The World’s Most Attractive Employers Deliver Purpose and Innovation


Stockholm, June 24th – Business and engineering students in the world’s 12 largest economies have chosen their favorite employers. More than 240,000 respondents in Universum’s Talent Survey have ranked the companies they find most desirable for employment, and the results delivered some valuable insights.

A lack of professional growth is their greatest fear

Millennials want to truly understand a company’s purpose, align with it and work with others to propel the organization’s performance. And they want to be inspired, not overwhelmed, by employer messages. Storytelling is critical: Millennials want to learn about employees who embody the organization’s values and communicate authentic stories about their working life.

Millennials’ greatest fear is to be stuck without the opportunity for professional growth and development. Professional services firms like PwC and EY continue to pull the highest rankings in this regard; other industries should benchmark how this sector nurtures employees through training and mentoring.

This is a very interesting comparison with our South African students because they also identify professional training and development as an important attribute in an employer’s attraction. Kelebogile Motsa, Project Manager of Partner Relations and Data Collection at Universum South Africa mentioned that, students are usually worried about securing a job after graduating and having the right skills and training the job requires from them. Therefore, employers that offer professional training and development, as well as security usually have a higher level of attraction for South African students. This is why you would also see government appearing a lot more in the Most Attractive Employer lists in South Africa.

“The 2015 WMAE confirms that Millennials will go to work for companies whose stories they can tell, whose values they can espouse and whose businesses they can learn,” says Petter Nylander, CEO of Universum. “Students are seeking platforms for their own performance and growth. And they told us which companies are accomplishing this.”

Luvuyo Magopeni, Key Accounts Manager at Universum South Africa also mentioned that this is a similar trend seen amongst South African Millennials: “The attraction of leadership opportunities to South African Millennials is the opportunity to coach and mentor others, which speaks to that need of having a purpose”.  Although South African Millennials seek platforms for their performance and growth, they also want to help develop and grow others.

Google takes the top spot for business and engineering students

There was little movement in the top five employers among business students from the 2014 rankings, with Google once again taking top spot, followed by PwC, EY, Goldman Sachs, and Millennials are highly attracted to entrepreneurial energy in the workplace. They want to work in innovative settings, unencumbered by infrastructure, while still delivering strong financial results. Consequently, the tech industry generally attracts this kind of talent. Regarding employers in other industries, the energy sector took a hit with all employers losing ranks while the fast-moving consumer goods industry experienced a positive upswing.

The WMAE rankings are compiled from the Universum Talent Surveys, conducted in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK and US. These markets represent 69 percent of the world’s economy. The field period for the data collection was from September 2014 to April 2015.

About Universum South Africa

Universum is South Africa’s top research-based employer branding specialist assisting the country’s top employers to attract and retain the best talent with research, strategic consulting and media solutions. The foundation of Universum’s Employer Branding Model is research, which is why there is an investment in extensive resources to conduct the three surveys each year.

The student and professionals’ surveys are by far the biggest in the country eliciting responses from over 33 000 students, 10 000 professionals and 500 MBAs. They provide essential information for understanding and improving recruitment and retention.

Source: Universum South Africa

South Africa


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