Every firm wants to attract great talent. But not all companies are as successful at winning the attention of job seekers.

Here, many factors are in play: from company reputation, to wages, to perceptions of a firm's future. For some job seekers, gaining new skills is key; for others, it’s culture. For some, length of commute may be a deal breaker. Meanwhile, the fact that 2017 saw the lowest unemployment numbers in over a decade has made an already competitive talent landscape only more competitive. And of course, technology continues to disrupt multiple industries, leading to demand for new skills which are still in short supply.

Bearing this in mind, we at Indeed wanted to identify which companies have done the best job of attracting job seeker interest in 2017. But rather than just produce an arbitrary list, we decided to do a little data crunching to really answer the question.

So first, we looked at every job for every company on Indeed and calculated the average number of clicks they receive. Then we identified the employers who are scoring highest above that average for their jobs across five different sectors: tech, media/entertainment, retailers, consumer brands and finance. The result? A ranking of the hottest companies for job seekers in 2017.

Here’s what we found.

Got VR headsets? Tech workers are interested in your jobs

Table showcasing the 5 hottest tech companies of 2017.
This table features the top 5 hottest tech companies of 2017:
1. Sony Interactive Entertainment
2. Red Hat
3. Postmates
4. Slack
5. Airbnb

The tech industry is projected to create over half a million new jobs by 2026, according to the BLS. However, “tech” itself is extremely diverse and when we look at which firms are winning the most interest from job seekers we see this reflected in the results. Global video game giant Sony Interactive Entertainment places first; the company is known for its Playstation video game systems, including the well-received Playstation VR, a virtual reality headset that provides an immersive gaming experience. In second place, however, we see a very different kind of tech company. Enterprise software firm Red Hat was the first open source company to reach $1 billion in revenue, and recently announced a partnership with Alibaba Cloud, the largest public cloud provider in China.

On-demand delivery service Postmates places third. Now operating in 250 cities nationwide, this up and coming startup may  go public in 2018. Next on the list is business collaboration platform Slack, which — according to recent valuations — is worth $5.1 billion, earning it a spot in the elite “unicorn” club alongside Uber, Spotify, and Airbnb.  And speaking of Airbnb, the short-term lodging leader rounds out the list. This unicorn’s CEO, Brian Chesky says the company  is in the midst of planning for its IPO, which is surely one of the most anticipated in tech; and job seekers are pretty excited about working there, too.

The silver screen retains its appeal

Table showcasing the 5 hottest entertainment/media companies of 2017.
This table features the top 5 hottest media/entertainment companies of 2017: 
1. Sony Pictures
2. Conde Nast
3. Nickelodeon
4. HBO
5. Thrillist

Entertainment is big business, of course — in fact, according to the most recent Global Entertainment and Media Outlook from PwC, spending in this market will reach $759 billion by 2021. It’s also an area that attracts a lot of interest from job seekers, with well-established players from the worlds of movies, TV and publishing performing particularly strongly.

For instance, Sony — the studio behind big screen franchises such as X-Men, Spider-Man and James Bond — places first, while 102-year old publisher Conde Nast comes second. Besides owning such legendary brands as Vogue, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and GQ, Conde Nast recently made headlines as the first media giant to launch a digital platform targeted specifically at the LGBTQ community. The company also boasts a 91% CEO approval rate on Indeed; however third place Nickelodeon, the kids’ entertainment giant, follows close behind with an 87% CEO approval rating.

HBO, the home of Game of Thrones, is also a hot company for job seekers. The good news is that HBO is nothing like the cutthroat kingdom of Westeros, as CEO Richard Plepler insists that culture trumps strategy and that transparency and dissent are valued. Digital media outlet Thrillist is the youngest company on the list: it dates all the way back to 2004. Part of a new wave of social media oriented sites, this lifestyle brand recently merged with three others to form Group Nine Media.

These firms are defying the "retail apocalypse"

Table showcasing the 5 hottest retail companies of 2017.
This table features the top 5 hottest retail companies of 2017: 
2. Publix
3. BJ’s Wholesale Club
4. Big Lots 
5. TJ Maxx

Tales of the looming “retail apocalypse” are not hard to find these days, and store closures and bankruptcies are real. However, there’s another side to the story: although some traditional brick and mortar stores face rocky times, others are doing very well, and not just in the online realm. In fact, our list of hot companies for retail is dominated by physical stores.

In first place for interest from job seekers comes German supermarket chain ALDI, which this year unveiled a $3.4 billion expansion plan for the U.S., despite what The Economist describes as a policy of “ignoring the internet.” Meanwhile in second place comes Publix, the largest employee-owned supermarket chain in the United States, which operates mainly in the southeast — while eastern-seaboard based BJ’s Wholesale Club places third.

While many firms have been squeezed by online retailers like Amazon, discount retailer Big Lots reported record second quarter earnings this year, and places fourth on our job seeker’s hot list. Fifth place (and fellow discount retailer) TJ Maxx, is also coping well amid the “retail apocalypse”: known for marking down prices on high-end clothing brands, it is not only attractive to job seekers, but also has the highest CEO rating of any retailer in this group, at 81%.

Environmentally-conscious automakers lead in consumer brands category

Table showcasing the top 5 hottest consumer brands of 2017.
This table features the top 5 hottest consumer brands of 2017: 
1. Volvo
2. Tesla Motors
3. Mattel, Inc
4. Fossil Group
5. Bose

When it comes to consumer brands, Chinese-owned luxury car company Volvo took first place for interest from job seekers this year. The forward-looking firm recently announced that as of 2019 all its new models would be electric or hybrid vehicles, making it the first major automaker to set a date to phase out combustion engine car models. The environmentally conscious theme continues with second place Tesla Motors; the electric car powerhouse recently announced plans to build Europe’s largest supercharger station in Norway, and like many auto manufacturers is investing heavily in self-driving car research.

Mattel is a Fortune 500 toy manufacturer behind huge brands such as Barbie, Transformers and American Girl; despite a tough year that was made tougher by the bankruptcy of Toys R Us, the firm places third among job seekers. An entirely different kind of retail brand comes next: fashion designer and manufacturer Fossil Group. Most famous for their lifestyle accessories, notably fashion watches, Fossil also makes licensed accessories for brands like Adidas, Diesel, and Burberry, and exerts a strong draw on those interested in fashion and lifestyle.

Finally, premium audio equipment company Bose comes fifth. Founded in 1964 by a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the company recently faced a new challenge, in the shape of Amazon’s hugely popular Echo speakers. Even so, this high end audio manufacturer remains a favorite among job seekers.

World Bank captures top spot for finance and banking

Table showcasing the 5 hottest finance/banking companies of 2017.
This table features the top 5 hottest finance/banking companies of 2017:
1. World Bank
3. Comerica Bank
4. Raymond James 
5. CohnReznick 

For those on the job hunt, these five finance companies are on the short list for good reason.

World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to other countries for capital programs. Employees at World Bank call it “the most desirable place to work on the planet” and a “productive and fun workplace”. The institution recently approved $400 million in additional funding to rebuild liberated areas in Iraq and restore cultural heritage sites damaged from the fighting. BKD, LLP, one of the largest accounting and advisory firms in the U.S., has a charitable arm called the BKD Foundation which has given nearly $13 million to charities since 2000.

Comerica Bank is a financial services company and one of the largest banks in the United States. In 2008, it was selected by the U.S. Treasury as the issuing bank for their Direct Express Debit Card program aimed at helping people who don’t have bank accounts. Comerica Bank also sponsors Comerica Park in Detroit, a ballpark that’s home to the Detroit Tigers Major League Baseball team. Financial company Raymond James primarily engages in investment and financial planning, in addition to investment banking and asset management. The company has experienced record recruiting years the last couple of years, with a lot of interest and success in the West Coast and Northeast.

Last on the hot list is accounting and professional services firm, CohnReznick, based in New York and formed in 2012 with the merging of J.H. Cohn and Reznick Group. The firm recently announced its partnership with New Frontier Data, the leading provider of data, analytics and business intelligence for the cannabis industry. The two will work together on everything from educational webinars to a published report analyzing the tax pitfalls facing cannabis businesses.


To create this ranking, Indeed calculated the average amount of job seeker interest for all job titles (at all companies) from April through September 2017. Using these results, Indeed calculated each company’s “expected” job seeker interest rate based on average rates for all job titles, and applying the average to the mix of job postings for each company (using the top 1500 companies with most job postings on Indeed). Indeed calculated the actual click thru rate for all companies, and compared the difference between actual and expected click thru rates.