When we first sat down six months ago to plan our debut of Great Companies To Work For, it seemed like a reasonably straightforward project. We’d work with academic types to create a formula by which we could analyze data presented to us by companies that applied for appearance in the special report, and subsequently reveal our findings.
Early on in the process, though, we discovered that the complexity and diversity of Oklahoma’s economy defied mathematical analysis. We found that based on statistical analysis, any such special report would end up showcasing only a handful of industries and present a weighted, inaccurate portrayal.
We found out many other things too, as we threw out a broader net and began consulting with business leaders across the state and researching surveys and reports. We found that you simply can’t compare apples and oranges. How does one evaluate employers in fields undergoing epic, unprecedented change (medicine)? How does one compare industries with atypical company structures (law firms), those that require the participation of different types of companies to achieve a shared goal (construction), or those that perform highly specialized services (employment firms)? Even though the special report was intended to focus exclusively on the private sector, how does one present an accurate portrayal of the state of employment in Oklahoma without discussing its public university employers and employment in the state’s great sovereign nations? How does one accurately represent the great employers in the energy sector without letting other types of companies slide from notice?
What we found is that there is no clear definition of what makes an employer a great company to work for. In fact, that question is addressed specifically in the pages ahead. However, we know one when we see one. Or, in our case, we know one when it comes recommended from expert sources, and subsequent research supports the nomination.
That’s what else you will find in this report – scores of great companies to work for, revealed in a number of articles that examine the impact of some sectors on the state’s economy, others that discuss how great companies in some sectors are structured or how they compete to recruit and retain top talent, and more.
In the end, Oklahoma Magazine is proud to present a nuanced portrait of the state of employment in Oklahoma, as seen through the perspectives of numerous great companies to work for.
– the Editors