Washington, D.C.: Top Ranked Employer Brands by Job Seekers

Knowledge workers share the most appealing companies to work for


Hiring strategies for your city

It’s true: companies are only as successful as their people. And in order to attract the best and brightest, today’s innovative companies need a strong employer brand. A positive brand reputation can mean the difference between a company maintaining an all-star team and consistently losing dream candidates to a competitor.

  • Insight 1

    47% of candidates would not want to work for an organization if they were not interested in their company mission

  • Insight 2

    71% of tech workers are interested in working 100% remotely

  • Insight 3

    32% of candidates consider benefits beyond salary one of the most important factors when job searching

Emerging Trends in Employer Branding

How to invest your resources in 2020

Local Leaders in Washington, D.C.

Top 20 Employer Brands

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  1. NPR
  2. Capital One
  3. The Washington Post
  4. Marriott
  5. PBS
  6. Booz Allen Hamilton
  7. Rosetta Stone
  8. ThinkGeek
  9. Lockheed Martin
  10. Blackboard
  11. Applied Predictive Technologies
  12. MicroStrategy
  13. Geico
  14. CARFAX
  15. CAVA
  16. Custom Ink
  17. Cvent
  18. Bain and Company
  19. K12
  20. Ntrepid

Read full insights: Brand Health Report

Getting to know knowledge workers in Washington, D.C.

What talent looks for in a company
  1. Compensation (i.e. base salary)
  2. Company culture
  3. Opportunity to learn new skills
What turns talent off from a company
  1. Not interested in the mission
  2. Not interested in the product
  3. Not knowing enough about the company

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Wage Gap: Pay Trends in Washington, D.C.

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Distribution of the Wage Gap

60% of the time men are offered higher salaries than women for the same job at the same company and companies offer women 3% less on average than men for the same roles.

Frequence of roles Wage Gap
  • Job offers made to women that were less than job offers made to men
  • Job offers made to women that more or equal less than job offers made to men

Wage Gap in Washington, D.C.

Women in D.C. ask for ten percent less on average than their male counterparts; they are offered nine percent less on average by companies.

  • Expectation Gap
  • Wage Gap

Read full insights: Wage inequality Report

Knowledge is power

Strategies to ensure you're paid fairly

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Strategies for equitable tech hiring

How companies can battle wage inequality

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Bianca McCann VP of HR


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“Hired has been helpful in speeding up the process. The only thing that slows our team down is the speed with which we can put candidates through the process on our side. We’ve got down to about 35 days to hire, from first engagement to acceptance—and we’re hiring for the hardest-to-fill roles with the hardest-to-find skills.”
Graham King Global Head of Talent Acquisition and Enterprise Technologies
“In my experience, Hired is the only tool on the market that provides you a pool of warm candidates that are looking currently, and makes it easy to connect with them. From a sourcing perspective, knowing a candidate is looking is invaluable.”
Mike Moriarty Head of Global Staffing


Washington, D.C Salary Trends for Software Engineers

Home to hundreds of startups, Washington D.C continues to cement its status as one of the leading tech hubs for the East Coast. Following a dip between 2015 and 2016, the average paycheck for tech workers in D.C has been on a steady rise. Income levels grew by 6.4% between 2016 and 2017 followed by a 6% year-to-year growth in the subsequent year. Overall, by 2018, the average salary had grown by 12.8% across a 24-months stretch. Product managers, data scientists, product designers, and software engineers earned an average of $123,000 in 2018, more than the median household income in the capital, which stood at $82,372 and nearly twice the national median household income ($63,179). While salaries were still a major element in job decisions, local tech workers were motivated by other factors. When asked, seven out of 10 workers expressed a willingness to work 100% remotely. Four out of 10 workers would not want to work for a company with an unappealing company mission, while 3 out of 10 candidates preferred to work for companies that offered additional benefits beyond salary.

Top Brands Hiring Software Engineers in Washington, D.C

Asked to choose the company they would like to work for the most, local job seekers voted the non-profit media organization, NPR as the most appealing brand. Working with Capital One ranked second, while another media company, the Washington Post, was voted third. Marriot ranked fourth ahead of PBS, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the education software company, Rosetta Stone. American retailer, ThinkGeek ranked eight followed by the aerospace and defense company, Lockheed Martin. Rounding out the top 10, candidates picked Blackboard Inc, an educational tech company headquartered in D.C. Applied Predictive Technologies was ranked 11th, followed by the business intelligence company, MicroStrategy. Also included in the top 15 were the companies, Geico, CARFAX and CAVA. Custom Ink ranked 16th ahead of Cvent and Bain and Company. And closing out the top-20 leaderboard, candidates picked the employers, K12, a for-profit education company, and Ntrepid, a tech cybersecurity company. Candidates based their decision on multiple factors, such as the offered salary and the growth opportunity available with each company. Workers were also more motivated to work for companies with positive cultures and less likely to accept offers from companies with a weak mission or poor reputation.

Most In-Demand Software Engineering Skills in Washington, D.C

Many of the jobs in D.C call for software developers capable of working with front end and back end applications. In 2018, full-stack engineers were the most in-demand in Washington, topping the list of trending jobs for the year. Employers also searched for local talent capable of filling roles that called for a front end engineer or backend engineer. Given the increasing importance of data, data engineers were unsurprisingly in high demand, as employers turned to skilled engineers, capable of developing, testing and maintaining data infrastructure. Mobile engineers also recorded a huge upswing across almost all the sectors, as more companies implemented mobile solutions to increase their productivity and market penetration. Certain skills were more in demand than others. Software developers with proven experience in TypeScript were in high demand. Many front-end positions called for developers capable of working with HTML and Javascript. Companies showed a preference for Javascript developers with proven experience working with JavasScript frameworks and libraries. In a similar vein, many backend engineering positions required software developers capable of writing skilled codes with PHP. Employers also searched for software developers skilled in Python, one of the fastest-growing programming languages.

Washington, D.C Pay Gap Trends

Like most major tech hubs across the county, the wage gap in Washington D.C has narrowed over the years. Employers in the city not only interviewed more female tech workers, compared to the previous decade, they also offered women more. Data shows that 40% of the time, women were offered equal or higher salaries than men for the same job at the same company.* Unfortunately, despite the improvement in wage equality, women are still asking for less. Women in DC asked for 10% less on average compared to male tech workers in the same company. Major strides have been recorded across the industry, which is likely to help narrow the gap. A large percentage of male and female tech workers recognize that there is an existing wage gap and more companies are championing diversity programs. And with more women entering the candidate pool, the wage gap is likely to narrow even further.

*Tech workers can help close the gap by referencing high-quality salary data to know their worth and ask for it.