Our people, at all levels, are our single greatest competitive advantage. In more than 100 sites in 29 countries, our employees represent the best of what our company is today and where it is going tomorrow.
Employee attraction and retention in our industry is a key priority for our leadership team and will be an essential factor in allowing Jabil to be confidently sustainable for years to come. We recruit for unique skill sets in emerging technologies to continuously expand our capabilities, both for Jabil and our customers. Increasingly, top talent is also seeking out Jabil as a “destination employer” that offers career opportunities with exposure to the world’s leading products and brands.
In 2017, for the second year in a row, Jabil was named to Fortune's “World's Most Admired Companies” list, a leading report card on corporate reputations. Jabil moved up to #6 in the industry, up from #8 last year, reflecting our commitment to continuous improvement. As Jabil’s reputation grows as a best-in-class employer, we are also increasing our ability to recruit for top talent and unique skill sets.
Nearly three quarters of our global workforce is employed in manufacturing operations (“direct labor”), while the remainder work in management and other support positions (“indirect labor”). High employee turnover rates, particularly in Asia, continue to be an industry-wide challenge. Jabil invests in a variety of career growth, learning and development programs, and employee recognition initiatives to increase retention rates.
In Fiscal 2017, Jabil began preparing for the launch of a new cloud-based human resources platform to manage our workforce planning, recruitment and talent management in one unified system. The system will provide Jabil leadership with dynamic real-time data and advanced analytics to continuously improve HR programs and services, including how we respond to the needs of various labor markets. It will also provide a more intuitive experience for employees to access training modules and other resources.
Preparations for a full transition will continue throughout Fiscal 2018, and the platform will officially launch on January 1, 2019.