Google is yet again the world’s most attractive employer, according to a worldwide survey of more than 110,000 current business majors. The tech giant, headquartered in Mountain View in Northern California, has sat atop the ranking published by Universum for multiple years. Following Google is Goldman Sachs, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and KPMG, respectively. All of the top ten most attractive employers come from the financial services, consulting, or technology fields. The first consumer product goods company to make the list comes in 12th and is the L’Oréal Group.
Among the most popular industries for business majors, consulting stays at the top for a second year in a row. Some 27% of business majors listed consulting as their top industry of choice — a slight decline from 28% last year. Meanwhile, “financial services” overtook “banks” as the second most popular industry at 25%. Banks captured a quarter of the respondents top choice last year but fell to about 24% this year. Auditing and accounting followed at about 21%.
Universum also set out to measure top career goals among business majors based on country of residence. The most popular career goal among all countries — and in the U.S. — was to have a healthy work-life balance. The second, which also applied to all countries and the U.S., is to “be secure or stable” in the job. And thirdly — again for the entire population and the U.S. — is to be a “leader or manager of people.” Not only are future workers looking for a work-life balance, but also flexible schedules, the report says.
“While work life balance has been a dominant long-term student career goal for many years, flexible working has tended to be a somewhat recessive factor when it comes to the more immediate choice of employers,” the report reads. “However, there are strong signs that this is beginning to change with the importance of flexible working growing in importance year on year for the last 5 years, particularly among much in demand IT students.”
Work environment, innovation, and purpose-driven impact are all big influencers on what future talent is looking for in an employer, the report says. “Given the rising presence of the start-up sector in many leading countries it is unsurprising to see some of the qualities most associated with these younger, smaller companies influencing the importance of creative, dynamic and friendly work environments to students choice of employers, especially those engineering and IT students who are generally most aware of the start-up career option,” the report says.
Based on those trends, it’s tough to see Google being displaced from the top of the list anytime soon. The innovative Googleplex, which houses the majority of Google’s employees, features a bowling alley, seven fitness centers, sand volleyball courts, and bikes for employees to get across the 3.1 million square-foot campus. Employees also get perks like yoga and massages and three free gourmet meals a day.
But, Universum CEO Petter Nylander says, companies can change their reputation, albeit not without a heavy lift.
“Over the ten years Universum has produced this study, we see over and over that companies have the power to change their employer reputations among young people — though it requires a tremendous commitment to undertake,” Nylander said in the report. “This year companies like Amazon, adidas and Boston Consulting Group demonstrate that by focusing on the employer value proposition and getting the message out to university students, an organization can transform its ability to recruit top talent.”
(See the next page for the entire list of the World’s Most Attractive Employers.)