This year, like last, in its list of 100 companies, the publication rated Google at No. 1, followed, in order, by Facebook, Coca-Cola, Deloitte and AT&T. Twenty-eight companies have made the list all four years. Twenty-five firms – Ultimate Software, West Monroe Partners and LaSalle Network, to name a few – joined them in this year’s rankings for the first time.
But how did the magazine arrive at such conclusions? What makes for excellence in human resources? Joined by the staff of its research arm, Workforce’s editors settled on seven main areas: workplace culture, employee benefits, diversity and inclusion, employee development-talent management, HR innovation, leadership development and talent acquisition.
“To realize the importance of these categories and take action to improve them pushes a company from good to great,” said the magazine.
To create the rankings, Workforce researchers developed a statistical formula to analyze publicly available data on HR performance and cull what they consider the best companies, the magazine said. The research team then used what workers at the businesses had to say, provided by Glassdoor Inc., the job review website, and stirred that into the mix.
Executive Recruiter’s Perspectives
Edward Batchelor, managing partner at Hardman Batchelor International, an Austin, TX-based search firm, who was not involved in the rankings, elaborated on the importance of each of these areas. Workplace culture, for example, he said is often cited as a critical factor in any workplace, and that’s true for human resources as well.
“Workforce culture is the glue that helps to hold your organization together,” said Mr. Batchelor. “A strong culture leads to a productive and engaged workforce. The top HR leaders know the importance of creating this culture from day one of an employee’s experience. As a result, they often have 90-day onboarding plans for employees to ensure they start with positive impressions. This time at the beginning is invaluable because it ensures that every employee has strong role models to mirror and have a sense of their role, organizational purpose and their leader’s expectations which leads to better retention and employee satisfaction.”
Steve Hayes, founder and senior partner of Human Capital Group Inc., seems to agree with that assessment. “As for which areas are most important, from my perspective, I believe talent acquisition and leadership development are what set companies apart from one another…and those who excel greatly in both areas are companies where every level and function of the organization takes it seriously, not just HR. Acquiring and developing future leaders is seen as the foundation from which to build a lasting enterprise…and the CEO down to line leaders are committed and engaged in both.”