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Cold, Hard Numbers Behind Hot HR Ratings

Monday, December 1, 2008
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How, exactly, can something as fuzzy-sounding as "Most Admired for HR" be measured?

It begins with Hay Group, the Philadelphia-based management consulting firm that has partnered with Fortune magazine since 1997 to identify and rank the "Most Admired Companies." Fortune publishes the annual listing in March. Hay Group begins with the Fortune 1000, the 1,000 largest U.S. companies ranked by revenue, and the top-ranked foreign companies operating in the United States.

A total of 3,721 executives, directors and securities analysts were asked to select companies they most admired in their industries. They were asked to rate companies according to eight criteria, or "attributes of reputation." While some of those criteria concerned financial attributes, such as "value of long-term investment" and "soundness of financial position," four of the items relate directly to the companies' HR role: quality of management, people management, innovativeness and quality of products/services offered.

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Hay Group then extracted a new listing, based solely on these HR criteria, to arrive at the "Most Admired Companies for HR" for Human Resource Executive® magazine.

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