Best companies to work for: How we ranked them
July 16, 2013This is the 12th edition of the annual Business Today 'Best Companies to Work For' in India Survey. This year, we continued our partnership with PeopleStrong HR Services, which ran the survey and analysed the data. We associated with job search company Naukri. com for its database and its expertise to get targeted respondents for the survey. The basic purpose was to understand the perceptions and aspirations of India's employees across industries. The survey also aimed to provide feedback to companies on what the employee marketplace thinks of them, which qualities in a company are considered important by employees, which factors attract people, which demoralise them, etc.
The key differentiator in BT's survey, compared to some other surveys of this nature, is that we do not reach out to companies for participation. The logic is that if companies were to choose the employees who respond to the survey, it might introduce an element of bias in the process. This bias would exist even if the surveyors - BT and PeopleStrong, in this case - randomly chose the final respondents from a pool of names given by individual companies. Instead, the respondents we reached out to were contacted through Naukri.com's database, independent of their employers' channels, ensuring an unbiased study.
This year's survey was conducted between March 15 and April 24, 2013. The use of Naukri's database allowed us to achieve an even spread of respondents across types of companies, cities, age and experience brackets, etc. To start with, Naukri divided its active database into multiple data sets or panels based on two filters - sector and work experience. Ten sectors, such as software and IT, pharma and health care and engineering, etc, were targeted, and five work experience brackets, which resulted in 50 data sets. Four million people across these data sets were sent targeted mailers by Naukri, specific to the sector they work in and their work experience. This approach automatically introduced the first level of quality check because a respondent would get a questionnaire specific to her sector and work experience.
About 20,000 of these targeted respondents came to the survey page, of which 6,320 filled out the questionnaire. After scrutiny and cleaning, a final reportable sample of 6,310 respondents was achieved, of which eight per cent were women.
Overall, the respondent base this year is relatively younger and drawn from more companies. Due to the larger survey panels this year, which also had a wider geographic spread, we have achieved a better representation of the urban corporate employee base this year, compared to the last, though the sample size is similar. Last year, we had 6,176 respondents. (See The Fine Print on page 89 for details of the respondent break-up of this year.)
Data authenticity was further ensured in two ways: (a) the questionnaire design itself had built in verifications which rejected responses with contradictory or incomplete information, and (b) a verification back check of about 10 per cent of the accepted responses. PeopleStrong's team then constructed a ranking of companies and an analysis of various aspects that go into making a company a great place to work in.
In addition, this year, we introduced a second layer in the survey - assessment of key HR metrics of the companies that were ranked by employees within the Top 25 overall rankings, and the Top 10 in each sector. These metrics complement the variables an employee experiences.
To arrive at the specific metrics to be used in Phase II, BT and PeopleStrong conducted two panel discussions of HR heads of companies (see picture) in two cities - Delhi and Bangalore - in March. These deliberations, and some more brainstorming, resulted in some key HR metrics being identified for Phase II, such as training man-hours, cost per hire, promotion percentage and so on.
Unfortunately, very few companies provided the required data, so Phase II was given a weight of five per cent, compared to 95 per cent for the employee survey.
The Ranking Process
For the overall rankings, respondents were asked to choose five companies - across industries - which they thought were the best to work in, and rank them. Then, they ranked the top three companies on six specific criteria - career growth prospects, financial compensation, worklife balance, performance evaluation, stability, and other HR practices. The same approach was used to get respondents to rank companies within their sectors.
The overall and sectoral rankings were computed separately, but using the same methodology. Rank 1 has higher weight as compared to Rank 2, and so on. This difference is implemented by using the 90 per cent rule, wherein Rank 2 gets 90 per cent of the weight of Rank 1, and Rank 3 gets 90 per cent of the weight given to Rank 2, and so on.
Once rank scores were computed, the top-ranked company was given an index score of 100 and the scores obtained by the other companies were indexed to the score of the top-ranked company. The respondents were also asked some questions that were not included in the ranking exercise, such as whether their senior management adhered to companies' laid-down ethical standards, their satisfaction with the boss, etc.
Despite the increased robustness of the survey, we are not being complacent. Stay prepared for some surprises next year.