Human Resources
Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders® List Selection

How the Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders® Lists Were Selected


Aon Hewitt sent over 50,000 invitations to senior HR professionals, public relations and communication contacts globally in January 2014. This list included current and prospective clients from Aon Hewitt, ARS, Aon Benfield and externally purchased contact sources. In addition, we posted access to the survey on our website as well as the website for The RBL Group. Study participation was open to organizations of any type (e.g., public, private, nonprofit), size (employee and revenue), and location. From those invitations, 180 companies from around the globe participated.


Participant submissions were reviewed to determine if their responses meet our predetermined criteria to be considered as a finalist. All finalists received immediate notification and were asked to comply with the second phase of our required process.


All finalists were interviewed by a member of our talent consulting team. The target contacts for these interviews were the senior HR person and one-to-two senior line executives. More than 80% of our finalist sample for 2014 included an interview from the corporate or local CEO. The content for these standardized interviews coincide with the survey topics and aim to evaluate the depth and process surrounding how the company executes on the programs described in its survey. Team members are extensively trained on proper interview techniques and expectations for documentation. We summarize this content into a standard format to include in a packet for the judges to review.

Financial Analysis

Additional elements conducted by our internal core team included the evaluation of financial performance on two growth (EBIT-Earnings Before Interest and Taxes & Revenues) and two return measures (ROE-Return on Equity & ROA-Return on Assets) over a five-year period compared to industry peers. The financial data for publicly-traded organization was captured using the Global Vantage website. Privately-held organizations supplied this data on a self-reported basis.

Publicity Evaluation

Aon Hewitt also conducted a scan of any negative publicity the corporation experienced in the last 18 months.

Survey Scoring

Aon Hewitt used a consistent methodology to convert the survey data into scores incorporating weighted percentages based on the relative importance of the categories included in the survey.


An esteemed panel of judges, composed of authors, academics, and journalists, gathered in North America, India, South East Asia and Australia/New Zealand to select their market 2014 Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders lists. The judges considered many variables in selecting and ranking the lists, including survey and interview data, company reputation, leadership culture and values, and business performance over a five-year period. Finally, a separate judges panel, composed of representatives from various panels, considered all regional winners (41 total) for a selected and ranked list. Members of the Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders team attended and facilitated the session to ensure that process integrity was maintained, the data was presented consistently, and proper documentation of the process occurred.

Eligibility for Regional and Global Lists

All organizations were eligible to participate in the survey process. However, global organizations were only eligible for the list in the region in which they are headquartered. Subsidiaries of publicly traded companies were eligible for the list if they were publicly traded, separate from their parent company. Subsidiaries of non-publicly traded parent companies were eligible only if they had a separate board of directors.

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