Banks, telcos dominate list of firms that best nurture careers

School going children learn bicycle repair skills during the Covid-19 school closure period. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

A ranking of the top 25 companies in which employees can best grow their careers in Kenya, released by LinkedIn, shows that banks offer the best avenues for career development.

More than 10 of the institutions in the list are either banks or institutions closely affiliated with banking and insurance with Equity Bank ranked second in the list, being the top among the financial institutions.

This maiden LinkedIn Top Companies list in Kenya ranks companies based on LinkedIn data.

Debuting alongside Top Companies lists for Nigeria and South Africa, the ranking features companies “offering stability in our ever-changing world of work – the ones that are not only attracting employees but retaining them,” according to the LinkedIn Economic Graph team, which prepared the methodology and insights.

Safaricom takes the top position, with the most notable skills in the company listed as financial statement auditing, external auditing and telecommunications.

The most common job titles are customer executive, software engineer and customer service representative.

The company’s largest job functions are sales, engineering and support.

Financial constraints

Joining Safaricom and Equity on the podium is Kenya Airways, the country’s national carrier, which has faced financial constraints in the last decade.

Despite the turbulence, the airline’s most notable skills are aviation security, airline reservations and airline ticketing.

The most common job titles there are customer service representative, flight attendant and supply officer with the largest job functions being operations, support and engineering.

This list, which LinkedIn says is supposed to be a career guide, focuses on several indicators of growth in the top companies.

“To put together this year’s rankings, we looked at LinkedIn data across seven pillars, each revealing an important element of career progression: the ability to advance, skills growth, company stability, external opportunity, company affinity, gender diversity and spread of educational backgrounds,” LinkedIn says.

“This list is meant to be a resource for you, guiding professionals at every stage – whether that means a career pivot, jumping back into the workforce after a hiatus or investing in new skills.

“At each company, you’ll find insights around which roles and skills are in demand and much more. You can also explore open jobs (many of which are remote positions) and workers you may know at the company.”

Thousands of Kenyans have been looking for employment opportunities as the economies try to recover following a battering by Covid-19. A good number of jobseekers were thrust out of employment by the pandemic.

The LinkedIn list offers insights into possible employers such people would look out for.

Other top companies in the LinkedIn list are KCB Group, NCBA Group, ICEA Lion Group, Allianz Financial Services and KPMG Accounting, Standard Chartered Bank and PwC Accounting, in that order.

Others are Stanbic Bank Kenya, Diamond Trust Bank, UAP Old Mutual Group, Deloitte, Absa Bank Kenya, Co-operative Bank of Kenya, Platinum Credit Limited, I&M Bank, Airtel Africa and Royal Media Services Ltd.

The last five are security group G4S, East African Breweries, Family Bank, CIC Insurance Group and information technology and services firm Cloud Factory.

In the rankings, LinkedIn says it uses standardised LinkedIn skills to “understand skills growth”, which is essentially looking at “how employees across the company are gaining skills while employed at the company”.

“Company stability tracks attrition over the past year, as well as the percentage of employees that stay at the company at least three years,” says LinkedIn.

“External opportunity looks at recruiter outreach across employees at the company, signalling demand for workers coming from these companies.

Company’s culture 

Company affinity, which seeks to measure how supportive a company’s culture is, looks at connection volume on LinkedIn among employees, controlled for company size.

Gender diversity measures gender parity within a company and its subsidiaries, while educational background examines the variety of educational attainment among employees, from no degree up to PhD levels, reflecting a commitment to recruiting a wide range of professionals.

LinkedIn also says that for a company to be eligible for the ranking, it must have had at least 500 employees as of December 31, 2021.

A company’s attrition - which is the departure of workers who have not been necessarily laid off - can be no higher than 10 per cent over the methodology period, based on LinkedIn data.

“Similarly, companies with layoffs during that time that amount to more than 10 per cent of their workforce, based on public announcements, are also ineligible,” says LinkedIn.

Only parent companies rank on the list; majority-owned subsidiaries and data about those subsidiaries are incorporated into the parent company score.

All staffing and recruiting firms, educational institutions and government agencies, and LinkedIn, alongside its parent company Microsoft and Microsoft subsidiaries, are excluded from the rankings.

Members who identify as interns or contractors are also excluded. “Skills data was derived from measuring the most frequent unique skills among a company’s employees, relative to other companies,” LinkedIn says.

“Most common job titles represent the occupations that are most common within each company. Largest job function measures the function area most prevalent within each company.”

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