What are the best companies to work for in the UK? Expedia, Hays and AKQA triumph ahead of Google and Goldman Sachs

Lynsey Barber
Follow Lynsey
A smiley is fixed to a 'no entry'- sign
Happy people make happy workers (Source: Getty)

Move over Google. Its treats such as slides, sleep pods and snacks have failed to win over staff, and the mighty tech company has been toppled from its perch as the best company to work for in the UK while home grown firms climbed ahead.

Flying to the top spot from number 25 last year was online travel company Expedia, followed by recruiter Hays and advertising agency AKQA in an annual ranking which is based on feedback directly from employees.

Also slipping was high street favourite John Lewis, which tumbled into sixteenth place from second last year, the research from Glassdoor reveals.

Read more: You don't need to be in London to work for the best companies

In addition to newcomer AKQA, it was chipmaker ARM, budget airline EasyJet and London Underground which made their debut. More than half of the top 25 were new entrants.

Rank Company Last year's position
1 Expedia 25
2 Hays NEW
5 Schuh NEW
6 Oxfam NEW
8 Google 1
9 Unilever 24
10 London Underground NEW
11 Pagegroup NEW
12 EasyJet NEW
13 Arup NEW
14 Amec Foster Wheeler NEW
15 Royal Dutch Shell NEW
16 John Lewis 2
17 JP Morgan 6
18 Cisco 8
19 Goldman Sachs NEW
20 Credit Suisse 23
21 PWC 10
22 Yell NEW
23 P&G NEW
24 Kantar Worldpanel NEW
25 Waitrose 22

A host of firms, including Microsoft, Harrods and Rolls Royce failed to win over staff, with just 10 of last year's top firms making a return to the list. Top consultancy firms EY, Deloitte, Accenture and financial institutions also fell out of favour, including HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Amex.

Who's out?

Microsoft, Accenture, Jaguar Land Rover, Three, Deloitte, PA Consulting, Harrods, Rolls Royce, BP, EY, HSBC, GSK, Amex, Morgan Stanley, Diageo.

The annual ranking by Glassdoor takes into account reviews from employees on areas such as, career opportunities, compensation and benefits, culture and values, senior management and work-life balance.

Of the 14 British companies on the list, half are based outside London, a "huge achievement" and proof that top talent isn't just centred in the capital, said Glassdoor international vice president Diarmuid Russell.

Google's fall from the top spot also continued in the US, falling to eighth place, with upstart Airbnb crowned the best.

Find out exactly how reviewers rated the best companies.

Related articles