Best Companies like the Scooter Store and DreamWorks notched some impressive job growth last year and are showing no signs of slowing down.
1. Scooter Store
The Scooter Store
Job growth: 51%
U.S. employees: 2,173
2010 Best Companies rank: 38
Not to be confused with those zippy little rides for kids, the Scooter Store specializes in medical power chairs for seniors — and is no fad. The company notched some impressive job growth last year thanks to the aging baby boomer population and a strategic marketing shift.
Instead of relying on television advertisements, the Scooter Store bulked up its sales force to court doctors and assisted living facilities directly, with much success. New positions have also opened up for those who provide delivery, service and administrative support across the country.
Although Executive Vice President Mike Pfister doesn’t anticipate the same level of growth that the company experienced last year, he estimates it will remain in the double digits. “We try to provide an alternative for going to a nursing home,” he said, and “people believe in our ideology.”
2. Brocade Communications Systems
Job growth: 39%
U.S. employees: 2,873
2010 Best Companies rank: 61
After the acquisition of Foundry Networks at the end of 2008, the Silicon Valley equipment supplier focused its energy on hardware and software development, which meant adding more technical jobs, mostly overseas.
This year, the company is focusing its hiring primarily on sales and customer support positions worldwide. “We’ll probably grow about 20% to 30%,” estimates Lisa McGill, vice president of human resources. Many new opportunities will be concentrated at the company’s offices in Plymouth Minnesota and Broomfield Colorado as well as the research and development center in Bangalore, India.
Job growth: 22%
U.S. employees: 2,409
2010 Best Companies rank: 27
Last year the online investing firm opened 58 branch offices across the country and has plans to open a little more than 60 in the year ahead, which means more staff in the offices and at the company’s corporate headquarters in St Louis.
Plans are also in the works for a new business operations center in Denver, which will fuel more job growth going forward. “We currently have 230 job openings, not including the Denver openings which have not been posted yet,” according to Kelly Doria, a spokeswoman for the company.
Available positions are mostly concentrated in information technology, including developers, network engineers, infrastructure specialists and computer operations specialists but there are also openings for managers and stock brokers at the new office sites.
Job growth: 21%
U.S. employees: 2,361
2010 Best Companies rank: 43
Salesforce.com, which makes software to help companies manage customer relations, has thrived thanks to two hot sellers: Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. The latter, geared for call centers, is the company’s core product and its fastest growing. A key selling point is that Salesforce’s software integrates with Twitter and other social media channels, “taking the old service model and bringing it into the 21st century,” said a company spokesman.
CEO Marc Benioff says the company is hiring more sales people worldwide to meet increased demand and is expecting growth to continue in the year ahead because of overall improvement in the information technology environment.
5. Chesapeake Energy
Job growth: 20%
U.S. employees: 7,720
2010 Best Companies rank: 34
Increased activity at one of the company’s most promising projects, the Marcellus Shale, has uncovered new job opportunities for engineers, superintendants, foremen and field laborers as well as supporting positions in human resources, accounting and information technology. Currently there are over 420 positions still open companywide, which means hiring is showing no signs of slowing.
“We expect job growth to exceed last year,” said Kip Welch, the director of recruiting. “We could as much as double the job growth from last year if we continue hiring people at the rate we are today,” he added.
6. Scripps Health
Job growth: 15%
U.S. employees: 11,444
2010 Best Companies rank: 40
The San Diego-based hospital system has been growing its workforce consistently over the last few years as the industry overall has flourished along with Scripps itself, thanks to cutting edge programs like robotics surgery and human genetics research.
Scripps currently has about 400 positions open for registered nurses, imaging techs, laboratory and pharmacy staff as well as clerical and support staff. As a large corporation with expanding businesses, Scripps is also recruiting managers and professionals in accounting, finance, information technology, human resources, compliance, biomedical and quality assurance.