414 Olive Way, Ste 500, Seattle
206-341-9885; zaaz.com
Total Local Employees 135


ZAAZ Open bar
Image: Andrew Waits

ZAAZ Open bar with Jagermeister dispenser.

What They Do
Though most of our Best Companies pledge to “work hard, play hard,” few do so as successfully as digital marketing agency Zaaz. To start: They have a Jagermeister machine in their downtown Seattle office. “We have an area on our main floor, Z Bar, that’s the hub of the agency,” said marketing manager Lindsay Campau. “A lot of people eat lunch there, or if you need to chill with a client, you can grab a drink there. There’s a lot of happy hours.” And Flip Cup tournaments. And company karaoke parties. Excuse us, but when does the “work” happen?

Just ask Campau. When she was pregnant—in her third trimester—she was leading the company through a total rebrand and marketing audit, working at “a maddening pace.” Zaaz has to keep up with its clients around the world, providing data analysis and web redesign for Sony, Nokia, Microsoft, and Ford (just to name a few). But when the going gets tough, Zaaz lets the tough go home. Campau has finished her three-month maternity leave, but she can still work from home twice a week to help her husband (now on paternity leave) with their newborn. Plus, everyone gets a standard—issue iPad—a new one. See, “Zaaz” stands for “something new”—it seems they’ve redefined “work.”

Perks, Praise, and Play Annual days off: 37. Three-week sabbatical after five years on staff, six-weeks after 10 years. Free All-Star Fitness memberships. Biweekly in-office masseuse. Telecommuting. Employee shoutouts posted to Zaaz’s intranet. Bonus. Annually, two keepers of the ZAAZ “Spirit Stick” are nominated by staff to plan social events like outings to art museums. Stock options.

What the Boss Wants “We have a core set of values: passion, trust, kindness, balance, innovation, courage, responsibility, perspective, collaboration, integrity. We do not value burnout, politics, greed, or cynicism. Be authentic. Check your ego at the door.” —Lindsay Campau, Marketing Manager, Former Creative Services Manager

Reasons to Love This Job “The in-office Xbox Kinect and Wii. We’re not positive, but a high percentage of employee exercise might now be due to Xbox Kinect’s Dance Central alone.” —Elena Moffet, Marketing coordinator

Hiring? Yes, zaaz.com/#/are_you_hiring

Communication Channels The CEO, president, and COO host lunches for groups of five to 10 new hires, allowing employees to connect with the founders on a personal level.

Benefits 401(k) with employer match; employer pays 100% medical, 100% dental, 100% vision; employer contributes $250 annually into health reimbursement accounts for employees on a Base Health Plan; paternity leave; lactation facilities

Average Annual Compensation (Salaried) Not Available

Average Annual Compensation (Hourly) Not Available

5GLY Construction

200 112th Ave NE, Ste 300, Bellevue
425-451-8877; gly.com
Total Local Employees 243

What They Do
“These last couple years have been tough for construction,” GLY marketing specialist Pamela Leptich admits. And even though revenue was down last year, GLY’s project numbers remain steady, thanks in part to one big job—construction of Amazon’s new headquarters (phases IV and V) in South Lake Union—and GLY’s 44-year track record as a reliable, community-oriented contractor. How many companies win state civics awards for their volunteer work during a recession?

But that’s just par for the course for GLY. Washington’s fifth-largest general contracting firm offers a personal touch, with 10 principals who are actively involved in the day-to-day operations and a full-time staff of nearly 250 who often refer to colleagues as “family.” “Even in a down economy GLY is striving to educate and train the next generation of leaders for the company,” said general foreman Jasper Smith. “And GLY as a whole feels more like a family-based business where other construction companies just use and abuse their employees.” Plus, we hear staffers are a social bunch with good work-life balance: They go fly-fishing, run marathons. And then there’s the office rock band. Not Rock Band. We’re talking living, breathing musicians: The marketing manager is lead singer, two vice-presidents are on guitar, and field supervisors play bass and drums. They call themselves the -uGLYs—brand conscious to the end—and are available for client parties and happy hours.

Perks, Praise, and Play Annual days off: 27. On-site exercise facility, group exercise classes. Tuition reimbursement. Annual and quarterly awards (e.g., Innovator of the Year, Mentor of the Year, Excellence in Safety, Team Player, Most Improved). Pizza parties. Barbecues. Bonus.

What the Boss Wants “Creative thinking and planning are a priority. We value the ability to find efficient yet innovative ways to engineer projects that exceed our clients’ expectations.”

Reasons to Love This Job “Our new office with workout facilities and showers. I have doubled my workouts per week.” —Josh Goudge, Project Engineer

Hiring? Yes, gly.com/careers.asp

Communication Channels Quarterly shareholder luncheons feature an informal Q&A open to all employees. Each executive mentors up to five new employees annually.

Benefits 401(k) with employer match; employer pays 100% medical, 100% dental; paternity leave; lactation facilities

More Time Off Earn extra time off for volunteer work.

Average Annual Compensation (Salaried) $82,113

Average Annual Compensation (Hourly) $68,000


119 Pine St, Ste 400, Seattle
206-632-3171; seomoz.org
Total Local Employees 32

What They Do
SEOmoz (pronounced ess-ee-OH-mahz) develops search engine optimization software to help clients grow brands, and hosts a community of over a quarter—million members who share SEO experiences and best practices.

Perks, Praise, and Play Annual days off: 31. Paid Internet access, office equipment, and furniture for employees’ homes. Tuition reimbursement. Bonus. Stock options.

What the Boss Wants “SEOmoz wants people who believe in our mission and our cultural values—the TAGFEE [Transparent and Authentic, Generous, Fun, Empathetic, and Exceptional] Code…. We’re unique in seeking out team members who work well together, and we often turn down very talented, desirable applicants when they don’t reflect our unique values or are simply seeking a paycheck.” —Rand Fishkin, CEO and Cofounder

Reasons to Love This Job Catered lunch and treats in the office a few times each week. SEOmoz is also home to Roger MozBot, the world’s most helpful and cuddly robot.

Hiring? Yes, www.seomoz.org/about/jobs

Communication Channels “Every team (engineering, product, marketing, and operations) has weekly one-on-ones between managers and team members. In addition, nearly every employee gets together personally at least quarterly with the CEO. …Quarterly all-hands meetings give updates about the company strategy, financials, and roadmap to everyone on the team, and weekly status emails provide additional insight into key business metrics and accomplishments. At any time, any employee can know as much about SEOmoz’s progress and status as a board member at a public company—often more.” —Rand Fishkin, CEO and Cofounder

Benefits 401(k) with employer match; employer pays 100% medical, 100% dental, 100% vision; stock options

More Time Off “We sometimes offer volunteer opportunities during the workday. For example, we volunteer at Northwest Harvest each winter. If you participate, it doesn’t count towards your personal days. So it’s like getting an extra personal day.” —Jamie Steven, Vice President of Marketing

Average Annual Compensation (Salaried) Not Available

Average Annual Compensation (Hourly) Not Available