Who are the top tech companies to work for in Los Angeles? Despite a huge number of companies, we found there are a number which popped up consistently in an informal (and highly non-scientific poll) of a number of readers, executive recruiters, and others in the Los Angeles area, who cited growth, brand, profitability, and other factors in their suggestions to us of the top companies. (Readers in San Diego, Orange County, Ventura County, and elsewhere, please comment or send us your comments!). Although it's impossible to include all the companies suggested to us (there were dozens and dozens), here's some of the ones that stood out:
1. Demand Media
Demand Media consistently popped up near number one in the list of "companies to work for" from our readers. The now-public company operates a number of content-focused sites, including LIVESTRONG, eHOW, Cracked, and a domain name registration business, eNOM. The company recently reported record revenues and profitability, and has seen strong results from its partnership with YouTube.
OpenX is profitable, and its ad serving software dominant among online publishers. The firm, based in Pasadena, has dozens of positions on its site, ranging from software, sales, marketing, to finance. Despite the number of employees, recruiters also cited the "startup culture" at the company as among reasons to work for the company.
Edmunds.com has been around forever in Los Angeles, but after a recent redesign and a focus on updating its web site, new mobile apps, and more, it continues to be a major force in automotive information and services. Edmunds was also one of the companies consistency cited in our poll as one of the companies to work for in LA.
NastyGal -- which was just about unheard of a year ago -- has rocketed to a over $100M business, driven by women's clothing, shoes, and other products. NastyGal is just one of a number of fashion-meets-technology startups to emerge in Los Angeles, which has long been home to both technology and fashion--but, based on its trajectory, looks to be one of the fastest growing.
Los Angeles has a strong online advertising industry, and Rubicon Project is one of the companies we heard has been doing well and is a good place for employees. Frank Addante, who founded Rubicon, is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded L90, which was acquired by DoubleClick after a $112M IPO.
HauteLook--which is now part of Nordstrom--offers up daily deals on fashion, and has a couple of dozen positions listed on its site. The firm--one of the first, big fashion-meets-technology successes in Los Angeles--is located downtown, and apparently has big requirements for development, release, and QA engineers. HauteLook was acquired for $270M in 2011 by Nordstrom.
Concert ticket promoter LiveNation--which also owns Ticketmaster--has dozens of jobs listed across the Los Angeles area, spread across its many businesses, and has a surprising number of technology related jobs. The company was cited by multiple recruiters as being one of the firms in technology people want to work for, and which has been hiring.
Readers cite the quality of life at Lynda.com, which has quietly grown into a powerhouse providing online training for a wide range of software products, and which has offices in Calabasas and Santa Barbara. The firm--which was started in the quiet and not-known-for-technology town of Ojai--has grown into a multi million dollar (last heard: $70M+ in annual revenues) giant in its sector, all bootstrapped by founders Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin.
Deploying software in the cloud? RightScale's software is used by developers to manage the deployment of their applications into the cloud, handling configuration, monitoring, management, and more. RightScale is one of a number of enterprise software and open source companies to emerge in the area, and is based in Santa Barbara.
Google might not be a purely Southern California company, but the company now has thousands of employees spread across the region, including a location in the iconic Binoculars building in Venice, designed by Frank Gehry. The perks which have made Google a perennial favorite of would-be employees in Silicon Valley, and the company's dominance of Internet search, also make it an employee favorite here in SoCal. Google has set the bar in the technology industry in Silicon Valley, and holds a similar place in Southern California.
Why would a company make a list of top companies? According to Janine Davis at Fetch Recruiting, "If a person has (one of the top companies) on their resume, it will open doors for them." She explains, "These companies tend to hire solid people, people tend to stay a long time, and they are solid resume builders." Jason Stomel, at NeoHire, said that the best companies often have perks such as allowing employees to work from home 1-2 days a week, more flexible vacation day policies and things like free food, gym, massages, game rooms, company activities. He explains "Candidates place a very high value on flexibility."
How do you get one of these top firms to consider you for an executive position? Todd Gitlin of Safire Partners, an executive recruiting firm in Los Angeles which focuses on C-level positions, says "It's about who you know and how people perceive you, so relationships and brand are paramount to get invited to review the best searches.".
Even if you think you might want to join a firm, how do you know if the company's right for you? "Prospective employees need to do good homework on the company," says Scott Thompson, at PivotPoint Search. "More specifically, try to understand the reasons it was founded and the style of the top dogs. That tells you a lot about the culture and what the future might bring." Stomel echoed similar advice, saying that "Don't jump on the first offer you receive," because, "You owe it to yourself to pick the best fit all around, not just the first one, or the highest salary."
I Love My Job image courtesy BigStock.