Which North American firms are the world’s best employers?

South Korean electronics giant Samsung leads the way, but Forbes' World's Best Employers list is dominated by US companies like Microsoft and Google

For today’s employers, navigating the complexities of learning and development, DE&I and maintaining a healthy workplace culture is perhaps more difficult than ever before. 

Clearly, things have changed in light of the pandemic, which prompted millions of workers across North America to reconsider their priorities, while the emergence of generative AI and other game-changing technologies means companies face a tough task to ensure their people are equipped with sufficient skills. 

Over the past seven years, Forbes has partnered with market research firm Statista to create a definitive list of the World’s Best Employers, taking into account factors including remote working options, parental leave benefits, diversity and work-life balance.

To determine the 2023 rankings, Forbes and Statista surveyed more than 170,000 employees in dozens of countries across the globe who work for multinational companies and institutions.

The final list consists of 700 companies, spanning 43 countries. 

US companies dominate Forbes World’s Best Employers list

Given a significant proportion of the world’s multinationals are based here, it’s perhaps unsurprising that US companies dominate the top 10 – and the list in general. 

Tech giants are also dominant, with Microsoft, Alphabet, Apple, IBM, Adobe and Cisco all near the summit. 

However, the world’s best employer based on Forbes’ research is Samsung, which tops the pile for a second consecutive year.

Forbes points to the South Korean heavyweight’s comfortable work environment, which includes in-house cafeterias and gyms. A ‘Creative Lab’ lets employees share ideas for consideration and then take part in the product development process, while talent exchange programmes allow staff members to move between offices. 

Samsung has been selected by Forbes as the world's best employer

Second-placed Microsoft is lauded for its commitment to ensuring employees grow together and stay connected and is harnessing the power of its own platform, Microsoft Teams, to facilitate cross-team collaboration.

Rounding off the top three, Alphabet receives praise for Google’s various employee appreciation initiatives, of which there have been plenty during the organisation’s 25th anniversary year. 

The remainder of Forbes’ top 10 is as follows:

  • 4th – Apple
  • 5th – Ferrari
  • 6th – IBM
  • 7th – Adobe 
  • 8th – Costco
  • 9th – BMW
  • 10th – Cisco

Canadian firms fail to break top 50

You have to look as far down as 85th place in Forbes’ World’s Best Employers list to find a Canadian company in the form of Shopify, the software developer whose cloud-based commerce platform is designed for small and medium-sized businesses. 

It takes another big leap to reach OpenText, which places 122nd, while famed hotel chain Four Seasons is in 129th.  

Scotiabank, an employer of 90,000 people, is one of just four big-name Canadian businesses to make the top 200. 

Germany is easily the best-performing European nation, with 13 companies in the top 50, led by BMW, Adidas and Rossmann


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