Survey Reveals Top 100 Employers in Africa

All 54 African markets are ranked in first independent, employee-driven survey

By Martha J. Frase Apr 6, 2016
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In the first-ever employee-driven survey ranking the 100 best companies to work for in Africa, Procter & Gamble took the top spot, with East African Breweries claiming the runner-up position and Microsoft coming in third in the overall ranking.

This unique research—the first independent survey of all 54 African markets—not only ranks the best companies to work for in Africa but also provides data-driven analysis designed to enable companies to better adapt their talent strategies. It was spearheaded by leading African recruitment specialists Global Career Company, in association with Towers Watson, and published in the January issue of African Business magazine.

The survey was based on 29 separate global, local and pan-African “attraction drivers” used to define a great employer. The 13,242 respondents, representing Africa’s employment talent pool, gave their views on organizations they would be interested in working for.

“The lessons to be taken forward from the Employer of Choice study will make a lasting impact on the African talent landscape, as the best [employers] adapt to get better and those who did not make it this time strive to catch up,” said Rupert Adcock, founder and managing director of Global Career Company.

Commenting on the comprehensive ranking, Omar Ben Yedder, publisher of African Business, said he was surprised by the ranking of certain companies but overall believed the results made sense.

“When the numbers came in, I expected to see a dominance of the bigger companies and the multinationals, and that is the case,” he said. “Some companies did much better than I anticipated, however, and that goes for the top three. It is a credit to them and their policies that they have made the top spots.”

Yedder added that he was happy to see some strong African groups competing with the more established names.

“I’m sure that more will reach the top 100 next year,” he noted.

Among the key findings across a range of sectors, the survey results show that African professionals across the continent, and those working or studying abroad, can and do differentiate among the “value propositions” of potential employers. A company’s leadership and management, its corporate social responsibility agenda, and the availability of development opportunities are just as important as rewards and benefits, the study found.

Across the globe, pay, job security and career advancement are typical top factors for individuals when considering a new role, according to previous Towers Watson research; however, for the

African workforce the opportunity to learn new skills and the ability to make an impact dominate.

“It is clear that, unlike many developed economies, base pay isn’t as important a driver [for African employees],” said Yves Duhaldeborde, a director at Towers Watson. “Employers need to look at how to incentivize their workforce through initiatives that encourage new skills and promote opportunities to make a difference to the organization.” He added,

“This research adds a great deal to the debate on how we compensate workers in Africa.”

The African Development Bank, the World Bank Group and Nestle were the companies respondents had the most interest in working at, as indicated by the number of times they were reviewed, although these companies’ overall rankings did not place them in the top 10.

Also making the top 100 list were DSTV, Total, Shell, JP Morgan, Ecobank, GE and Dangote. The results also highlight an additional list of companies, including Ethiopian Airlines and Nissan, that did not make this year’s overall ranking but that emerged as employers to watch in the future.

For the full survey and list of winners in the latest issue of African Business, visit www.exacteditions.com/africanbusiness. The report is also available digitally and via the Apple and Android app stores.

Martha J. Frase is Managing Editor of WorldLink. Republished by permission from the World Federation of People Management Associations.

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