The Hottest Company of 2018? Indeed Says It’s Tesla – and It Isn’t Even Close

In the war for talent, the companies with the hottest buzz, the coolest brand, and the most meaningful and innovative work tend to win out.

Indeed, the giant job board with over 200 million unique monthly visitors, has great insight into the companies that attract the most job seekers, and every year it calculates the average amount of job-seeker interest for all job titles at all companies and then compares it to the actual level of interest each firm is receiving, based on clicks through to jobs posted.

The result is Indeed’s Hottest Companies of 2018 list, a ranking of the 20 “hottest” companies, or as the Indeed analysis puts it, “a snapshot of who’s winning the battle for talent in 2018.” They are:

  1. Tesla
  2. PepsiCo
  3. Enterprise Holdings
  4. Microsoft
  5. Facebook
  6. Honeywell
  7. Sysco
  8. Apple
  9. Morgan Stanley
  10. Cisco
  11. Booz Allen Hamilton
  12. IBM
  13. Aetna
  14. Lockheed Martin
  15. Ryder
  16. NBCUniversal
  17. Abbott Laboratories
  18. Thermo Fisher Scientific
  19. Siemens
  20. Medtronic

Tesla is No. 1, But Pepsico is No. 2?

Here’s what Indeed’s analysis says about Tesla, a company it calls a “transportation-tech trailblazer” that has been in the news a lot recently because of founder and CEO Elon Musk:

“Despite founder Elon Musk’s recent controversies, the firm — a driving force in electric vehicles, solar panels, and lithium-ion batteries for energy storage — remains a prime draw for job seekers, winning 47 percent more interest from job seekers than average. Tesla last year released its Model 3, a luxury, all-electric, four-door sedan, and it has since become one of America’s fastest-selling cars.”

The No. 2 company on the list — old school food and drink giant PepsiCo — is about as different from Tesla as you can possibly get, and it’s the only food and drink company to crack the Top 10 in the Hottest Companies list.

Indeed’s analysis found that “second place PepsiCo (won) 27 percent percent more interest from job seekers than average, which underscores how dramatic first place Tesla’s lead is over the other companies on our hot jobs list. Meanwhile, multinational Sysco (No. 7), a global leader in the restaurant, hospitality, health care, and campus foodservice, is also attracting above average levels of interest from job seekers.”

In other words, when you see the difference in the interest job seekers have between Tesla and PepsiCo, it shows that not only is Tesla the “hottest” company for candidates this year, but it really isn’t all that close.

Not surprisingly, technology companies picked up five spots in the Top 10 in the Hottest Companies Top 10, and No. 1 Tesla is also considered to be a tech heavy company by many because it “marries modern tech with car manufacturing.” The other tech firms in the top 10 include well-known companies Microsoft, Facebook, Honeywell, Apple, and Cisco.

It’s No Surprise Why Tesla Is So “Hot”

Here’s my take: Indeed’s Hottest Companies of 2018 list is a good one, but as with all lists of this kind, it needs to be compared to similar lists to give you broader insights into the “hot” companies that have the kind of buzz that naturally pulls top talent in.

However, I’m not surprised that Tesla tops this list, because (full disclosure) I have a family member who was recruited by Tesla and has worked there for the better part of a year.

The amazing thing about that is the reaction this family member gets when someone finds out where they work, because saying you work at Tesla gets a strong visceral reaction out of people that confirms the No. 1 ranking the electric car-maker gets in this year’s Hottest Companies list.

Say what you will about Elon Musk and his impulse control issues, but he has built a pretty incredible company that a great many people would die to work for. If you want to win the war for talent, that’s a pretty effective was to do it.

And one more thing about the Hottest Companies list (and you can download it here): Indeed gives some pretty good advice about the “things you can do to attract the talent your company needs most.” I usually find these kind of tips to be simplistic and mundane, but Indeed’s advice is actually right on the money, I think.

Great Advice for What Your Company Should Be Doing

Here’s what they suggest your organization should be doing:

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  1. Respond to all inquiries. From Indeed: “You’ll reject far more people than you’ll hire — and people talk. Enterprise makes good on its “people first” promise by responding to all applicants. They know word gets around, and they also know good word of mouth matters.”
  2. Write like a human, for humans. From Indeed: “Omit acronyms, and leave out jargon when possible. Terms like “fulfillment,” “outward facing,” and “CRO” may scare off otherwise qualified people who might not understand what they mean.”
  3. Be transparent. From Indeed: “Employees make good brand ambassadors, so let them help tell the stories of what’s happening in your company. Create content that features employees, such as in advertising or internal campaigns. Consider featuring employee testimonials in blogs and on social media.”
  4. Get creative about benefits. From Indeed: “While it’s fun to talk about pool tables and free snacks, promote the benefits that truly make a difference in people’s lives: flexibility, paid time off, extended parental leave, health cost reimbursement, and savings plans.”

Indeed’s advice may be as useful as knowing who the “hottest” companies of 2018 are, particularly the notion that focusing on the benefits that really matter to people is one of the ways that the most attractive companies separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

Touting stuff like that may not seem like the kind of thing that pulls top talent in, but it IS one of the big factors that make “hot” companies like Tesla really stand out from everyone else.

If you want to get serious about winning the war for talent, that’s a great place to start.

Survey Methodology

To create the Hottest Companies of 2018 list, Indeed calculated the average amount of job-seeker interest for all job titles at all companies from March through September 2018. Using these results, Indeed calculated each company’s expected job-seeker interest rate based on the averages for all jobs. We then applied the average to the job postings available at each company (using the top 1,500 companies with the most job postings on Indeed). Indeed calculated the actual click-through rates for all companies and compared the difference between actual and expected click-through rates.

John Hollon

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.