Recruiting, Talent

‘World’s Most Attractive Employers’ Label Is Great for Recruiting College Grads

There’s no time like the present to start recruiting college seniors to your company. However, if your company doesn’t stand out among the rest, you’ll be losing out on top talent. College grads and jobseekers alike are all looking to work for the “World’s Most Attractive Employer.” Does your company have what it takes to earn that label? Let’s find out!


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Universum Global—an employer branding consultancy—recently conducted research to find out which employers students hold in the highest regard and what factors affect their decisions when looking to work for these employers. Universum surveyed over 225,000 business and engineering/IT students in the world’s 12 largest economies and asked them to provide insight on company characteristics they find most attractive in a potential employer as well as to whom they perceive to be their ideal employer.
Here are some of the key findings from the Universum report World’s Most Attractive Employers 2018.

Candidates Are Seeking More Work/Life Balance Than Ever Before

According to Universum’s findings, 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.
However, Universum’s research finds that 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 IT students—and as we know IT skills are very sought after in the digital age.

Candidates Want Innovative Companies That Also Serve a Purpose

Companies like Amazon and Volvo have these two important factors in common: They both exude a strong sense of purpose, and they have both taken high profile steps forward in applying artificial intelligence-driven innovation to reach their goals.
Amazon, which ranks #13 among business students in Universum’s findings, has actually improved its Universum rankings over previous years, despite facing strong criticism about working conditions in the company’s massive global network of warehouses. Amazon climbed from 26 to 13, the single-biggest gain of any global brand.
Universum says that Amazon was particularly attractive to students because of its two brand pillars: a willingness to pivot and adapt in pursuit of success, as well as its care for customers. Miriam Park, director of Amazon’s university recruiting, explains that Amazon employees are inspired by the question, “What problem are we trying to solve for our customers?” To do this, says Park, the company is committed to hiring people who are “deeply curious.”

Candidates Are Looking for Companies That Offer a Great Working Environment

Given the rising presence of the start-up sector in many leading countries, it is not surprising to see some of the qualities most associated with these younger, smaller companies influencing the importance of a creative, dynamic, and friendly work environments, finds Universum.
Obviously, the “start-up” culture is the most preferred working environment to those who specialize in engineering and IT, since they are generally most aware of the start-up career option.

Gen Z Candidates Want High Future Earnings

The fact that “high future earnings” continues to be the number one attraction driver across business, engineering, and IT students underlines the continued confidence of the emerging Gen Z workforce, finds Universum.
According to the report findings, “In the strongest economies, students in high-demand fields are commanding competitive salaries and generous signing bonuses. For some organizations, healthy compensation packages (and the expectation of future salary growth) are intended to make up for other perceived deficits—whether because a company is located in a less desirable location, or an organization with a less-recognized employer brand.”

Candidates Want the Opportunity to Continuously Learn

Gen Z and Millennials have expressed their growing desires to continuously learn, and they understand the importance of growing and improving skills in order to succeed. Companies that offer learning and development opportunities will have the best chance at recruiting college talent.
According to Universum, this emerging generation continues to put a significant focus on professional training and development, an attraction factor that has significantly risen in importance over the last 5 years. Both development and future earning capacity suggest that employers that favor a “build” vs. “buy” talent strategy will continue to be more attractive to student talent and younger workers.
To recap, in order to be a “World’s Most Attractive Employer,” your company needs to highlight the work/life balance and flexible opportunities jobseekers and college students crave as well as to offer a good working environment, higher earnings, and professional development opportunities. Once you have these items in place, you’ll be on the right path to becoming one of the World’s Most Attractive Employers!

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