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BW Businessworld

The Best Employers: Show Me Your Love

The BW Businessworld-Aon Hewitt Best Employers Survey reveals the importance of intangibles and perceptions

Photo Credit : Shutterstock

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What really makes an employer so attractive that potential recruits seek to flock towards the organisation? The reasons range from the mundane to the truly bizarre. And sometimes, it is instructive to take a look at the truly evil and hideous to better understand the value and power of good. In a perverted and twisted way, the barbaric terror outfit ISIS has become the most attractive employer for youth across the world from Canada to Australia who seek fulfilment through bombs, beheadings and bestiality. New recruits do get a dollar ‘salary’ and perks include theologically sanctioned rape of innocent girls and women. Indeed, it is nauseous and revolting. But for us living in corporate cocoons of controlled conflict for market shares and talent, it is a chilling reminder of a real world out there.

Agreed. It seems unfair and twisted to toss the ISIS brand name around while discussing a prestigious survey of the best employers in India. It is possible that some human resource (HR) honchos could take offence. But take out the rhetoric, think calmly and an insight does emerge: there is no single reason that makes an organisation a respected, admired and attractive employer. Dozens of academic studies and numerous real-life experiences of HR professionals have demonstrated one thing: money is a necessary but not sufficient condition. The age-old proverb still holds true: You will get monkeys if you pay peanuts. But the best and most respected organisations have since long moved beyond the facile validity of the proverb. Each one of the 26 winners this year is no wallflower when it comes to generous compensation packages for employees. Some, in fact, offer the best compensation packages in their respective verticals.

But as the latest Aon Hewitt survey and the 16 years of exhaustive surveys before that clearly show, it is the “intangibles” that often score over the “tangibles”. All the winners understand and respect this reality. India faces a peculiar situation where more than 10 million young people enter the workforce every year. So attracting talent should be a cakewalk for well-known companies with a pedigree. But talk to any HR professional and you get another “alternative” reality. The number of genuinely skilled people who can perform 21st century tasks and functions of a company is so limited that organisations literally have to fight it out to pocket their share of talent. Retaining talent, of course, is an even bigger challenge.

In their own ways (and as we will get to know in a more detailed editorial package on best employers in a subsequent issue), each winner scores big on the intangible and the perception front. For the very best, the challenge is to move beyond seemingly catchy stuff like long maternity and paternity leaves. It is a constant endeavour of HR professionals to come up with “ideas” that would decisively demonstrate that a company genuinely cares for its employees. In that sense, “care” and a sense of pride and belonging are the intangibles that truly distinguish the winners from the wannabes.