Industry Reputation and Global Spread Defines Future Earnings in the Candidate’s Eyes
In our recent World’s Most Attractive Employers (WMAE) report, we unveiled key insights about the workforce of tomorrow and what students want from their employers. We’ve already discussed the trend of students moving away from macro employers to their smaller counterparts in pursuit of career goals like work-life balance and job security/stability.
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One of these considerations is future earnings. Even though this preference slipped from the #2 to the #3 spot for Engineering/IT talent, it’s still very important to students when considering where they want to work. Only innovation and a creative and dynamic work environment ranked higher. The companies listed under image ranking — that is, the companies’ students thought were most likely to fulfill that preference — were McKinsey & Company, ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs, many of which are represented in several of the surveyed economies.
Before making assumptions, let’s shift to Business students’ preferences. For them, high future earnings was the absolute #1 preference, edging out a creative and dynamic work environment and leaders who will support development, which came in at #2 and #3 respectively. This preference did not change for Business students from last year. In terms of the image ranking, the companies listed look very similar to the list above: Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Company and J.P. Morgan. Again, companies represented in several of the economies surveyed.
Finding: Companies that operate in more WMAE markets are more likely to be associated with high future earnings!
From this correlation (while not supported by additional surveys and tests) we can at least hypothesize that perceived prestige in addition to industry reputation could be the connection students are making to high future earnings. We say this because many of the organizations students consider most attractive fall within investment banking and the oil and gas industries, historically known for financial return.
We could also hypothesize that global spread (meaning the presence of these companies in several areas globally) correlates with future earnings for nearly all students surveyed. We believe global footprint to be a factor because of the outliers that come from other industries, like Google, Apple and the other primarily tech-related companies. These organizations, while not part of these industries, are internationally known which means international clients, colleagues and travel.
So if our hypotheses are correct, what can companies with less of a global presence do to change the perception that higher earnings are synonymous with global spread? Some possible solutions:
- Ignore future high earnings as a goal and focus on one of the other Top 3, which include leaders who will support development, a creative and dynamic work environment, and innovation.
- Build out your employer brand to focus on future earnings and employees’ journey through the company. If you want to be perceived as a good place for career growth and high future earnings, you must clearly communicate how you build and develop talent.
- Outline internal career trajectory beginning with how an entry-level position can fuel diversified advancements within the organization. This might be through mentorship programs or high-levels of exposure to senior leadership.
- Engage a research firm to help you decide which markets will expose you to the greatest number of students globally.
The good news is that high future earnings falls into the remunerations and advancement opportunities section of our preference survey, which only represents a quarter of the top 20 preferences students have. To learn more about how the WMAE research can help you refine your EVP, plan your employer brand strategy and implement your roadmap to attract and retain tomorrow’s workforce, speak with an expert at Universum today.