Forbes uses a wide range of criteria to compile its lists of the best companies to work for each year, including the employees' overall satisfaction with the company and whether or not they would recommend employment at the company to friends. The publication also frequently partners with other entities to collect reviews on the companies in regards to pay scale, benefits and company culture.
One method Forbes uses to create a list of the best employers is polling employees to obtain direct feedback about the work experience at different large private and public businesses. In March of 2015, Forbes worked with Statista.com to send surveys to over 20,000 workers across the country to find out how happy they were in their current positions. The companies tallied the results of the surveys to rank companies directly according to the average satisfaction score of their employees, normalizing results to account for various factors that may skew results.
In other instances, Forbes may look at employee reviews on job-seeking sites, such as Indeed.com, which allows current and past employees to rate companies. In these instances, the list may examine a specific aspect of working for the company, such as a strong work-life balance, the availability of competitive benefits or opportunities for advancement. Forbes may also look at outside factors, such as company growth, public perception or the presence of any legal actions, to create its lists.