eBay Makes FORTUNE's "100 Best Companies to Work For" Ranking for 2nd year in a row

Richard Brewer-Hay

eBay was listed as one of FORTUNE‘s 2009 100 Best Companies to Work For. The company came in at #83. It is the second year in a row that eBay made the coveted list.

Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For

“We are delighted to once again be recognized by Fortune as one of America’s best places to work,” said eBay Inc. President and CEO John Donahoe. “Across eBay, PayPal and the rest of our company, our talented employees foster our culture because they are passionate about what we do — connect millions of people around the world every day to buy, sell and communicate online. eBay employees exemplify our values every day, and in good times and challenging times that’s what makes eBay great.”

I joined the company one year and three weeks ago so I’ve been witness to (and have covered) one of the most dramatic years this company has ever experienced. From changes in corporate management to changes in our core businesses – if you blinked on certain days last year, you missed a heck of a lot. To go through that kind of change in just one year and still be one of the top 100 places to work, is an achievement in itself.

FORTUNE had this to say about eBay specifically:

The online auctioneer had a tough year, laying off more than 450 employees — about 5% of its U.S. workforce. Departing employees received generous severance pay and outplacement help, and eBay still offers a strong benefit package.

Need a break? Employees can take a four-week sabbatical at full pay every five years. Worried about vet bills? Discounts on pet insurance are available. Retirement? eBay recently increased its 401(k) match. Hate to drive? eBay runs shuttle buses to ferry employees back and forth to work, or pays $100 a month to employees using public transit.

I lost some new-found friends and colleagues when we went through the layoffs referenced above and I’ve been on that side of the fence in my career before. It’s a horrible feeling. It’s also something that seems to be happening at every company each day of the week for the past month or so. I follow TheMediaIsDying Twitter feed to keep current on where folks are going and what’s happening out there but it does take its toll to see all that bad news in real-time. It also makes the following stat from FORTUNE even more eye-catching: “A driving factor for the companies on this year’s list is that they excel at creating jobs. Of the 100 companies on the 2009 list, 73 are currently hiring.”

About the Survey

More than 81,000 employees from 353 companies responded to the 57-question survey created by the [Great Place to Work] Institute. Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the survey, which is sent to a minimum of 400 randomly selected employees. The remaining third is based on a company’s responses to the Culture Audit questionnaire, which asks detailed questions about demographics, pay and benefits, and open-ended questions on philosophy, communication and more.

Any company that is at least seven years old with more the 1,000 U.S. employees is eligible to be included on the list. The deadline for applying for next year’s list is March 31, 2009. For an online nomination form, go to www.greatplacetowork-100best.com.

Given the current state of the job market – and economy in general – I’d be interested in seeing if that 57-question survey has changed in anyway to reflect the tougher times employers – and subsequently employees – are facing, or if the results are simply reported on a curve that rises and falls given the top results each year.