The Top 5 HR Departments, and Why They Work

When it comes to HR departments, there are some that consistently get named the best. Charles Tharp, co-director of the HR management department at Rutgers University, recently named GE, Coca-Cola, IBM, Pepsi-Cola, and Google as five of the top HR departments today. But what is it that makes these companies thrive? Each of the top five companies possess benefits packages, hiring practices, workplace cultures, and a host of other qualities that help their workforce, and their profits, flourish.

5. PepsiCo

PepsiCo seems to remain successful in HR using both new, and traditional methods. A more cutting-edge method PepsiCo utilizes, is a sharp careers section of their web-site, and a strong emphasis on social-media. PepsiCo’s career section offers jobs in three categories: professionals, new-grads, and hourly positions. Their easy to navigate and constantly updated job-board, make it easy for fresh talent to find positions they may be eligible for. Another smart online tactic used by PepsiCo, is social-media, they utilize Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to their full advantage. The old fashioned way in which PepsiCo succeeds at HR, is providing a very competitive benefits and retirement package. Though they recently had to do some minor cut-backs for 401K’s, their retirement package still remains far superior to the market average.

4. Coca-Cola

One thing Coca-cola does to recruit fresh talent that will always work, is offer highly competitive and comprehensive pay and benefits. Offering good pay, and particularly a multi-faceted benefits package, will always attract talent. Another huge draw for prospective talent, is Coca-Cola University (CCU), a worldwide virtual University aimed at offering free educational and advancement opportunities available for any employee willing to take advantage of it. A willingness to compensate employees well, and provide them with opportunities to excel and advance, not only helps with recruitment, but retention as well. When companies put effort into letting their employees know how important they are, it shows, and it reciprocates.

3. IBM

IBM is known for creating technology that changes the world. Their HR department is no different. IBM has been helping other companies with their business intelligence needs, such as performance management, for over 35 years. Another contribution IBM has made to their own HR department and to everyone in  the field of HR, is a suite of amazingly useful HR management software. IBM Cognos software, and Oracle HR solutions are both developed by IBM, and both known to the be very effective.  IBM’s training programs and software emphasize performance management, recruitment, training and many more important HR traits, that keep both companies and their employees happy. It’s no wonder they are so successful in HR, they are truly pioneers in the field.

2. GE

GE boasts a one of a kind workplace culture, which is famous for its innovative practices. One thing that sets them apart from their competition HR-wise, is the fact that they seek out, and actually listen to input from entry-level staff members.  GE also offers a unique Human Resources Leadership Program (HRLP) that rewards up and coming employees with a track record of success, by putting them on the fast track to leadership. Both of these practices help with recruitment, retention, and innovation. Fresh ideas and talent are necessary to really shake things up and change the world, GE knows this, and uses it to their and their employees advantage.

1. Google

Google continues to lead the way in HR. This is because they take all of those traits and practices of the companies listed above, and attempt to meld them all into one super HR department. On the HR section of Google.com they list their main focus areas for HR: benefits and perks, children’s centers, compensation and analytics, HR business partners and generalists, people technology and operations, learning and development, people programs and talent management, and staffing. I think it’s clear to see, with such an incredible breadth covered in their HR focus areas, Google attempts to cover nearly every previous practice mentioned and then some. Famous for its workplace culture, and incredibly thorough recruitment process, Google remains the envy of employees in every industry. By making themselves such an “it” place to work, Google has been able to attract some of the most promising talent on the globe. Google knows the importance of a solid HR department, and considering Google’s profit for last quarter, which ended March 31, was US$2.89 billion, up from $1.80 billion last year, I think it’s safe to say something’s working.

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