Global Human Resources certifier announces Unilever as Africa’s number one Top Employer For 2015

By Top Employers Institute

Africa's 10 Top Employers have been announced by the Top Employers Institute in recognition of the world-class growth and development conditions they create for employees.

Fast moving consumer goods multinational Unilever has been named the number one Top Employer Africa 2015 by global Human Resources (HR) certifier, the Top Employers Institute. Earning exclusive certification as a continental Top Employer Africa for the year 2015 were British American Tobacco, Becton Dickinson, DHL Express, EY, G4S, Microsoft, Old Mutual, Orange and SAP Africa.

The Top Employers were announced on Thursday evening, 2 October 2014, at a Certification Dinner held at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event brought together 700 business executives and leaders of top local and global organisations from over 25 countries in Africa in recognition of the world-class conditions they create to grow and develop employees.

The Top Employers Institute (TEI) is headquartered in the Netherlands and globally certifies excellence in the conditions organisations create for the development of their employees. It conducts months of rigorous research into an organisation's HR environment covering HR and talent strategy: policy implementation, monitoring and reporting, leadership development, career planning and succession management. This year's research also probed the extent to which HR is enabled by smart technology. The Certification programme is independently audited by Grant Thornton.

TEI CEO David Plink says, “The certified Top Employers Africa form part of an elite group of employers that advance employee conditions in Africa. Our research shows their people are well taken care of and their development is taken seriously, regardless of the economic conditions of the country in which the company is active. We proudly present the outstanding Top Employers in the African region who operate across 25 African countries, recognising them for the excellent working conditions they create for their people on the continent.”

In order to be certified as a Top Employer Africa an organisation must be certified in a minimum of four African countries in the same research period. Each participating subsidiary was asked to complete an online HR Best Practices Survey containing 98 questions, incorporating 585 practices across nine topics, namely Talent Strategy, Workforce Planning, On-Boarding, Learning and Development, Performance Management, Leadership Development, Career and Succession Management, Compensation and Benefits and Culture.

Unilever's Vice President of Human Resources for Central Africa, Mechell Chetty, says Unilever is delighted by the announcement.

“Unilever is a global organisation with our products being sold in over 190 countries. Our HR standards and practices therefore have to be world-class. Africa is no different and its unique challenges and socio-economic landscape should never be a pardon for having anything less than the best HR professional standards,” says Chetty.

She adds, “With Unilever's growth ambitions in Africa, it is critical to attract, develop and retain the best talent across the continent. The Top Employer Africa certification helps cement our position as a leading employer on the African continent.”

Ajen Sita, CEO of EY Africa, said EY aimed to build a better working world. “Underpinning our ambitious growth strategy and pan-African vision is the understanding that attracting and retaining the best talent to deliver seamless and innovative solutions to our clients across the continent is essential. Our best-in-class HR practices are available to all 28 countries in Africa, from our world-class training across the board, to our wellness strategy, mobility programmes and Africa-wide culture programmes, to name a few.”

Samantha Crous, Regional Director Top Employers Institute Africa and Benelux says the Top Employers Certification programme has multiple benefits – not only for employers but for employees as well. “The HR environment is changing rapidly around the globe. Top Employers develop their people to ensure their organisations continue to grow successfully. The Top Employers certification sets the standard internationally.”

Crous said: “We have seen phenomenal growth in the advancement of HR best practice in companies on the African continent. This trend is set to continue and

benefit the region as a whole.”

In addition to the 10 certified Top Employers Africa, which are certified in four or more countries, other notable Top Employers on the continent are Abbvie (Certified in Algeria, South Africa and Tunisia) and Valeo (Certified in Egypt and Tunisia).

Continental Certifications: Africa
There are 10 organisations that earned the title of Top Employer Africa, with some 58 subsidiaries certified in 25 countries on the continent namely (in alphabetical order):

Becton Dickinson: Certified in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Zambia

British American Tobacco: Certified in Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe

DHL Express: Certified in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda

EY:Certified in Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe

G4S:Certified in Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, Maroc, Moçambique, Nigeria, South Africa, République Démocratique du Congo and Zambia

Microsoft:Certified in Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa

Old Mutual: Certified in Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe

Orange: Certified in Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt (Mobinil – the Egyptian Company for Mobile Services and Orange Business Services Egypt),Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Uganda

SAP Africa:Certified in Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa

Unilever:Certified in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa

African Country Certifications:
The following companies are certified in the countries listed:

AbbVie: Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa
Valeo: Egypt, Tunisia