Business, engineering and IT students in 10 of APAC’s largest economies have chosen their favorite employers. Over 113,000 respondents in Universum’s Talent Survey have ranked the companies they find most desirable for employment, and the results delivered some valuable insights.
Millennials are attracted by an environment, not a reputation or a package.
When expressing what they want out of their careers and their ideal employers, millennials in APAC are highly focused on their working environment. Gen-Y wants to work in an environment that’s creative, dynamic and, importantly, friendly. These desires now supersede those for large remuneration packages and working for employers with the strongest market position. This trend is something that was first seen in Western economies in recent years and is now growing in significance in APAC, demonstrating that prioritising a working environment is, indeed, intrinsic of today’s millennial generation.
If you’re looking for high performers with bright minds and a streak of entrepreneurialism you need to recognize the wider range of options now available to the hottest young talent. Just as you adapt to fast changing commercial conditions, you also need to adapt to these fast emerging talent trends. As the majority of the CEOs around the world now realize creating the right environment for young talent has become a critical priority for business success.
Richard Mosley, Global Vice President of Strategy, Universum
This news can come as a double edged sword to employers who want to attract the very best talent. On one hand, changing a working environment can be implemented at relatively low cost and in relatively short timeframes, compared with changes like offering increased salary and perks or gaining market position and reputation. The downside, however, is that changing a working culture can involve changing the mindset and habits of an existing workforce and its management which, at an organisational level, is often fraught with challenges and complexities of its own.
This trend also goes some way to explaining the increased attractiveness of start-ups and SMEs, who’re perceived to offer these modern millennial friendly cultures, such as youngsters like Uber and Airbnb. This is great news for entrepreneurial and progressive businesses who, if savvy enough, can better position themselves to compete with larger orgnaistaions for the best talent.
I am surprised to see that many western MNC’s are still treating APAC as one market and do not understand how different all the markets are. Talent in APAC, although it has some common threads, is still as diverse as ever and we can clearly see that it is very important to localize your talent strategies in terms of communication and outreach. One size does not fit all anymore in APAC.
Joakim Ström, Managing Director APAC, Universum
Google takes the top spot for business and engineering students
The undisputed king of employer image in APAC, Google, maintained its grip on the top spot in 2015 among both business students and those studying engineering and IT. The remaining top five most attractive employers among engineering and IT students remained unchanged from 2014, with Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and BMW group following up respectively.
Among business students, however, there was some jostling in the top five, with PwC, leapfrogging rival Deloitte into second place, and KPMG surpassing Apple to take fourth.
Banks and professional services organisations dominated the rankings in the eyes of the business cohort, with all of the big four auditing and accounting firms in the top six and six of the big international banks in the top 20. Among engineering and IT students the focus was on organisations in the manufacturing sectors, with automotive, consumer goods, FMCG and traditional engineering and manufacturing companies sharing the bulk of the list between them.
With Asia booming like it is, we’re seeing increased competition between non-Asian MNCs and large Asian corporations for the very best talent. Interestingly, in home markets, it’s the local Asian players who are slowly winning this war. We’ve observed that they’re perceived by local talent to offer friendlier and more inclusive working environments, and this is often giving them the edge. However, they’re still not competing strongly at a regional level and have been unable to repeat their local successes when off of home soil. I still think there is some way for many of these organisations to go in terms of the sophistication of their employer branding strategies and market localization.
Mike Parsons, Marketing Director APAC, Universum
The APAC Most Attractive Employer rankings are compiled from the Universum Talent Surveys, conducted in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam These markets represent 25 per cent of the world’s economy. The field period for the data collection was from September 2014 to April 2015. To feature as a top employer in APAC, an organsiation must feature in the top 90% of at least four of the ten markets covered.