Costco Surprising 2nd Behind Google as Best Companies for Compensation, Benefits

It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if Silicon Valley tech giants were to be ranked as the best companies for compensation and benefits. But what about a retailer?

Costco ranks as the second-best company for pay and benefits, trailing behind search giant Google on the list compiled by employment-site Glassdoor.
Of course, Costco employees on average make far less than Google workers, but the retailer gets high scores for paying well above the minimum-wage levels of its retail competitors — and for providing health insurance for both full- and part-time workers.
“Costco does seem surprising, but it brings home the fact that with benefits and perks, it’s not all one-size-fits-all,” said Allyson Willoughby, senior vice president of people for Glassdoor. “The things that are right for a Costco hire aren’t the right things” for tech companies like Facebook (FB) (ranked No. 3 on the list) or Adobe (ADBE) (No. 4).
The average annual salary for a Google product manager is $146,215, according to Glassdoor data. The average hourly pay for a front-end cashier at Costco, by comparison, is $16.07 an hour.
Costco has become a poster child of sorts for proponents of increasing the minimum wage. Supporters point out that Costco juggles profitability and contented workers, rare in an industry known for underpaid and disgruntled workers.
“There were a couple of national debates that prompted us to run this survey,” Willoughby said. “One is about fair pay and pay inequality, and the other is the whole health-care debate.”
The survey illustrates that even if you can’t offer Silicon Valley-level pay, offering perks and benefits that separate your business from competitors can help workers feel valued.
Check out Glassdoor’s full list here.

One thought on “Costco Surprising 2nd Behind Google as Best Companies for Compensation, Benefits

  • May 26, 2014 at 10:19 am
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    It’s insanely hard to get into Costco. You basically have to be friends with someone who works there. Then you’re on probation for 90 days. You have to be able to work insanely fast or they won’t keep you. Costco employees scan groceries about twice as fast as Publix or Whole Foods employees, even though long time cashiers at those grocery stores make comparable wages($30,000+ a year). The Costco employees I’ve met all appear to have ADHD predominately hyperactive(ADHD-PH), meaning they’re super focused and super hyper. I met a bakery manager at Publix who worked for Costco. He drank enough coffee that it would have about 1.2 grams of caffeine, comparable to FIFTEEN RED BULLS, and he drank this EVERY MORNING after he woke up. Bakery managers at Publix make up to $78,000 a year, and get about $8000 in stock every year. Anyone who works as a grunt at Costco could become a department manager at Publix, so it’s a waste of time to work at Costco. Costco has half the employees as Sam’s club because they’re so much faster, and as such Costco makes a much higher profit per employee and can afford to pay their employees a lot more. Companies like Publix which pay higher wages despite the fact that they can’t be selective(due to their often being more Publix’s in an area than Walmarts), and don’t work their employees at breakneck speeds are much more admirable. You can work at a leisurely pace at Publix, and once you’re hired it’s almost impossible to get fired–no probation period like Costco.

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