What You Should Know
Employees say Ultimate Software has effectively built its workplace around their well-being. There are Vitamix blenders for fresh smoothies in every office, the health insurance is free and the company frequently sends its teams to tropical locales to recognize accomplishments. These, and a laundry list of other perks, help create a culture that's welcoming and friendly, where team members are deeply proud of their work and their company. People chip in and go the extra mile here, but are also encouraged to balance work and home. Ultimate Software continues to expand, so some employees note that a few growing pains are to be expected. Says one team member: "The employee morale is high and infectious because of our great culture. You want to give as much as you can because you are treated so well."
WHAT THEY DO
Ultimate Software supplies customers with UltiPro, a cloud-based human resources solution. The software helps streamline recruiting, onboarding, benefits management, payroll processing and a range of other tasks.
| Website: www.ultimatesoftware.com
|| US Headquarters: WESTON, Florida
| US Sites: 23
|| Major Locations: WESTON, FL; ATLANTA, GA; NEWPORT BEACH, CA
|Stock Symbol: ULTI
|| US Employees: 2,238
| US revenues: $400.12 million
|| Worldwide revenues: $410.4 million
| Employees worldwide: 2,286
|| Founded: 1990
| Industry: Information Technology
How much responsibility would I have? What kind of support is there for professional development?
Great Rated! conducted an anonymous survey of randomly selected employees to assess the quality of the workplace challenges the company provides. At Ultimate Software, 90 percent of employees report the company often or almost always provides needed training, fair promotions and personally challenging work. Another 7 percent report the company sometimes provides these opportunities, for a combined positive rating from 97 percent of employees in the Great Challenges category.
Ultimate Software employees help their customers use technology to manage human capital processes like recruiting, payroll and benefits administration. The company has approximately 2,238 employees in the United States, where they operate 23 locations.
Almost all employees (96 percent) say they carry a lot of responsibility in the organization, and nearly as many (94 percent) also say that managers trust them to carry out these responsibilities without micromanaging them. For a large majority of employees (91 percent), their work at Ultimate Software is more than just a job: The chance to be part of a growing, team-focused technology company is especially fulfilling.
At Ultimate Software, 89 percent of employees feel they receive the training and development they need to further their careers. While it is often difficult for companies to ensure that promotions are awarded fairly across organizations, at Ultimate Software, 85 percent say that promotions consistently go to those who best deserve them, exceeding what one can typically expect even at the very best companies in the country.
Supporting Employee Development
- College Tuition Reimbursement: $5,250
- Average annual training for part-time hourly employees: 16 hours
- Average annual training for full-time salaried employees: 25 hours
- Ultimate Software provides new customer-facing employees with a 17-week Rising Stars onboarding program that involves mentoring, skits, job shadowing and skills assessments.
- Existing employees routinely take job-related courses and can make use of online training courses on management, Ultimate's products, and other functional areas as often as they like.
- All managers are given leadership training, typically led by the company's COO.
I just celebrated my seven-year anniversary with Ultimate Software. Prior to Ultimate, my longest tenure with any organization was less than three years. I'm staying because I'm constantly finding new opportunities to be challenged and grow.
What would my colleagues be like? How do people have fun? How formal a workplace is it?
At Ultimate Software, 94 percent of employees say they often or almost always enjoy their colleagues and find their workplace to be fun and cooperative. Another 4 percent sometimes benefits from these qualities, for a combined positive rating from 98 percent of employees in the Great Atmosphere category.
Ultimate Software's offices feature multiple "chill rooms” for people to use as alternative workspaces. Employees can also clear their heads at work by playing air hockey, foosball, darts, Wii games and basketball.
Fun and Celebrations
- People at Ultimate Software have a great time together, not just during frequent in-office get-togethers, but also on celebratory trips. Customer support team members, for example, often mark the end of tax season with a journey to Orlando, Fla., with their families, visiting places like Universal Studios or Disney World. The sales team traditionally celebrates the end of the sales year by going to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Employees also enjoy picnics, birthday parties, holiday celebrations and a Customer Service Week, complete with themed events, free meals and employee competitions.
Caring and Support
- Ultimate Software typically matches employee donations to colleagues in need. For funerals, teams send flowers and food and often attend memorial services together. In other cases, people will step in to help cover work hours that a colleague might need off, or will send notes of support.
People celebrate special events around here.
I like it because it is a relaxed but professional atmosphere. It is not stiff, as a lot of corporations may be. You feel good coming to work.
What kind of perks and benefits are part of the employment package? What is the work-life balance like? Does the company appreciate hard work?
At Ultimate Software, 93 percent of employees often or almost always find the company compensates them fairly, provides special and unique benefits, supports their work-life balance and shows genuine appreciation for their contributions. Another 5 percent reports they sometimes receive these benefits as well, for a combined positive rating from 98 percent of employees in the Great Rewards category.
I love the fully paid health care benefits, the 401K program, the yearly company trip, along with the countless breakfasts, lunches, etc. that are also company-paid. The best part of working for Ultimate are the intangibles – I'm respected, valued, rewarded, and I genuinely enjoy my job and co-workers. This is undoubtedly the best job I've ever had, and I'm so grateful to be here.
COMPENSATION BY THE NUMBERS
| $61,000 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Tax Analyst
|| $60,000 Average salary and additional cash compensation for Support Services
| 100% Company-paid health coverage for employees
|| 100% Company-paid health coverage for dependents
PERKS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER
- Free snacks during the day
- Free lunches on a regular basis
- Free breakfasts on a regular basis
- Onsite package/mailing service
- Discount ticket sales
- Car wash
- Convenience store
- Free beverages during the day
- Subsidized lunch on a regular, daily basis
- Take-home meals on a regular, daily basis
- Massage therapy
- Fitness classes
- Weight Watchers meetings
- Personal travel service
WORK-LIFE BALANCE BY THE NUMBERS
| 22 days Holidays & vacation days after one year of employment
|| 40 days Job protected maternity leave provided above and beyond FMLA
| 42 days Paid leave for adoptive parents
WORK-LIFE BALANCE PROGRAMS
- Telecommute option (50% use it)
- Elder care resources
- Compressed workweeks (5% use it)
- Lactation rooms
I am able to take time off from work when I think it's necessary.
People are encouraged to balance their work life and their personal life.
As an employee who travels a fair amount, I'm encouraged to balance work with my personal life as needed. I can choose when I leave, when I return, how I get there and where I stay. Having worked in similar roles with other organizations, for me this is unique. I'm treated as a professional who always has the company's best interests in mind. I'm not tethered to rules that attempt to 'force' this behavior. It's hard to cite something specific. The overall environment is focused on being something great to be a part of – whether you're an employee or a client.
HEALTH INSURANCE COVERS
- Dental care
- Prescription drug subsidy
- Alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, homeopathy or chiropractic
- Vision care
- Mental health care
ONSITE HEALTH BENEFITS
- Cholesterol tests
- Flu shots
What inspires employees' company spirit here? Do people stand by their teams' work? What impact do people have outside the organization?
At Ultimate Software, 94 percent of employees report that they often or almost always carry meaningful responsibilities within the organization and are proud of their accomplishments, community impact and the company's reputation in the world. Another 4 percent report that they sometimes experience this pride as well, for a combined positive rating from 98 percent of employees in the Great Pride category.
This growing technology provider aims to simplify its customers' work lives. The company achieved a compound annual growth rate of 29 percent from 2002 to 2013.
I'm proud to tell others I work here.
The people who work here – everyone that I have met so far – seem genuinely proud to work here. I mean, they are enthusiastically proud. I have never seen it like that before.
Supporting the Community
- Philanthropic donations in the last year: $909,000
- Ultimate Software often matches associates' charitable donations dollar for dollar on fundraising efforts. Its employees work with Habitat for Humanity each year and participate in the Wounded Warrior Project. Ultimate Software team members also collect canned goods at Thanksgiving and have raised money for nonprofits with dunk tanks, pie tosses and other carnival-type games.
I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.
We are encouraged to volunteer and give back and contribute to great causes big and small. We can take time off of work to volunteer. We are encouraged to find causes that everyone as a whole can help out. The company goes as far as matching employee donations to provide an even more significant contribution. It's so heartwarming and gives such a sense of pride to know that I work for a company that's willing to give back to the community and those that are less fortunate as much as possible.
How easy is it to talk with managers and get the information I need? Will managers listen to my input?
At Ultimate Software, 88 percent of employees say they often or almost always experience a free and transparent exchange of ideas and information within the organization. Another 9 percent sometimes has this experience as well, for a combined positive rating from 97 percent of employees in the Great Communication category.
Despite being spread out across nearly two dozen locations, Ultimate Software employees broadly describe their leadership as accessible and effective in communicating company goals. Ninety-one percent of team members agree that managers are approachable and easy to talk with. To that end, 88 percent feel they can ask management any reasonable question and get a straight answer. Just as many say managers genuinely want to hear employees' suggestions and ideas. While 88 percent of employees say company leaders keep people informed about important issues and changes, nearly as many (87 percent) say managers make their expectations clear.
Ultimate Software's extensive communication: It's a wonderful feeling to represent our company in a professional, effective and efficient manner. Timely updates on internal processes, external changes, new developments and company direction empower us to always put our best foot forward and obtain maximum results. I once received a call from a customer frustrated due to a technical issue that just occurred. As I was listening to the customer, I received an internal notification with details of the issue, options that can be taken, approximate resolution time and notice that communication was going out to customer base. Because of the knowledge I had of the issue, I was able to assist the customer accordingly and turn the frustration into a positive encounter.
What are managers' leadership strengths?
At Ultimate Software, 88 percent of employees say their managers often or almost always act with integrity and care, are competent in their positions and provide clear directions and vision for the organization. Another 8 percent say their managers sometimes display these characteristics, for a combined positive rating from 96 percent of employees in the Great Bosses category.
Ultimate Software employees widely appreciate the friendly, caring atmosphere and pride their leaders encourage at the company. A large majority also describe their bosses as accessible, reliable and skilled. Nine out of 10 say managers deliver on their promises, and almost as many say management's actions matches its words. Ninety-one percent say managers show a sincere interest in them as people, not just staff members, while 96 percent say they believe the company's leadership would only lay people off as a last resort. Almost as many employees (95 percent) say managers are honest and ethical in their business practices. At the same time, employees generally express a great deal of confidence in their leadership's business sense. More than nine out of 10 say managers are competent at running the company, and 88 percent say managers have a clear view of where Ultimate Software is headed and how to take it there. Equally as many employees say managers do a good job of assigning and coordinating people.
Management always makes sure that the employees know that they are considered family and important to the culture and success of the business. They never waver from this in the slightest. They are always looking to add benefits for the employees, even at the expense of profits to the company.
Great Perks and Programs
- Internships: College students, recent graduates and people who want to join Ultimate Software at a time when the company doesn't have an open full-time position can take advantage of the TechSTARS internship program to gain valuable experience. They are assigned mentors and work closely with Ultimate Software's full-time engineers on small teams. Among their many social perks, interns have been treated to box seats for Florida Marlins baseball games.
- Walk in Your Shoes: Launched in 2014, this program encourages transparency. Members of different departments gain cross-functional experiences by switching roles and responsibilities with each other for a day.
- Game On: Ultimate Software offices are equipped with air hockey, foosball tables, darts, Wii games, Nerf basketball and TVs that employees are welcome to use during breaks.
- Wellness Coach: Ultimate Software employs a full-time wellness coach who organizes classes on healthy eating, exercise, stress reduction and more. Many courses are web cast to all Ultimate Software offices, and the coach makes frequent trips to each location to work with employees in person.
- Free Food: Catered buffets frequently accompany lunch and breakfast meetings, and the company has been known to feed its team members paella and other culinary treats to celebrate successes. An ice cream truck comes around periodically, free of charge, and employees can always make themselves a healthy smoothie using top-of-the-line Vitamix juicers at each office.
Great Rated! collected feedback from Ultimate Software employees via an anonymous survey. Following are common reasons employees said they appreciate their workplace.
"This company truly takes care of the employees and works hard to make a real difference in the community. This is unlike any other company I have worked for in my professional career."
"The willingness of people always trying to help each other out is unique/unusual. There has not been a day that I have felt I would not get help from my team, no matter how busy they are with their own work they will take a few minutes and try to help you out or give you a resource that would be able to help. It makes such a difference when you are able to feel comfortable with your team; it makes coming to work something I enjoy doing."
"The executive level leadership team is beyond compare. This group of people makes me feel valued and cared for. I have worked at only a few other companies, but I can't imagine ever finding another place that would make me feel this way (and I used to work at my church)."
"The higher-ups make an effort to get to know you. There have been training events, and at our new-hire orientation everyone from the CEO to his direct reports make an effort to introduce themselves to you, and they do remember you."
"We truly put people first. The mindset of 'people first' extends beyond us. Not only are our families recognized, we also consider local charities, along with worldwide events. Regardless if the situation pertains to a milestone, birthday, a promotion, a charity, an earthquake or a hurricane, you are recognized as a person. That is the definition of family – always there for you throughout the good times and the bad times."
"When I come into work I never dread it. Every day is a challenge, but we are able to conquer these challenges with people who work well together. We treat each other like we are all clients, which in the end helps our clients."
"We work hard, but I feel like it is truly appreciated. For example, one Friday our VP walked around and gave people Starbucks gift cards, just to thank us for what we do. We also have employee outings this summer. Ultimate is taking everyone in our office (and their families!) to a baseball game. They are also taking us to a concert. There is also a family picnic planned for later this year."
"This is a company where everyone works together and supports each other. In other places I've worked, when there is an issue, management will look for where they can place blame instead of working to support and resolve the situation. At Ultimate, when there is an issue, everyone steps up together to determine the best steps for resolution."
"The health benefits by far are the most I have ever seen from any company. And I am not talking about the health care plans, I am talking about the information they provide. Having a wellness coach on staff, being able to do yoga twice a week right here and even the ability to schedule a massage as needed. While they feed you on one end, often to celebrate birthdays and special occassions, they then help you lose the weight and get back to the reality of lifestyle choices. It is funny!"
"The people and management are so personable and professional. We are all a team and work as one. You don't find such a diverse group of people that get along so well. It truly is a people-first company. They include your entire family in the hiring process. You get a personalized greeting card sent to your family welcoming them to our Ulti Family. We just started Ultimate’s first Community of Interest, PRIDE US, founded in May of 2014 for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and ally (LGBTQIA) team members. Our group currently holds six committee members and dozens of allies. Our mission is for our LGBTQIA UltiPeeps to feel safe, welcome and comfortable bringing their whole selves to work while volunteering to help make the world a better place for everyone."
"There is a great deal of diversity at Ultimate and diversity is cherished. The company gives us the tools needed to do our jobs and the flexibility to do it in our time frame. They trust us to get the job done."
"Ultimate Software provides opportunities for me to find new and innovative ways to do my job. The company provides me with tools that I need to complete my duties, but also recognizes that there may be other technology or tools that will assist me in my job, specifically as a virtual and traveling employee. The company often provides an allowance for me to purchase new technology of my choosing to allow me to conduct business."
How to Get Hired
We asked Ultimate Software for some inside information on how to get hired at the organization. Here is what they had to say.
What key characteristics tell you a prospective employee will be a great fit for your company?
People who seek work at Ultimate Software are typically people who want a challenging work experience and a culture of innovation that includes a healthy respect for individuality, diversity and family. We are looking to hire people who have an inner fire and strong moral compass, in addition to verifiable competencies. We evaluate candidates on the characteristics that fall into these three buckets:
Competencies: proven track record of high performance
Drive: self-motivation and passion
Values: team-player attitude with a “do-the-right-thing” ethic
We believe that we have exceptionally talented and committed people at Ultimate, and we always are interested in hiring people who believe they are the “best of the best” in every way, especially in the categories above. At Ultimate, new hires learn from their highly skilled, generous co-workers and from the many growth opportunities offered. We look forward to hearing from you.
What can prospective employees do to get your attention?
An important thing for prospective candidates to do to get the attention of our recruiters is to find ways to show your specific skill sets, experience and personality. Go to our website. Find us on LinkedIn or other social sites to develop a relationship with our people. If you are submitting a résumé through our electronic system, be sure to list as many accomplishments and facts that show your skill sets as possible. Another tip is to be persistent. One person, who is an Ultimate employee now, tried for three different positions in succession. She kept watching our job postings and trying again. Another person sent her résumé and followed up every few months with our people by email. After a year and a half, she carried a folder of her work along with a hard copy of her résumé to our receptionist’s desk. She is now an Ultimate director.
Are there any unusual or especially rigorous steps of your hiring process that candidates should be aware of?
At Ultimate Software, our various departments have different processes in place for screening people. In engineering, for example, we hold engineering competitions to identify outstanding programmers. When potential candidates have been identified from this and other recruiting channels, they come to visit us, interview with our talent people, hiring manager and other engineers. Typically, they are asked to take job-appropriate tests. In services, potential candidates take analytical and cultural assessments to determine if they are a fit for our service roles, and then go through a 16-week training process. Other departments have similar processes.
Are there any positions or types of candidates you are particularly focused on hiring in this coming year?
We are nearly always looking for exceptionally gifted software and test engineers, and we typically have a variety of customer-facing service roles open.
What should interested candidates do to find out more and get started?
Go to our website to learn about our company: www.ultimatesoftware.com. For more specific information about careers at Ultimate Software, visit: http://www.ultimatesoftware.com/About-Us-Careers. To learn about Ultimate Software’s engineering careers (called product development) or internships (called TechSTARS), view some videos. For test engineering: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgbLrTk_4BE. For software engineering: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy5l8lWJbqQ. For engineering internships: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWhqteSRqzk&feature=youtube.
||2%Total voluntary turnover in past year
|19025Applicants in past year
||47%New hires by employee referrals