Britain’s Top Employers 2005

Title: Britain’s Top Employers 2005
Author: Corporate Research Foundation
Publisher: Guardian Books 
Pages: 452
ISBN: 1-843-549-921 
Price: £19.99 


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This guide – subtitled ‘Best Examples of HR management’ – provides insights into the HR management of 91 diverse companies.

Produced by the Corporate Research Foundation, it is clearly intended to be an annual addition to the bookshelves of careers offices across the country. It is unlikely to reach those of HR practitioners, but dipping in and out can become addictive.

The companies left out of this guide are probably of just as much interest as those included. No mention of Microsoft, ICI, Tesco or Hilton – but there are some surprising organisations on the list, such as the Capita Group, Network Rail, Barnardo’s, Cobra Beer and Slimming World.

Does the book live up to its subtitle? Generally, no. It would be difficult to define the HR practices that have led to the inclusion of these companies, let alone discover how to incorporate them into any other enterprise.

Readers are likely to find this book absorbing, although it is not likely to inspire change in practices elsewhere.

Useful? 3 stars
Well-written? 4 stars
Practical? 2 stars
Inspirational? 1 star
Value for money? 3 stars

By Ron Hancock, bursar and clerk to the governors, Bradford Grammar School

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