13Expedia

333 108th Ave NE, Bellevue
425-679-7200; expedia.com
Total Local Employees 2,200

What They Do
Everyone wants to know: If you work for online travel company Expedia (sing along: “dot coooommm”) do you get to hit the road as part of the job? The good news: Expedia offers 15 days of vacation plus 10 paid holidays to its Bellevue employees. The better news: The company gives everyone—new hires included—a $250 travel reimbursement for any booking on Expedia-affiliated sites, including hotels.com and hotwire.com. After three years, employees get $500. After seven years, it’s $750. And if they ever want to transfer, the London, Geneva, Paris, and Rome offices beckon.

But who wants to leave? Not this team, raving about the “great work space in a green-certified building” and its surrounding one-third–acre, Wi-Fi–ready lawn (perfect for summer meetings); and how the “company does a good job of making work fun” with Mardi Gras fetes, a Live at Lunch concert series, and the annual Halloween party complete with pirate-ship sets that “rival Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland,” said Mark Schmitt, senior manager of employee engagement and communications.

If you have a complaint, you can take it up directly with CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who hosts regular lunches with a dozen staffers or less, quarterly “town hall” meetings, and personally answers questions dropped in the “Ask Dara” mailbox. “Some people are curious about where the business is going, new markets, and some pose challenges—like, what do you think about that?” said Schmitt. “They can be pretty hard-hitting questions, and Dara typically doesn’t flinch.”

Perks, Praise, and Play Annual days off: 27. Subsidized fitness. Pet insurance plan (employee paid). Wellness and prayer rooms. Taste of Bellevue food event. Tuition reimbursement. Summer picnic, Halloween party, volunteer activities. Celebrating the Journey tenure awards. Annual matching-gift program (100 percent) for employees donating up to $5,000 to nonprofits. Bonus.

What the Boss Wants “I always ask [candidates] to describe their team. You can tell a lot by the way a manager talks about their team. The ones that are passionate about their people, who put effort into genuinely getting to know them and help them develop as leaders, are the ones I want at our company.” —Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO

Reasons to Love This Job “CEO and CFO do a fantastic job of explaining company strategy at quarterly meetings and answer honestly when asked tough questions.”

Hiring? Yes, expediajobs.com

Communication Channels Quarterly town halls with the CEO and Business Leader Sessions are recorded live and made available on the company intranet. Employees can “Ask Dara” questions or log concerns via email and get personalized responses from the CEO himself.

Benefits 401(k) with employer match; employer pays 75–99% medical, 75–99% dental, 75–99% vision; paternity leave; adoption assistance; lactation facilities

Average Annual Compensation (Salaried) $101,122

Average Annual Compensation (Hourly) $43,657

14Edelman

2301 Fifth Ave, Ste 500, Seattle
206-268-2200; edelman.com
Total Local Employees 100

What They Do
Edelman started out promoting home hair perm kits in New York in 1952. Now it’s an international public relations firm with more than 3,500 employees in 54 offices around the world, in places as diverse as China, Abu Dhabi, India, and Australia, delivering edgy campaigns to Fortune 500 companies.

Perks, Praise, and Play Annual days off: 42. Employees earn up to $3,000 for referring new employees, and earn extra time off for volunteer work. Happy Hours. Pop-up parties. Tuition reimbursement.

What the Boss Wants “At Edelman, we look for creativity, big thinking, a strategic mind set, and people who truly understand the complex and evolving communications landscape of today’s world. Of course the basics are important too: strong writing and storytelling skills, media, business, and community relationships, a roll-up-your-sleeves work ethic and intellectual curiosity all combine to make someone a good partner to our clients. Because we offer the power and reach of a truly global firm with the attention and service of a boutique agency, a client-centric mentality is also key, and something that newbies and veterans alike demonstrate to set Edelman apart.” —Jason Hunke, General Manager

Reasons to Love This Job “We have the resources of a global firm and an entrepreneurial spirit. We offer many career options, as well as a work-hard, play-hard culture, and maintain long-term relationships with clients.”

Hiring? Yes, edelman.com/careers

Communication Channels Supervisors and above receive 360-degree performance reviews.

Benefits 401(k) with employer match; employer pays 75–99% medical, 75–99% dental, 75–99% vision; paternity leave; adoption assistance; lactation facilities

More Time Off Earn extra time off for volunteer work.

Average Annual Compensation (Salaried) Not Available

Average Annual Compensation (Hourly) Not Available

15Institute for Systems Biology

401 Terry Ave N, Seattle
206-732-1200; systemsbiology.org
Total Local Employees 300

What They Do
Cofounded by Leroy Hood in 2000, the nonprofit ISB uses new technologies for biomedical research to predict and prevent diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and AIDS. ISB’s approach allows scientists to analyze all elements in a biological system rather than one gene or protein at a time.

Perks, Praise, and Play Annual days off: 37. ISB pays 100 percent of medical, dental, and vision premiums. Bike loaner program. Social events like monthly barbecues. Weekly discussion groups, guest speakers, lecture series. The institute was recently recognized for publishing research papers that had the highest scientific impact in the United States and the third highest in the world.

What the Boss Wants “We are always looking for innovative scientists and effective administrative staff to join our team.” —Leroy Hood, President

Reasons to Love This Job “Our scientists are pursuing groundbreaking science with world-class resources and equipment.”

Hiring? Yes, systemsbiology.hrmdirect.com/employment/openings.php

Communication Channels “We have developed a culture of inquiry and interaction…and an administrative structure that is designed to encourage our researchers to collaborate across the boundaries of their individual disciplines to ‘think outside the box.’” —Leroy Hood, President

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

More Time Off Employees can donate time off to fellow employees.

Average Annual Compensation (Salaried) $71,507

Average Annual Compensation (Hourly) $21,814

16 Airbiquity

1011 Western Ave, Ste 600, Seattle
206-219-2700; airbiquity.com
Total Local Employees 85

What They Do
With offices in Seattle and London, Airbiquity designs and operates the wireless connected-vehicle technology used by companies like BMW, Nissan, Ford, and OnStar. The company helps support more than 15 million cars on the road.

Perks, Praise, and Play Annual days off: 22. Airbiquity pays 100 percent of medical, dental, and vision premiums. Gym discount. Foosball. “Well-stocked” kitchen with free snacks. Bonus.

Reasons to Love This Job “Managers are empowered to grant ‘spot’ cash bonuses to immediately reward excellent performance.”

Hiring? Yes, airbiquity.com/careers.php

Communication Channels “We create an open-door environment where employees are encouraged to participate, give feedback, and be involved in the development of the company as a whole.” Quarterly breakfasts and frequent happy hours where employees can gather, eat, and hear updates from executives.

Benefits 401(k); employer pays 100% medical, 100% dental, 100% vision

Average Annual Compensation (Salaried) Not Available

Average Annual Compensation (Hourly) Not Available