Feel like you need to give your creative muscles a good stretch?
Look no further, because these 27 companies all see the value in giving their employees room to push the boundaries and try things a little differently. They’re never content with the status quo, and encourage team members to think big and then pursue those ideas.
If this sounds like just what you’ve been looking for, your luck doesn’t end there. Every single one of these innovative companies is hiring right now. So, polish up that resume of yours and prepare to get your creative juices flowing.
1. Taco Bell
Offering customizable tacos, burritos, and other craveable choices, Taco Bell is the nation’s leading Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant brand. From breakfast to late night, Taco Bell’s tasty and ever-evolving menu provides options to fit every lifestyle. However, Taco Bell is about more than just building restaurants—the brand connects with its fans through sports, gaming, and new music, and serves the community through its 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Taco Bell Foundation.
The Taco Bell office is packed with creative people who are passionate about building great restaurants, delighting customers, and connecting with fans through all sorts of initiatives. Another thing that encourages out-of-the-box thinking? Taco Bell’s emphasis on learning and growth, including tuition reimbursement and several scholarship opportunities for higher education.
Lever builds powerful, modern recruiting software for teams to source, interview, and hire top talent. By making recruiting collaborative, seamless, and, above all, human, Lever is on a mission to help the world hire with conviction.
Lever aims to build upon technology that’s already been rolled out by holding quarterly planning sessions. What may sound like stuffy meetings is actually a highly anticipated event that allows internal teams to see the effects of past projects and to pitch new ideas. The goal is to use these ideas to design differentiating features.
Founded in 1991 by three graduates of UCLA, Blizzard Entertainment has evolved over the years to become one of the most recognizable and respected names in gaming. With over 4,700 employees worldwide, Blizzard continues to redefine the industry—from pioneering e-sports and improving AAA franchises to creating all-new titles for players of all interests.
Just one look at the artwork-covered walls of the Blizzard Entertainment office, and you know this is a company that values creativity. The company encourages employees to push the boundaries of their imaginations through various innovative learning opportunities. “Blizzard offers excellent, evolving, and enriching opportunities for professional development and learning—from our Academy of focused coursework to our Slash-learn speaker sessions, featuring famous authors and artists,” says Ely Cannon, Lead Environment Artist, WoW.
HP aims to create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. By engineering experiences that amaze, HP has a legacy of pushing the boundaries of technology to deliver life-enriching, world-changing innovations at every turn. The company believes that the ultimate driver of its success has been and will always be the power of its people—HP considers its diverse, inclusive global community of employees to be one of its greatest strengths and what truly differentiates it in the marketplace.
HP is innovative all around. Need an example? Just look at the company’s Boise office. There’s a designated area—Makerspace—where employees are given tools, technologies, and supplies to tinker, invent, and collaborate. The campus also has an annual "Bring Your Inventor to Work Day," which invites the children of employees to campus to participate in a full day of interactive events led, hosted, and staffed by employee volunteers.
Launched in 2014, Slack is the fastest-growing business application in history. Millions of people around the world use Slack to connect their teams, unify their systems, and drive their business forward. From Fortune 100 companies to corner markets, Slack helps people communicate better.
According to employees, one of the attributes they enjoy most while working at Slack is the reality that all ideas receive equal consideration and appreciation across the team. Individuals are respectfully recognized for their contributions and everyone works together toward the common goal of making the company a better place and creating the best products possible.
Keller Williams Realty tops the list when it comes to size—and ingenuity—since the company is the largest real estate franchise by agent count; uses an agent-centric, education-based approach to doing business; and is creating the real estate technology platform of choice for agents and consumers. Behind that army of talented agents is a corporate team committed to culture and dedicated to adding value to their associates.
The company’s name is telling of its industry—but not its potential. KWRI’s headquarters employs a diverse group of strategists, innovators, storytellers, and technologists who help transform the way agents market, sell, and interact with buyers and sellers. An on-site learning center and extensive Career Visioning program support the company’s emphasis on teamwork while allowing individuals with all backgrounds to explore and grow.
IVY: The Social University is a national community of entrepreneurs, innovative leaders, policy-makers, creatives, and rising leaders. IVY sparks world-changing collaborations through more than 1,000 annual events and experiences featuring leading minds in entrepreneurship, art, policy, and social impact. Over the past four years, the audience has grown to 250,000 inspiring followers in New York, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and Miami. IVY unites rising leaders and introduces them to the most transformative people, ideas, and experiences in the world. The mission? To start a 21st-century renaissance promoting human unity, progress, and fulfillment. To learn more, visit IVY.com.
If you could only choose one thing that IVY members are passionate about, it’s creating a better world. Employees have the chance to meet and form friendships with amazing people—an invaluable opportunity to gain exposure to and help build diverse projects from the ground up. IVY Members’ projects range from YouTube stardom to coffee entrepreneurship to work advancing the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery.
PGAV Destinations designs attractions, exhibits, and experiences that enrich lives. Using intuition, intellect, and imagination, PGAV Destinations help clients create enduring memories in the minds of their guests. PGAV is recognized as the leading master planner and designer of theme parks, zoos, museums, aquariums, heritages sites, destination retail, and brand-based celebrations.
PGAV Destinations believes that exceptional destinations can only be made by people who possess that rare and unforgettable blend of creativity, professionalism, and vision. The staff is comprised of over 100 full-time artists¸ architects, storytellers, business strategists, designers, interpreters, and planners who seamlessly integrate their work to provide unique, exciting, and innovative experiences for clients.
In 1944, TAMKO began creating shingles in a small streetcar barn. Today, the company is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of residential and commercial roof and deck construction materials—with facilities all across the country. A family-run company from the very start, TAMKO commits itself to continued and consistent quality, as well as long-standing customer and vendor relationships.
Learn more about how TAMKO recognizes the contributions of U.S. veterans.
TAMKO knows that micromanagement only squelches the creative process. That’s why this company’s leadership is all about setting goals, eliminating any roadblocks to success, and then letting employees reach those goals in their own ways. Although mentors are available for support throughout the process, they know that when people are free to work on their own terms, the skills they were hired for are allowed to shine through.
Integrative Nutrition is the largest nutrition school in the world—and the only school that explores more than 100 different dietary theories. Through its innovative online learning platform, Integrative Nutrition has provided a global learning experience for nearly 100,000 students and graduates in over 120 countries worldwide. Integrative Nutrition is on a mission to improve health and happiness, and through that process, to create a ripple effect that transforms the world.
All of Integrative Nutrition’s perks, benefits, and parties reflect what it means to live a healthy and balanced life, with food, physical activity, career growth, and work-life balance. Positivity, loving the job, and learning new ways to do things are just some of the team’s core values—and very much a part of the culture.
Addteq has been a leader of providing business solutions to enterprise clients for more than 10 years. Through the use of DevOps automation, Addteq strives to create innovative solutions to solve business processes. Clients depend on Addteq to provide Atlassian solutions, create custom add-ons, conduct training, offer hosting and staffing, perform DevOps services, and provide overall support services.
At Addteq, employees enjoy a casual relationship with their managers. The company strongly believes in the "work hard, play hard" philosophy—managers push for creative leadership while giving encouragement and support for employees' ideas. In return, employees find Addteq to be a laid back environment that builds on the ideas of its employees.
Founded in 1998 as a bobblehead company, Funko has grown exponentially over the years, both in mission and in capability, to become the creator of the most ubiquitous and instantly recognizable Pop! collectibles for the most iconic characters from popular culture. With extensive licenses coupled with a massive distribution network, Funko’s future is only getting better.
If it ain’t fun, it ain’t Funko. It’s this mentality that helps the brand inspire enthusiastic loyalty in both its fans and its employees. The culture is one of creativity and freedom, where employees are genuinely tight-knit and passionate about their work. Funko’s the kind of company that attracts employees who choose to stay and grow.
Convene operates a network of full-service, tech-enabled meeting, event, and flexible work spaces. Convene has locations in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., with plans to expand globally. The company has been named as one of America’s 100 Most Promising Companies by Forbes, one of LinkedIn’s Most In-Demand Startups, one of America’s fastest growing companies by Inc. Magazine, and the #11 Best Workplace in New York by Fortune Magazine.
At Convene, leadership makes it a priority to hire on-point individuals who are self-starting, independent thinkers who know how to keep clients happy and get things done. By building a team of stellar employees, the company frees itself up to focus on more important issues than constant micromanagement, and affords everyone in the organization ownership over their own work.
CarGurus believes a transparent car shopping experience is better for shoppers and sellers alike, and more than 20 million unique monthly visitors to the site and mobile app agree. Headquartered outside Boston, CarGurus blends the feel of a startup with proven business acumen and sustainable growth. The team’s passion for data drives new product development and engineering breakthroughs.
Many employees consider the management style of CarGurus a breath of fresh air because it falls outside of the typical “corporate” mold. It’s supportive, readily available, and hands-on. Senior management is open and accessible, and trusts employees to do their best without micromanagement. The flexibility and personal investment from employees fosters a community atmosphere where everybody feels inspired to think outside of the box.
Maana has invented a new way to represent industrial knowledge mathematically, using our patented computational knowledge graph. This innovation enables industrial companies to capture human expertise and data from across silos into digital knowledge to help employees make better and faster decisions. Using the Maana Knowledge Platform, Fortune 500 industrial companies can quickly develop AI-driven Knowledge Applications, that accelerate digitizing decision flows and operations.
Aside from offering tuition reimbursement to employees for career-related classes and training courses, Maana also sends teams to different conferences around the country to present research papers and projects, as well as learn from and collaborate with other experts in the field. Attendees then return to the office to share their newly acquired knowledge and subsequent big ideas.
19. QSC, LLC
QSC is an internationally-recognized brand, manufacturing and designing cutting-edge audio, video, and networking solutions. From digital systems to amplifiers, QSC delivers a wide range of durable and reliable equipment and applications for portable, production, corporate, and cinema events—giving audiences everywhere unforgettable experiences.
QSC firmly believes that working hard and having fun should go hand in hand—so much so that it’s one of the company’s core values. And, there are plenty of trainings, conferences, and trade shows. But, QSC makes sure to balance that out with tons of fun initiatives that get the creative juices flowing—including Mardi Gras celebrations, cultural diversity picnics, dunk tank games throughout the year, Ugly Sweater Day, a Super Bowl potluck, and music jamming sessions.
Hometeam provides in-home care for older adults, a population that is growing at a rapid pace in the U.S. The company’s unique platform and custom technology enhances service delivery, allowing older adults to live in their residences without compromising medical needs or quality of care. Hometeam empowers its in-home caregivers by providing the resources, training, and support needed to build a world where occupational health aides are both visible and recognized.
Every member of Hometeam—caregivers working directly with patients and agency workers improving care from the inside out—are crucial to the company’s mission. By using the five core values of authenticity, empathy, courage, inclusivity, and adaptability as guideposts, employees truly embody the mission and help positively distinguish Hometeam.
Founded in 2005, Democracy Prep is on a mission to educate responsible citizen-scholars for a life of active citizenship. Built on a culture of high-expectations, Democracy Prep's network of schools servces 7,200 scholars who prove year after year that demographics do not determine destiny, and that low-income students can be successful in the college of their choice.
There’s no denying that learning is a core pillar of Democracy Prep. But, that doesn’t just apply to students or scholars. Operations Team members get to take part in professional development courses, which help them grow their careers. They also recently implemented scheduled reviews, which give staff invaluable feedback on how to improve their performance.
Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, with over 30+ locations spread across 20 countries, Comscore employs over 1,800 creative professionals dedicated to the collection, analysis, and synthesis of data into actionable insights for clients. With the explosion of smart devices, Comscore is constantly gaining new sources of data—from TVs, telephones and tablets, game consoles, and smart speakers to refrigerators, cars, and thermostats.
At comScore, the culture is built on encouraging innovative ideas, communication, and joint success. Everyone, regardless of position, is approachable, and management is always eager to help employees achieve the kind of career goals they aspire to—whether it’s learning a new skill, taking on a new role, or transferring to a new city.
Founded in 1999, Financial Finesse’s financial wellness programs are changing lives and transforming organizations across the U.S. By providing people with objective financial guidance with no ulterior motive, the independent, employee-owned firm has helped more than 2.4 million employees in over 600 companies reduce financial stress, maximize benefits, and make wiser financial decisions.
Financial Finesse fosters a direct management style with lots of employee autonomy and candid communication. The company’s flat organization is driven by a team of entrepreneurial, fast-paced, collaborative, and intellectually curious self-starters who love to learn. Managers trust employees to lead projects responsibly and confidently—and to transform powerful ideas and feedback into outsized results.
Created in 1996 during the digital revolution, eMarketer sets high standards as a unique and reliable source of marketing research—keeping pace with the fast-growing digital world. eMarketer collects and digs through data to provide credible, sharp, and objective points of view about wide-ranging consumer trends, marketing technology, and strategy—leading competitive marketers and helping businesses thrive worldwide.
Constant learning is ingrained within the eMarketer culture—with reading as an essential practice to cultivate versatile perspectives within the industry. eMarketer's CEO is a big believer in reading as a source of big ideas, and as a result ensures that employees crack open relevant books—passing around many highly-recommended and thought-provoking business best-sellers for various teams to read and be inspired by.
Since 1987, LCS has been developing and delivering business-critical software technologies to clients all around the World. The company not only creates one of the real estate industry's top property management and accounting software solutions, but also offers feature-rich business telephone systems and enterprise-level data-hosting programs.
LCS strives to ensure that monotony never settles over its office space. Employees are empowered to own their projects and tackle new ideas. When they need to blow off some steam? The company frequently plans random fun treats and events that—thus far—have included everything from food truck lunches and mid-day carnivals to group baseball game outings and employee appreciation days with free t-shirts and tons of donuts.
IgnitionOne’s leading Customer Intelligence Platform empowers marketers to find and engage their most valuable customers across channels using a data-driven approach. By focusing on cross-channel scoring and robust personalization, IgnitionOne’s technology provides real-time, actionable insights for smarter marketing decisions and omnichannel engagement to maximize overall results. Currently scoring over 600 million users monthly in 75 countries, IgnitioneOne powers more than $60 billion in revenue each year for leading brands, including General Motors, CenturyLink, La Quinta, and Acer, as well as advertising agencies such as 360i, GroupM, and Zenith Media.
There’s no mold you need to fit into to work at IgnitionOne. In fact, the company prefers to find new hires who can forge their own paths and add to the company’s already innovative atmosphere. “What I love most about IgnitionOne’s culture is the willingness to try new things. It’s very flexible and focused on getting the right solution out there,” shares a Senior Software Engineer.
Think your company should be on a list like this? Learn more and get in touch!
TopicsAddteq , IVY , Tronc , Taco Bell , Democracy Prep Public Schools , Funko , comScore , Keller Williams , Improving , London Computer Systems , Convene , Blizzard Entertainment , ustwo , HealthTap , PGAV , QSC, LLC , Maana , Tamko , Company Profiles , Finding a Job , Who's Hiring , Innovation , eMarketer , Hometeam , CarGurus , Lever , Financial Finesse , Company Roundup , Slack , HP , IgnitionOne , Integrative Nutrition , Job Search
Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, self-development, and the freelance life. In addition to writing for The Muse, she's also the Career Editor for The Everygirl, a columnist for Inc., and a contributor all over the web. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her rescued terrier mutt or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Say hi on Twitter @kat_boogaard or check out her website.More from this Author
Sponsored by Taco Bell
Taco Bell was founded on innovation and passion—and that spirit that Glen Bell brought to the masses in 1962 continues to push the company forward. Employees here work in a unique culture that fosters creativity and let them take risks, develop skills and learn in ways that fit their lifestyle. Taco Bell has a “Start with Us, Stay with Us,” mentality that encourages employees to leverage the career-building and education programs Taco Bell offers no matter how long you’ve been with, or plan to stay with, the company. Want to be part of the Southern California team recognized by Fast Company as one of the ‘Top 10 Most Innovative Brands in the World’? Check out open jobs at Taco Bell.