New Research Reveals Cisco Winning “War for Talent” Among Network Equipment Manufacturers

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CorDell & Company Study Examines Human Capital Productivity at Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Juniper, and Motorola

With data as the basis, we studied human resource productivity at each of these firms to determine who had the most profitable workforce. We found that the firm with the most productive people, Cisco, also had the best performing stock.

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To determine who’s winning the “war for talent” among Network Equipment Manufacturers, CorDell & Company compared human capital productivity at Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Juniper, and Motorola on a number of workforce productivity measures for fiscal years 2005 to 2009.

Motorola had the highest average sales per employee (SE) at $524,998, although Cisco recently overtook it as the leader in this area. Cisco’s human capital generated the highest average operating income per employee (OIE) at $145,554, the best average operating margin (OM) at 25.13%, and the best average operating cash flow per employee (OCFE) at $170,645. This was achieved while growing its workforce by 70%, strengthening the belief that Cisco is winning the war for talent among Network Equipment Manufacturers. The overall average annual SE was $413,332; the overall average annual OM was 13.75%; and the overall average annual OCFE was $77,189, all of which trended downward over this period.

In addition, Cisco achieved the best stock performance during this period. The company’s stock price was up approximately 23%, while Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Juniper, and Motorola were down approximately -79%, -42%, -2%, and -55% respectively. Over this period the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down approximately -2% and the S&P 500 was down approximately -8%.

The average annual total number of employees (TNE) for all the companies included in this study was 53,958. Every company increased TNE during this period except Motorola, which saw a decline in TNE of -23.19%. Both Juniper and Cisco increased TNE by approximately 70%, impressive considering both companies saw a faster decline in SE than OIE. This suggests that they were able to both add and develop more productive talent over this time. Also impressive is Ericsson’s increase in TNE by nearly 50% while OCFE stayed about the same, suggesting that Ericsson found talent that is equally productive to the human capital it already had and that its operations are set up to ensure a certain level of productivity from all talent. Alcatel-Lucent’s increase in TNE was mostly due to an acquisition, and in 2007, after reducing TNE by 15%, Alcatel-Lucent saw an increase in SE, but declines in OIE, OM, and OCFE. This suggests that Alcatel-Lucent may have cut profitable workers.

CorDell & Company recommends tracking these workforce productivity metrics as part of organizational performance management efforts to identify macro level changes in human capital productivity and to assess the impact of changes to human resources management practices within an organization. For detailed information on how each of these organizations performs on these measures, request a copy of the research paper at War for Talent in Network Equipment Manufacturing.

About CorDell & Company

Founded in 2006, CorDell & Company is a human capital management consulting firm that specializes in improving profits and performance for both large global and small local companies by identifying, acquiring, motivating, retaining, and developing talent.

Media Contact:
CorDell Larkin
+1 312-952-7342

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