Credit: Khristine Ponce
Fresh out of college, Jason Ruggles joined Ultimate Software in internal applications support, figuring he’d take a couple of years to learn the ropes and then move on to his next gig.
Fifteen years later, after multiple promotions, marriage to a woman who still works across the hall, and the birth of their now five-year-old daughter, Ruggles considers himself part of the extended Ultimate Software family and says he’s not planning to leave anytime soon.
Ruggles says the ability to work with the latest technologies and concepts (microservices architecture, for example), coupled with the fact that Ultimate execs take time to get to know him and his family, make for an environment that is both challenging and comfortable — a unique combination for the competitive world of high tech. “Every time I see the CTO, he remembers stories and he knows my daughter’s name,” says Ruggles, now 38 and a solutions architect. “It makes me feel like I don’t have to compartmentalize my life. I’m not working for ‘the man,’ I’m working for family and friends.”
Ultimate Software’s self-proclaimed “people first” philosophy and culture has helped the maker of cloud-based human capital management (HCM) software land in the No. 1 spot for midsize organizations the very first year it is participating in Computerworld’s 100 Best Places to Work in IT program, a rare feat.
It’s no surprise the 3,607-person company, with 1,062 U.S.-based IT employees, also ranked No. 1 among all 100 Best Places for benefits. The Weston, Fla., firm doles out a sweeping set of top-shelf benefits, such as 100% employer-paid healthcare coverage for employees and their families (including same-sex couples); an employer match of 40% for 401(k) retirement accounts; an equity stake in the company upon hire; paid maternity, paternity and adoption leave; and paid community service days, to name a few.
There is also a generous set of perks, from on-site fitness classes and a car-wash service to numerous rewards programs and reimbursements for children’s after-school activities.
The company’s chief technology officer (CTO) Adam Rogers, himself a 20-year Ultimate veteran who started as an IT intern right out of the University of Florida, Gainesville, says what sets the company apart from other firms is its commitment to its people, both professionally and on a personal level.
Rogers, 42, got the message early on in his career at Ultimate, when a lead web developer on a small team Rogers was managing opted to postpone his honeymoon to make sure a major new product release went off without a hitch. Rogers was able to award that developer an all-expenses paid trip to the Bahamas post-project without having to jump through hoops to get management approval.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.