOUD CONSULTING
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 72
A succinct summation from one employee of this consulting firm: “Great company, excellent leadership, great colleagues, positive attitudes and a positive place to work.”  

23. PILLAR PROPERTIES
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 88
At this developer and manager of apartment properties, workers cite “an incredible culture of innovation and positivity” and “great people who care about what they do.” 

24. BADER MARTIN
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 82
Here’s one summation of the CPA firm: “The company is a ‘best company to work for’ because of opportunity, openness, reasonable compensation and achievable expectations.”

25. NEW ENGEN
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 80
New Engen, a marketing technology company that promises to accelerate its clients’ growth, is described by one employee as “a phenomenally fun and challenging startup.”
 
26. BRIGHTON JONES
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 89
The financial planner is the best company to work for, according to one member of the firm, citing “remarkably talented individuals on a dynamic and collaborative team.”

27.  LOGIC20/20
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 140
One member of this business and technology consultancy appreciates knowing “lots of young, fun and bright people who are excited to come to work and collaborate.”

28. KENSCI
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 62
This UW-spawned startup, which creates a risk-detection platform for health care providers, “is very collaborative and fast paced, with a soft spot for humanity,” says one staff member.

29. THE SPUR GROUP
LOCATION: REDMOND
EMPLOYEES: 121
The technology consultancy is described as “an awesome place to work” and “a great company focused on the right things and trying to grow people as the firm grows.”

30. HANSON CONSULTING GROUP
LOCATION: KIRKLAND
EMPLOYEES: 75
One review: “The workplace is fantastic; the pay and benefits are amazing and the management team is great. Hanson Consulting is absolutely one of the best companies to work for!”

31. BIZIBLE
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 98
Bizible makes marketing-performance software and receives high praise for its openness and friendliness and for creating “a remarkably stress-free” atmosphere in “a fast-paced environment.”

32. LIMEADE
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 149
Limeade provides employee-engagement programs for other employers, so it makes sense that it’s deemed by at least one employee to be “the most intentional culture-building company I’ve ever worked for.”

SMALL COMPANIES: 15 to 49 employees

1*. PROVISIONAL RECRUITING & STAFFING
LOCATION: SPOKANE
EMPLOYEES: 16
Here’s one employee’s assessment: “Provisional is the most open and friendly company. … We are truly a team, with no decision being made without a team discussion.” 

1*. CARLISLE CLASSIC HOMES
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 27
“CCH has profit sharing — unheard of in this industry,” gushes an employee of the home builder. “The boss knows that to grow smart and solid is far better than growing fast.”

2. OMNIDIAN
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 20
The provider of comprehensive protection plans for investments in residential solar systems earns praise for its “engaged leadership” and “smart, capable and friendly team.” 

3. KINETIC SPORTS REHAB
LOCATION: SPOKANE
EMPLOYEES: 30
Employees love the “incredibly fun atmosphere” and “top-notch culture” at this hybrid clinic offering a combination of manual therapy, chiropractic and sports medicine.

4. 10,000FT
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 23
A maker of collaborative project management software for creative teams, 10,000ft has employees who say things like, “I feel like I’m making an impact working at 10,000ft.”From left, Steve Kriss, Shanis Windland, Aimee Stevens, Jorge Castro (on screen) and Katie Morrissey.Photograph by Hayley Young

5. HEPTIO
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 25
Company culture is often an afterthought at technology startups. Not at Heptio. Veteran Google employees and Kubernetes cocreators Craig McLuckie and Joe Beda were thoughtful about the kind of software company they wanted to create: diverse, inclusive and kind. Their fourth hire was a woman, Shanis Windland, VP of finance and operations, and the company’s goal is to hire equal numbers of women and men as it grows. Nearly half the staff works remotely; the company has employees in 19 states and a head count of 70 nationwide.

“Our executive leadership is committed to building a diverse and inclusive team that will help solve major problems for our customers,” one employee wrote. “They are incredibly transparent about the state of the business [and] challenges we’re coming up against, and [they] value feedback from across the team.”

The founders created three value statements to foster a sustainable business: “We before me. Building honest technology. Carry the fire.” Says Windland, “Culture is what you do when it’s hard, not easy. We talk about our values and when we see something that doesn’t fit, we are direct and kind with feedback that’s actionable, which helps [employees] do a better job and makes the company better. That permeates throughout the entire organization.” 

6. SHW
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 38A provider of high-impact meetings and events, SHW has employees who appreciate its “flexible working environment” and “a shared commitment to being the best.”

7. ADLER GIERSCH
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 19
The personal injury law firm is described as “a place where leadership has a vision and truly cares about employee personal growth and fosters honest, open communication.” 

8. BOARD & VELLUM
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 28
One employee of the architecture/design firm appreciates “a shared willingness to take risks to find new ways to better the workplace environment [and] push the conversation to other firms.” 

9. CHERMAK CONSTRUCTION
LOCATION: EDMONDS
EMPLOYEES: 30
The home-remodeling contractor has remarkably happy employees. “Camaraderie and collaboration flourish here,” says one. “We celebrate when coworkers succeed and thrive.”

10. TOTAL MERCHANT CONCEPTS
LOCATION: VANCOUVER
EMPLOYEES: 16
The processor of credit- and debit-card transactions offers great benefits. But, says a staffer, “It is not the benefits that make it worth working here. It is the culture.”

11. WORLD FAMOUS
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 20
One member of the video and film production studio appreciates that “the company is led by creatives [and] a percentage of profits is put aside for employee-driven passion projects.”

12. WHEELHOUSE DMG
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 30
At this digital marketing agency, says one, “The short-term perks, benefits and day-to-day interactions are great, and the long-term outlook [and] opportunities for growth and stability are even better.”
 
13. BONANZA.COM
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 42
“It’s a blast to come to work every day,” says one member of the online marketplace for entrepreneurs. Says another: “I love everyone I work with.”

14. SCHLEMLEIN FICK & SCRUGGS
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 25
“Amazing office atmosphere,” says one member of this law firm. “Meaningful relationships and open communication are encouraged at all levels, but especially with leadership.”

15. PARKER STAFFING SERVICES
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 21
The motto of the recruitment firm’s parent company, Jackson Healthcare, is “Growth, Wisdom, Others First.” And, according to one Parker staffer: “We live by our core values.”
 
16. SUSTAINABLE INTERIORS
LOCATION: FIFE
EMPLOYEES: 31
The interior finishes and flooring contractor generates this comment: “Benefits are great and the leadership at Sustainable is beyond awesome — all great and unique in their own ways.” 

17. PACIFIC ENERGY CONCEPTS
LOCATION: VANCOUVER
EMPLOYEES: 31
At this lighting design company, says one employee, “There is no ceiling when it comes to income potential. It is like running your own business within the business.”
 
18. PACIFIC CREST SAVINGS BANK
LOCATION: LYNNWOOD
EMPLOYEES: 18
“Great company, awesome people, thoughtful leadership!” That’s one employee’s summation of the community bank, which was founded in 1984 as Phoenix Mortgage and Escrow.  

19. ABSCI
LOCATION: VANCOUVER
EMPLOYEES: 22
AbSci, which develops protein production technologies for the biopharmaceutical industry, entices its employees with a “motivating startup vibe [that] is contagious.”

SAVING YOU MONEY: Yapta CEO James Filsinger, in blue shirt, with, from left, Greg Kott, Michael Smith, Brandon Evans, Aaron Martin and Valerie Layman. Photograph by Hayley Young

20.YAPTA
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 31
Many of the employees of this hotel and airfare software tracking firm joined as referrals; some 50 percent of the engineering team arrived that way. “Our core base has either worked together before or are friends, and that helps drive accountability and responsibility,” says CEO James Filsinger. It also “helps us maintain our culture.”

So do five weeks of PTO, fully paid employee medical/dental/vision and subsidized family premiums, a Kegerator in the office, company outings to Mariners games and Cinerama, barbecues at the CEO’s house, subsidized gym memberships, commuting allowances and all-hands company huddles every three weeks.

Yapta employees live by five “Its”: Drive It (everyone is responsible for driving Yapta forward). Own It (take responsibility for your actions, and when something goes wrong, own it and fix it). Live It (always behave with integrity, honesty and trust; it is vital to the business). Share It (collaboration is key, so everyone is all hands on deck and helps others). Love It (have fun hanging out together). 

21. EVERGREEN BEAUTY COLLEGE
LOCATION: EVERETT
EMPLOYEES: 48
The nationally accredited cosmetology school operates four campuses — Bellevue, Everett, Renton and Yakima — and earns repeated accolades from employees for its generous benefits program.

22. HIYA INC.
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 41
Spun off from Whitepages in 2016, Hiya identifies the phone calls consumers want to answer and the ones they want to block. Employees like executive leadership’s “great vision.”

23. ALTRIVA SOLUTIONS
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 16
The business management consulting firm pays a portion of its employees’ mobile phone and home internet bills. Even better: “The snack room is always full.”

24. PIVOTAL COMMWARE
LOCATION: KIRKLAND
EMPLOYEES: 31
The supplier of telecommunications equipment has “a very egalitarian management feel,” says one staffer. “All levels are accessible to each associate. Our vision, mission and objectives are clearly communicated.”

25. ADITI CONSULTING
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 23
One staffer at the professional consulting and talent staffing organization likes the company’s “high ethical standards [and] employee engagement and empowerment.”

26. VOLT ATHLETICS
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 21
Volt, which provides an online training platform that combines strength and conditioning expertise with technology, boasts a “nimble, adaptive team” that “just generally kicks ass,” says one staffer.

27. TOTAL BENEFIT SOLUTIONS
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 25
Offering health insurance plans for workers at home and abroad, TBS boasts “leaders [who] are approachable and welcoming [and who] encourage celebrating the small and large successes.”

28. BOLDIQ
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 25
The maker of scheduling software “encourages, empowers and rewards individual initiatives to communicate, execute and share,” says one member of the team. “Employees’ dignity is a premier concern.” 

29. 2A CONSULTING
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 29
The new-ish marketing firm scores well for fostering “open communication, meaningful work-life balance, an emphasis on professional growth and a genuine appreciation for its employees.”

30. APPTENTIVE
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 36
“There is a strong sense of team here,” says one member of the customer-engagement software firm. “Great camaraderie and support; we all feel like we are in this together.” 

31. KALLES GROUP
LOCATION: SEATTLE
EMPLOYEES: 17
“I love it here.” “Great place to work.” “I felt respected from Day One.” Just some of the testimonials from employees of this cybersecurity and IT consulting firm.

32. COLOR CREATIVE
LOCATION: BELLEVUE
EMPLOYEES: 25
As it aims to increase opportunities for women and minority TV writers, Color Creative elicits praise for being “unique and lively” and having a “great culture” and “cool employees.”

33. VIRIDIAN ADVISORS
LOCATION: BOTHELL
EMPLOYEES: 24
One member of the financial planning firm says, “I am proud to work here. We have high professional ethics and a culture that inspires the continued pursuit of excellence.”

See past winners of Seattle Business magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For list: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012.

Learn more about the 100 Best Companies to Work For event here.

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These companies saw an average employee count increase of nearly 85 percent

These five companies have all been on our list for six or more years in a row