Workforce Issues:

Employment Practices in Selected Large Private Companies

GGD-91-47: Published: Mar 13, 1991. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 1991.

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GAO presented the results of a survey of 83 private companies regarding employment practices, focusing on: (1) recruiting and hiring practices; (2) benefit programs; (3) pay practices; and (4) programs to attract and retain employees.

GAO found that: (1) campus recruiting was the dominant recruiting method for officials, managers, and professional positions, and newspaper advertisements received the second highest rating; (2) the personal interview received the highest rating among factors companies used in deciding which applicants to hire, and at least half of the companies considered grade point average and work experience as either of great or very great importance; (3) over 85 percent of the companies rated health insurance, retirement plans, and employee savings plan as being of great or very great importance as part of employee compensation; (4) 40 percent to 70 percent of the companies rated life insurance, dental insurance, long-term disability insurance, vacation days, short-term disability insurance, survivor benefits, disability retirement plan, and paid holidays as being of great or very great importance; (5) 66 companies said their objective was to pay wages at or above the average of what other employers pay; (6) 63 companies considered the cost of living when adjusting wage and salary schedules; (7) 78 companies considered job performance to be of great importance and 37 considered group performance when determining pay adjustments; (8) 71 companies had wage and salary schedules that differed by locality; and (9) more than 80 percent of the companies indicated that programs were in place to or planned to reimburse interview expenses of prospective employees, cultivate ties with schools, provide employee assistance programs, sponsor health and wellness programs, and provide unpaid or family leave.