Microsoft, GE and PepsiCo Top List of Admired Talent Management Practitioners

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Dr. John Sullivan, a leading human resources author and speaker, has announced the results to his 2004 survey of firms with world-class talent management practices. For more information, contact Master Burnett at 408-421-8255 or Elrond Lawrence at 831-757-9100.

Pacifica, CA – August 26, 2004 – 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.

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. For a complete list of the 38 companies named by at least one percent of the voting population, visit

Rank / Company / % of Respondents Identifying Company

1. Microsoft (cited by 57% 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.

“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,” said 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.”

To subscribe to VP-of-HR, a free monthly newsletter on best-practices in human resource management, visit

About Dr. John Sullivan

A noted author, speaker and internationally-recognized visionary, Dr. John Sullivan helps channel organizations along a path towards world-class HR strategy development and execution. With expertise in recruitment, retention, employment branding and HR strategic planning, Dr. Sullivan works to help HR deliver a competitive advantage to their firm. He does this through advisory services, speaking, and writing books. With more than 30 years of experience, he has trained over 3,500 managers worldwide.

Dr. John Sullivan is currently Professor of Management at San Francisco State University. Prior to this, he served as Chief Talent Officer of Agilent Technologies. He has published five books, including the current release Rethinking Strategic HR, published by CCH, Inc.


This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: on behalf of the company listed above.

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Elrond Lawrence
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