A Closer Look at Fortune’s Best Companies to Work for

By , January 25, 2012

Every year, Fortune Magazine’s annual “The 100 Best Companies to Work For” list helps job seekers jumpstart their search. The list also sheds light on what companies are looking for in a job candidate. At many firms, it’s clear that diversity is valued, which is good news for job seekers with a disability who can bring unique and competitively relevant skills and experience to the table.

Take Google, which is Fortune’s No. 1 ranked company in 2012. The Mountain View, Calif., technology giant says it wants to hire candidates — largely software engineers and salespeople — who have diverse perspectives. “Cultural fit and diversity are very important to us. We aim to reflect the globally diverse audience of our products and believe that we can serve our users better when we foster a diversity of perspectives, ideas and cultures within the company,” says Yolanda Mangolini, a diversity recruiter for Google.

Screenshot of Fortune Magazine coverOther companies on this year’s list are already well known for their diversity-hiring initiatives, based on similar listings in publications like DiversityInc. and Working Mother magazine. (DiversityInc. also compiles the Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities). Fortune lets you look at a company’s overall diversity efforts, which helps job seekers with disabilities zero in on companies that are more likely support their culture and needs. For example, at Qualcomm, ranked No. 23 this year, minorities make up more than half (53%) the workforce, and nearly a quarter (23%) are women.

Even with a sluggish economy, there are 25 companies on this year’s list that have at least 700 openings each, totaling more than 56,000 available jobs across dozens of industries from banking to hotel management. You can find a company that’s hiring, and use Think Beyond the Label’s job portal to find open positions and apply directly with the company.

In addition to being able to parse the list by size, state and pay scale, readers viewing the list online can see who in their personal LinkedIn networks works at the company, allowing them to potentially reach out and get information about open positions. (This requires that you sign into LinkedIn.)

Fortune.com also created an interactive graph called Perkfinder, where you can discover all the benefits and perks a company offers to attract and retain talent. As many people with disabilities often need benefits like health care and flexible work arrangements in order to take a job, knowing which companies offer this assistance can fortify your job search.

For example, 85 companies on the list offer telecommuting, or working from home at least 20% of the time. American Express (No. 60), Cisco (No. 90), Ernst & Young (No. 59), Intuit (No.19), Starbucks (No. 73) and Teach for America (No. 70) all offer telecommuting. Similarly, 50 companies offer a compressed workweek. And 14 companies offer 100% health care coverage, including Microsoft (No. 76) and Zappos (No. 11).

So while you’re doing research on companies and updating your resume, take a look at Fortune’s Top 100 Companies to Work For. Use it as a guide for your job search, and for finding companies that offer the right fit for your skills, experience and beyond.

Author: Suzanne Robitaille

Suzanne Robitaille is the founder of abledbody.com, a website on disability issues. She is the former assistive technology columnist for BusinessWeek.com, giving rise to her fascination with technology that helps people with disabilities surmount barriers in the workplace and life space. She is also the author of The Illustrated Guide to Assistive Technology & Devices. As a writer and blogger, Suzanne is a trusted source of disability information for The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, HealthDay, Media Post, Ability Magazine, Disaboom and more. Suzanne lost her hearing at age four and grew up profoundly deaf. In 2002 she received a cochlear implant, which she credits as "the ultimate assistive technology."