Five of the Best Companies to Work for (Who You’ve Probably Never Heard of)

five of the best companies to work for

When we see the Sunday Times’s list of ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ the first thing that always strikes us is how exciting it is to see so many great companies of whom you’ve either never heard of, or only have the vaguest awareness. With good jobs at a premium it shows you that there are always more opportunities out there than might initially appear to be the case.

So whether you’ve just completed your A Levels and are about to get your job applications off, or are thinking of a change of career our pick of the five best companies to work for should come in handy.

UKRD Group, Redruth – Radio

‘UK, who?’ we hear you ask. Followed up, quite possibly, with ‘and where’s Redruth?’ Well, the answers to the questions are: a) one of the largest commercial radio companies with stations right the way across the country and b) not where you’d expect to find one of the UK’s biggest media companies – in deepest darkest Cornwall.

There’s no escaping the fact that the staff at UKRD are pretty seriously happy – as reflected in the fact that for the third year running, it’s topped the pile as the UK’s best company to work for. What makes UKRD stand out? A variety of factors, really: openness, honesty, fairness and staff autonomy are all cited as reasons for overall satisfaction.

Living Ventures, Knutsford – Catering

The success of northwest restaurant chain Living Ventures is built upon three central tenets: training, training and training. Knowing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing and when is obviously a huge driver of confidence. Combine it with a sense of clearly laid out career progression within the company, and it’s easy to see why staff retention is as high as it is.

Mishcon de Reya, London – Law firm

Commercial law firms are not, in all fairness, famed for being the most pleasant places to work. The pay’s good, sure, but the hours tend to be brutal and the culture all too often revolves around getting the clients in and making money for the company first, and employee welfare second.

Mishcon de Reya is held to be very different, though. For starters, unlike quite a lot of large London law firms, its offices are in Holborn (a walk away from bar and restaurant-packed Farringdon and Clerkenwell) rather than in the rather sterile environs of the City. Its client work is interesting, too, including a variety of indisputably good causes, something which employees report a high degree of pride in. As their strapline says: ‘It’s business, but it’s personal’.

The Childbase Partnership, Newport Pagnell – Children’s nurseries

This Buckinghamshire-based business is obviously of particular interest to anyone taking childcare studies. Employee ownership is always a good indication of satisfaction with working conditions, and over 60% of The Childbase Partnership is owned by its staff. The company has a strong leader in its CEO Mike Thompson, pay for the sector is high and a general feeling of positivity about what they do extends throughout the company.

W L Gore & Associates, Dundee – Creative technologies

Creative, what now? For most of us this Dundee-based company sounds like it might be a purveyor of something technology-based. In actual fact, though, they’re famous for producing something a whole lot easier to get your head around: Gore-Tex. While the company are famous for their pioneering product, this culture of innovation extends to all areas with the result being a highly motivated and fulfilled workforce. They’ve been around since 1958, too, so it’s a fair bet that they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.

And five more of the best employers who you’ll definitely have heard of…

– TGI Fridays: omnipresent they may be but TGIs are famous for offering great promotion opportunities on a regional and national level.

– Bravissimo: a leading lingerie firm based in Leamington Spa, Bravissimo are well-known for striking a good work/life balance amongst their employees.

– this giant of online travel is famous for the emphasis it places on innovation.

– Admiral Group: proving that insurance companies don’t have to be dreary affairs.

– Adecco UK: for anyone looking to work in recruitment, there seems little doubt that London-based Adecco are amongst the biggest and best.

After your dream job? For a full list of the best companies to work for in the UK, check out the Sunday Times’s top 100 companies in 2021.

Looking for more career advice? Check out our tips on how to decide on a career.