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HR Administration

Introducing the Workforce 100

Automatic Data Processing Inc. comes out on top of Workforce’s 2014 ranking of the world’s top companies for HR.

Which is the best company for HR? It’s a thorny problem to tackle. But finding an answer starts with asking a relatively simple question: What does “good” look like?

That basic question raises a whole set of additional questions. A dizzying number of factors creates the foundation of a workforce management leader. Of the hundreds of things that HR organizations do for their parent companies, how do you determine which are the right ones to consider when comparing Company A to Company B? Just because a question is difficult doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to find an answer.

To find out which companies are the best for HR management, Workforce editors, along with researchers from the Human Capital Media Advisory Group, the magazine’s research arm, created a statistical formula to sift through publicly available information to separate the best from the rest. The result of that analysis is the inaugural Workforce 100 list.

For 2014, Automatic Data Processing Inc. came out on top. Consulting companies Deloitte and Accenture duked it out for the second and third spots, followed by fast-food giant McDonald’s Corp. and consumer products-maker Procter & Gamble Co.

While we’ve come up with one answer to the question of which companies are best for HR, we look forward to the conversation with you that results in furthering the discussion.


The Workforce 100 chart indicates the rank order and scores of the 100 companies that performed best in seven core areas: workplace culture; employee benefits; diversity and inclusion; employee development/talent management; HR innovation/management; leadership development; recruiting and talent acquisition. The working assumption is that high performance in these categories would provide a reasonable proxy for overall HR excellence.

To create the Workforce 100, researchers collected available data from a representative list of benchmarking and ranking programs in the identified categories (see component lists) and generated a score based on indexed performance in two areas: breadth of recognition and depth of recognition.

The reason for this method was to create a ranked list that made comprehensive HR performance the primary focus rather than excellence in one core area. Using this method, organizations that are recognized on multiple lists but do not perform perfectly will be ranked higher than organizations that are ranked in one area but perform better.

To generate the score, researchers averaged and weighted overall representation on lists across the seven core areas. For example, ADP, the top-ranked company, was recognized on five separate component lists and therefore had a higher possible score than McDonald’s, the fifth ranked company, which was recognized on four component lists. That measure of broad participation was then indexed to overall performance of the company on the component lists.

The top ranked company was given the highest indexed score on a scale of 10, and the others were then ranked according to their performance against that benchmark.


Best Companies for Healthy Lifestyles (National Business Group on Health)

Best Companies for Leadership (Hay Group)

Best Company Retirement Plans (Wall Street Journal)

Chief Learning Officer LearningElite (Chief Learning Officer magazine)

Diversity Value Index (Diversity Executive magazine)

DiversityInc Top 50 (DiversityInc magazine)

Fortune Best Companies to Work For (Fortune magazine)

Fortune Most Admired for HR (Fortune magazine)

Talent Board Candidate Experience awards (Talent Board)

Training Top 125 (Training magazine)

Note: Some lists are compiled by active participation from the companies listed and therefore do not recognize companies that decline to participate.



1. Automatic Data Processing Inc.

Industry: Business process outsourcing Roseland, New Jersey

Employees: 60,000        Performance Index: 9.888


2. Deloitte

Industry: Consulting services                                    New York

Employees: 50,000        Performance Index: 9.837


3. Accenture

Industry: Consulting services                            Dublin, Ireland

Employees: 289,000     Performance Index: 9.786


4. McDonald’s Corp.

Industry: Fast-food restaurants                  Oak Brook, Illinois

Employees: 1.9 million                   Performance Index: 9.735


5. Procter & Gamble Co.

Industry: Consumer products                                   Cincinnati

Employees: 121,000     Performance Index: 9.684


6. IBM Corp.

Industry: Technology and consulting services Armonk, New York

Employees: 431,000     Performance Index: 9.633


7. Wells Fargo & Co.

Industry: Financial services                                San Francisco

Employees: 265,000     Performance Index: 9.582


8. Capital One Financial Corp.

Industry: Financial services                          McLean, Virginia

Employees: 42,000        Performance Index: 9.531


9. General Mills Inc.

Industry: Consumer products                                Minneapolis

Employees: 41,000        Performance Index: 9.480


10. Intel Corp.

Industry: Technology                           Santa Clara, California

Employees: 107,600     Performance Index: 9.429


11. AT&T Inc.

Industry: Telecommunications                                       Dallas

Employees: 247,000     Performance Index: 9.378


12. Genentech Inc.

Industry: Biotechnology         South San Francisco, California

Employees: 13,300        Performance Index: 9.327


13. Qualcomm Inc.

Industry: Technology                                                San Diego

Employees: 31,000        Performance Index: 9.276


14. ConAgra Foods Inc.

Industry: Consumer products                      Omaha, Nebraska

Employees: 36,000        Performance Index: 9.225


15. Walgreen Co.

Industry: Drug retailer                                   Deerfield, Illinois

Employees: 248,000     Performance Index: 9.174


16. Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Industry: Energy                                               Oklahoma City

Employees: 10,800        Performance Index: 9.123


17. BASF

Industry: Manufacturing                    Ludwigshafen, Germany

Employees: 112,000     Performance Index: 9.072


18. Aetna Inc.

Industry: Health insurance                    Hartford, Connecticut

Employees: 47,000        Performance Index: 9.021


19. Target Corp.

Industry: Retail                                                      Minneapolis

Employees: 371,000     Performance Index: 8.970


20. Marriott International Inc.

Industry: Lodging and hospitality            Bethesda, Maryland

Employees: 330,000     Performance Index: 8.919


21. American Express Co.

Industry: Financial services                                      New York

Employees: 62,800        Performance Index: 8.868


22. EY (Ernst & Young)

Industry: Consulting services                                        London

Employees: 175,000     Performance Index: 8.817


23. CarMax Inc.

Industry: Used-car retailer                        Richmond, Virginia

Employees: 18,100        Performance Index: 8.766


24. KPMG International Cooperative

Industry: Consulting services                                Amsterdam

Employees: 155,000     Performance Index: 8.715


25. New York Life Insurance Co.

Industry: Financial services and life insurance        New York

Employees: 8,500           Performance Index: 8.664


26. American Airlines Inc.

Industry: Airline                                           Fort Worth, Texas

Employees: 88,000        Performance Index: 8.612


27. Ingersoll-Rand

Industry: Manufacturing                                   Dublin, Ireland

Employees: 42,000        Performance Index: 8.561


28. General Dynamics Corp.

Industry: Aerospace and defense           Falls Church, Virginia

Employees: 95,000        Performance Index: 8.510


29. Humana Inc.

Industry: Health insurance                       Louisville, Kentucky

Employees: 52,000        Performance Index: 8.459


30. Google Inc.

Industry: Search engine                 Mountain View, California

Employees: 49,800        Performance Index: 8.408


31. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Industry: Insurance                                                        Detroit

Employees: 7,500           Performance Index: 8.357


32. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Industry: Retail                                      Bentonville, Arkansas

Employees: 2.2 million                   Performance Index: 8.306


33. Unilever

Industry: Consumer products London and Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Employees: 174,000     Performance Index: 8.255


34. InterContinental Hotels Group

Industry: Lodging, hosp. Denham, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

Employees: 120,000     Performance Index: 8.204


35. Sidley Austin

Industry: Legal services                                               Chicago

Employees: 3,400           Performance Index: 8.153


36. Kaiser Permanente

Industry: Health care                                 Oakland, California

Employees: 174,000     Performance Index: 8.102


37. Health Care Service Corp.

Industry: Health insurance                                           Chicago

Employees: 21,000        Performance Index: 8.051


38. Paychex Inc.

Industry: Business process outsourcing Rochester, New York

Employees: 12,500        Performance Index: 8.000


39. Burns & McDonnell

Industry: Engineering                             Kansas City, Missouri

Employees: 4,500           Performance Index: 7.949


40. Cerner Corp.

Industry: Health care technology          Kansas City, Missouri

Employees: 14,200        Performance Index: 7.898


41. DPR Construction

Industry: Construction                     Redwood City, California

Employees: 1,300           Performance Index: 7.847


42. Edward Jones

Industry: Financial services                                         St. Louis

Employees: 38,000        Performance Index: 7.796


43. Johnson & Johnson

Industry: Pharma., consumer goods New Brunswick, New Jersey

Employees: 128,100     Performance Index: 7.745


44. State Farm Insurance

Industry: Insurance and financial services Bloomington, Illinois

Employees: 83,000        Performance Index: 7.694


45. JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Industry: Financial services                                      New York

Employees: 260,000     Performance Index: 7.643


46. Lockheed Martin Corp.

Industry: Aerospace and defense             Bethesda, Maryland

Employees: 113,000     Performance Index: 7.592


47. W.L. Gore & Associates Inc.

Industry: Manufacturing                             Newark, Delaware

Employees: 10,000        Performance Index: 7.541


48. CHG Healthcare Services

Industry: Staffing                                                Salt Lake City

Employees: 1,700           Performance Index: 7.490


49. Avanade Inc.

Industry: Consulting services                                        Seattle

Employees: 21,000        Performance Index: 7.439


50. Nestle

Industry: Consumer products                   Vevey, Switzerland

Employees: 333,000     Performance Index: 7.388


51. Baptist Health South Florida

Industry: Health care                              Coral Gables, Florida

Employees: 15,000        Performance Index: 7.337


52. Caterpillar Inc.

Industry: Construction                                       Peoria, Illinois

Employees: 118,500     Performance Index: 7.286


53. Facebook Inc.

Industry: Social media                         Menlo Park, California

Employees: 6,300           Performance Index: 7.235


54. Salesforce.com Inc.

Industry: Cloud computing                                 San Francisco

Employees: 13,300        Performance Index: 7.184


55. Quicken Loans Inc.

Industry: Financial services                                           Detroit

Employees: 10,000        Performance Index: 7.133


56. Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc.

Industry: Medical testing                      Tarrytown, New York

Employees: 14,000        Performance Index: 7.082


57. Whole Foods Market Inc.

Industry: Supermarket chain                              Austin, Texas

Employees: 80,000        Performance Index: 7.031


58. Banner Health

Industry: Health care                                                   Phoenix

Employees: 36,000        Performance Index: 6.980


59. Walt Disney Co.

Industry: Mass media/entertainment      Burbank, California

Employees: 175,000     Performance Index: 6.929


60. UnitedHealth Group Inc.

Industry: Health insurance                 Minnetonka, Minnesota

Employees: 133,000     Performance Index: 6.878


61. WellPoint Inc.

Industry: Health insurance                                    Indianapolis

Employees: 48,000        Performance Index: 6.827


62. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

Industry: Auto insurance                                 Columbus, Ohio

Employees: 31,000        Performance Index: 6.776


63. Colgate-Palmolive Co.

Industry: Consumer products                                   New York

Employees: 37,400        Performance Index: 6.725


64. United States Automobile Association

Industry: Insurance and financial services           San Antonio

Employees: 26,000        Performance Index: 6.674



Industry: Financial services/retirement                  New York

Employees: 9,000           Performance Index: 6.623


66. Mayo Clinic

Industry: Health care                            Rochester, Minnesota

Employees: 44,000        Performance Index: 6.572


67. EMC Corp.

Industry: Computer storage          Hopkinton, Massachusetts

Employees: 60,000        Performance Index: 6.521


68. Toyota Motor North America Inc.

Industry: Auto manufacturing                                  New York

Employees: 31,400        Performance Index: 6.470


69. BP

Industry: Energy                                                            London

Employees: 83,900        Performance Index: 6.419


70 Merck & Co.

Industry: Pharmaceuticals White House Station, New Jersey

Employees: 74,000        Performance Index: 6.368


71. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

Industry: Health care                                                New York

Employees: 25,600        Performance Index: 6.317


72. Medtronic Inc.

Industry: Medical-device technology                   Minneapolis

Employees: 46,000        Performance Index: 6.266


73. Microsoft Corp.

Industry: Software-maker                   Redmond, Washington

Employees: 127,100     Performance Index: 6.215


74 Cisco Systems Inc.

Industry: Computer networking                San Jose, California

Employees: 73,800        Performance Index: 6.164


75. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Industry: Health insurance                Durham, North Carolina

Employees: 4,500           Performance Index: 6.112


76. Vi

Industry: Senior living                                                  Chicago

Employees: 2,400           Performance Index: 6.061


77. PricewaterhouseCoopers

Industry: Consulting services                                    New York

Employees: 184,200     Performance Index: 6.010


78. Healthways Inc.

Industry: Health care and wellness          Franklin, Tennessee

Employees: 2,500           Performance Index: 5.959


79. DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.

Industry: Health care and wellness                               Denver

Employees: 50,000        Performance Index: 5.908


80. Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Industry: Lodging and hospitality                                Chicago

Employees: 45,000        Performance Index: 5.857


81. Aerospace Corp.

Industry: Aerospace and defense          El Segundo, California

Employees: 4,000           Performance Index: 5.806


82. Darden Restaurants Inc.

Industry: Restaurant-chain operator             Orlando, Florida

Employees: 200,000     Performance Index: 5.755


83. BKD

Industry: Professional services                Springfield, Missouri

Employees: 2,400           Performance Index: 5.704


84. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

Industry: Life insurance                                         Minneapolis

Employees: 1,600           Performance Index: 5.653


85. Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp.

Industry: Business process outsourcing Teaneck, New Jersey

Employees: 178,600     Performance Index: 5.602


86. G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc.

Industry: Security services                               Jupiter, Florida

Employees: 42,000        Performance Index: 5.551


87. Mountain America Credit Union

Industry: Credit union                                  West Jordan, Utah

Employees: 1,000           Performance Index: 5.500


88. TD Bank

Industry: Financial services                                         Toronto

Employees: 85,000        Performance Index: 5.449


89. Novo Nordisk

Industry: Pharmaceutical manufacturing Bagsvaerd, Denmark

Employees: 40,000        Performance Index: 5.398


90. Navy Federal Credit Union

Industry: Credit union                                     Vienna, Virginia

Employees: 11,000        Performance Index: 5.347


91. Four Seasons Hotels Inc.

Industry: Lodging and hospitality                                Toronto

Employees: 37,200        Performance Index: 5.296


92. Apple Inc.

Industry: Computer and electronics-maker Cupertino, California

Employees: 50,200        Performance Index: 5.245


93 Jiffy Lube International Inc.

Industry: Automotive services                                    Houston

Employees: 20,500        Performance Index: 5.194


94. American Specialty Health Inc.

Industry: Health care and wellness                          San Diego

Employees: 900               Performance Index: 5.143


95. Assurant Inc.

Industry: Insurance (various)                                   New York

Employees: 16,600        Performance Index: 5.092


96. BD

Industry: Medical technology       Franklin Lakes, New Jersey

Employees: 30,000        Performance Index: 5.041


97. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Industry: Pharmaceuticals    Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany

Employees: 47,400        Performance Index: 4.990


98. Campbell Soup Co.

Industry: Consumer products                 Camden, New Jersey

Employees: 20,000        Performance Index: 4.939


99. Chrysler Group

Industry: Automotive manufacturing Auburn Hills, Michigan

Employees: 73,700        Performance Index: 4.888


100. Compass Group

Industry: Food service                       Surrey, United Kingdom

Employees: 500,000     Performance Index: 4.837

Sources: Publicly available company information, compiled by Workforce staff.

Notes: Employee numbers are global unless otherwise noted. All numbers are approximate.



Top Five by Region

Workforce 100 companies represented every region in the U.S. as well as eight international locations. New York/New Jersey came out tops followed by Northern California and the Chicago region.

20 New York/New Jersey

10 Northern California

8 Chicago/Northern Illinois

7 Washington, D.C., area

6 Minneapolis area

Largest by number of employees:

Wal-Mart Stores (No. 32)

Top Five by Industry

The Workforce 100 list is a good barometer of broader economic activity. Health care and financial services had the most companies on the list, followed by technology, insurance and consumer goods.


Health care/medical


Financial services






Consumer products/ goods

Smallest by number of employees:

American Specialty Health Inc. (No. 94)