best of the rest

These Houston startups and companies clock in as the top employers in the U.S.

MD Anderson Cancer Center is a top place to work in the U.S. and Texas. Photo by F. Carter Smith/courtesy of MD Anderson

Whose boss is doing something right in Houston? Forbes set out to find out.

New rankings from Forbes identified the top employers in Houston and beyond, and that included both bigger companies and the country’s best startup employers. In Houston, the startups ranked as top employers are:

No. 120 — Imbuit
No. 310 — Code Ninjas (Pearland)
No. 353 — Axiom Space
No. 462 — Liongard

When it comes to more traditional businesses, Dr. Pete Pisters, CEO of MD Anderson Cancer Center, continues his reign. He was named a top boss in 2021. Now, the cancer treatment facility/research center he leads has been named one of the best employers in a new report.

MD Anderson Cancer Center ranked No. 10 among the country’s best large employers in the country. Staffing some 22,000 employees, the world-renowned cancer center also landed at No. 25 in Forbes list of America's Best Employers in 2021.

Other Houston-area companies on the list include: Houston Methodist (No. 37), Waste Management (No. 245), Sysco (No. 314), Shell Oil (no. 361), Halliburton (No. 389), Schlumberger (No. 403), ExxonMobil (No. 440), and BP (No. 487).

Other Texas employers ranked among the best large employers in the U.S. are:

  • No. 10 — MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  • No. 37 — Houston Methodist, Houston
  • No. 38 — H-E-B, San Antonio
  • No. 135 — USAA, San Antonio
  • No. 140 — Keller Williams Realty, Austin
  • No. 143 — Dell Technologies, Round Rock
  • No. 214 — Texas Tech University, Lubbock
  • No. 245 — Waste Management, Houston
  • No. 279 — University of Texas at Austin
  • No. 314 — Sysco, Houston
  • No. 318 — Daikin Industries, Waller (North American operations hub for manufacturing, marketing, research, R&D, and customer support)
  • No. 324 — Whole Foods Market, Austin
  • No. 361 — Shell Oil, Houston
  • No. 389 — Halliburton, Houston
  • No. 403 — Schlumberger, Houston
  • No. 440 — ExxonMobil, Houston
  • No. 487 — BP, Houston (North American headquarters)

Elsewhere in Texas, Dallas reigns as the capital of Texas when it comes to the best big and small employers, according to Forbes, which put University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas at No. 9 among the country’s best large employers in the country and Dallas-based life insurance platform Bestow at No. 16 among the country’s best startup employers.

UT Southwestern isn’t the only Dallas-Fort Worth employer to pop up on the Forbes list of the best large employers. Richardson-based software company RealPage sits at No. 49; Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, No. 56; Plano-based Toyota North America, No. 253; Plano-based Cinemark, No. 370; Dallas-based Jacobs, No. 375; Dallas-based Topgolf, No. 394; Dallas-based Primoris Services, No. 399; Irving-based Fluor, No. 422; Dallas-based CBRE, No. 423; Irving-based McKesson, No. 429; Fort Worth-based American Airlines, No. 446; and Plano-based Keurig Dr Pepper, No. 483.

Dallas-based software company Slync.io, holding the No. 290 spot for best startups.

What follows are the other Texas employers ranked among the best startup employers in the country.

Austin

No. 104 — Apty
No. 121 — Homeward
No. 169 — SparkCognition
No. 186 — Outdoor Voices
No. 255 — Outdoorsy
No. 323 — ICON
No. 324 — The Zebra
No. 330 — TrustRadius
No. 335 — Innovetive Petcare (Cedar Park)
No. 387 — AlertMedia
No. 400 — Iris Telehealth
No. 410 — Wheel
No. 455 — Billd
No. 460 — Aceable
No. 470 — Shipwell

Forbes teamed up with data and research company Statista to develop the rankings of the best large employers and best startup employers.

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Building Houston

 
 

After working with thousands of interns, Allie Danziger of Ampersand Professionals says she's now got a product to upskill and train new hires for employers. Photo courtesy of Ampersand

After seeing success with her internship training and matchmaking platform, Allie Danziger, founder and CEO of Ampersand Professionals, has expanded the concept to include a new hire training service that allows employers to better optimize the onboarding process and have a well-trained new staff member from day one.

In just over a year, Ampersand has worked with over 7,000 professionals through its original concept of upskilling and matching young professionals to internship programs. A few months ago, Danziger and her team expanded to include career development training for students first entering the workforce with the City of Houston's Hire Houston Youth program. Danziger says it was developing out the platform for this program that proved there was a need for this type of training.

"While we have focused on matching professionals with businesses for paid internships, we recognized a further gap with employers that have their own recruiting/talent acquisition teams, or just their own preferred way of bringing on entry-level talent, and didn’t have a need for our matching platform," Danziger tells InnovationMap. "But, they recognized the benefit of our proven training platform that pre-vets and de-risks their hires, and still wanted access to the training for their own hires."

The new program has evolved from training interns to new hires, so parts of the program that focuses on interviewing or applying for a job have been removed. Instead, the 8.5 hours of training focuses on networking, best practices for working with a manager and team, performance reviews, common software training, and more.

Danziger says usually new hires need the most experienced mentor or manager, but they don't usually get that support — especially when it comes to businesses that don't have their own built-out mentorship or training program.

"Ampersand’s new training product fills that gap — it gives employers of any size any easy solution to provide basic job readiness training to employees, access to our team of dedicated coaches, and a detailed report at the end of their training summarizing how their new hire did in the training and any trends recognized and tips for managing this employee based on what the platform uncovered," she says. "Businesses can also sign up for additional coaching sessions and customize training materials, as an add-on if interested."

The program costs the employer $100 per new employee, and checkout online takes less than a minute. Through both this program and the original internship program, Ampersand is constantly evolving its training content.

"These professionals are going through the same training experience that we have proven out over the last year, and we are constantly adding to based on data we see in the user experience," Danziger says.

Danziger recently joined the Houston Innovators Podcast discuss some of the benchmarks she's met with Ampersand, as well as the importance of investing in Gen Z hires. Listen to that episode below.


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