Ernst & Young and Microsoft East Africa are among Africa's top employers, according to the Top Employers in Africa index 2012/13, released by the Netherlands-based CRF Institute last week.
Some of the guiding considerations are working conditions, including the wellbeing of staff and the retention of top talent.
We already know that Africa has suffered a huge brain drain, and as a result many African countries have lost some of their highly skilled professionals, [who] have left to work overseas
Several multinational companies feature on the list of top employers, including British American Tobacco, Ernst & Young, G4S, Microsoft, Old Mutual, Siemens and Unilever.
Speaking at the unveiling of the list in Johannesburg, South Africa, the CRF Institute's South Africa Country Manager, Samantha Crous, said as businesses grow their footprints on the continent, it becomes more and more important to develop applicable, relevant HR policies and practices alongside.
"These policies become essential for managing the massive redistribution of talent that will be necessary to sustain successful business development in the continent's many emerging markets," she says. "And it's for this reason that we have created the Top Employers in Africa audit."
It was noted that on the continent, South Africa has a growing list of local and International multinationals with operations in Africa that face unique challenges in the attraction, retention and engagement of top talent.
According to Elisee Okanda Loma, an HR consultant specialising in issues of African development, one of the challenges of doing business in Africa is the shortage of skills.
"We already know that Africa has suffered a huge brain drain, and as a result many African countries have lost some of their highly skilled professionals, [who] have left to work overseas."
But, there are many talented young African professionals waiting for a reason to return home, she says.
Seshni Samuel, Africa People Leader of Ernst & Young, which operates in 33 African countries, said being recognised as a Top Employer across Africa assists in reinforcing internally.
"Overall it helps us strive for continuous improvement in order to grow our 'leading people culture' and gives us the opportunity to benchmark ourselves against other top employers,"
Unilever Human Resources Vice President Africa, Antoinette Irvine expressed happiness to be considered among the top employers.
"The certification will allow us to drive an African talent agenda, leveraging the scale and footprint of the Unilever brand on campuses and in the talent arena in South Africa, and expand this into Africa," says Irvine.
The CRF Institute certifies leading employers based on their employee offerings as outlined in HR policy.
In the research, all critical areas of the HR management of the participating organisations were assessed.
The rating showed that Microsoft East Africa has outstanding employee offerings and thus qualified for the exclusive Top Employers certification.
Microsoft Kenya was established in 1996 and later extended its operations to other countries in East and Southern Africa (with the exception of South Africa).
The Nairobi office directly oversees activities in the expanded 'East and Southern Africa' region - namely Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.