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Microsoft, GE and PepsiCo top list of talent management
August 26, 2004
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Pacifica, Calif. -– Human Resource leaders from around the world were invited to sound off on which firms they viewed as world-class for their talent management practices, and they did so in bold fashion. More than 1,700 participants responded to a survey sent in early August to subscribers of the VP-of-HR, a free monthly newsletter published by noted human resources speaker and author Dr. John Sullivan. Within a matter of days, Microsoft led the voting by a wide majority, followed by General Electric, PepsiCo, Home Depot and Southwest Airlines.

The 2004 talent management survey, part of an ongoing effort by Dr. Sullivan to identify emerging issues, best practices, and world-class firms in the area of human resources, asked respondents to identify which firms they perceived as world-class for their talent management practices. Participants were not limited in the number of firms they could list, although the average number of companies listed per respondent was six.

“The high response rate to the survey indicates the importance that leading organizations place on talent management – especially as the market for recruiting and retaining top talent heats up,” says Master Burnett, Managing Director for Dr. John Sullivan. “The survey results also build on and verify Dr. Sullivan's previous research that identified several common threads that the top talent management companies share.”

Summary of Results
Only 38 companies garnered more than one percent of the total response, and only one company was identified by more than 50 percent of the respondents. The 10 most popular companies are listed below.

1. Microsoft (cited by 57 percent of respondents as having most admired talent management practices)
2. GE (46%)
3. PepsiCo (45%)
4. Home Depot (34%)
5. Southwest (30%)
6. Intel (29%)
7. IBM (29%)
8. Dell    (28%)
9. SAS (22%)
10. SC Johnson & Son (21%)

Talent management is the integrated process that ensures that an organization has a continuous supply of highly productive individuals in the “right job at the right time.” It integrates the previously independent functions of recruiting, retention, workforce planning, employment branding, workforce analytics, orientation and internal redeployment into a seamless process. The overall goal of talent management is to increase overall workforce productivity through the improved attraction, retention and movement of talent.

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