To pick the 100 Best Companies, Fortune partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. Three hundred forty-three companies participated in this year's survey.
Two-thirds of a company's score is based on the results of the Institute's Trust Index survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company. The survey asks questions related to their attitudes about the management's credibility, job satisfaction, and camaraderie.
The other third of the scoring is based on the company's responses to the Institute's Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring, communication, and diversity.
Any company that is at least seven years old with more than 1,000 U.S. employees is eligible. The deadline for applying for next year's list is April 2, 2010. For an online nomination form, go to www.greatplacetowork.com.
--Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz
|Number of women||High||Low||Ignore|
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|How it works|
|Company||Avg. annual pay|
|Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe||$245,206|
|Company||Job growth %|
|J. M. Smucker||44%|
|Brocade Communications Systems||39%|