APAC Students Chase Careers at Google and High Future Earnings

APAC Students Chase Careers at Google and High Future Earnings

Singapore, July 15th 2014 – Universum’s 2014 Most Attractive Employers in Asia Pacific Ranking reveals students in Asia Pacific want to work for Google.

Asia Pacific is stepping onto the global stage with a growing talent pool of young and goal-oriented students. From October 2013 to May 2014, over 87,000 students took part in Universum’s Asia Pacific Student Survey from regions such as Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Of these areas, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia are quickly becoming competitive areas for talent recruitment in Asia Pacific. Universum’s survey explores career drivers, student goals, desirable employer attributes, and the most common communication channels used to find out about employers. The results are weighted by GDP.

Top Employer Ranking Results

Among business, engineering and IT students, Google is consistently ranked as the most desirable employer to work for. Deloitte and Citi follow in 2nd and 3rd place for business students, while engineering and IT students ranked strong brands Apple and Microsoft as their Ideal Employers after Google.

The rest of the Big Four accounting firms also placed among the Top 10: KPMG ranked 6th, PwC 7th and Ernst & Young 8th. The rankings clearly indicate the popularity of banks and professional service firms as they take 11 of the Top 20 employer positions. However, FMCGs made an impact too, with four key players featured: P&G ranked 5th, Unilever 14th, Nestle 16th and the L’Oreal Group 20th.

“We are honored and delighted that Deloitte is ranked second most ideal employer across Asia Pacific in the Universum ranking this year. This honor comes as a result of our commitment towards providing an environment for our employees to excel and achieve their full potential, and we do so by cultivating a high performance and innovative culture within the firm and delivering a distinctive experience for each employee. I would like to congratulate all of our people who have helped build our reputation and we will continue to work towards being an organisation where the best talent want to work for being an employer of choice for the most sought after talent.” – Chaly Mah, CEO of Deloitte Asia Pacific and Deloitte Southeast Asia

As technology and digital markets continue to grow, IT employers take a stronghold among top ranks for engineering/IT and business students. Another noteworthy mention is HSBC: The only bank to originate in Asia, HSBC is perceived as the 2nd most attractive bank in Asia to work for after Citi, and takes 9th overall.

“We are delighted to be ranked as one of Universum’s Top 10 Ideal employers by Asia-Pacific’s future talent. As a global bank, whose heritage lies in Asia, it is critical we continue to understand, appreciate and evolve the attributes of current and prospective employees who belong to the Millennial generation”. Elaine Wang, Regional Head of Learning, Talent, Resourcing & Organisation Development, Asia-Pacific, HSBC.
While Google continues to dominate the rankings as the top employer for engineering/IT students, Samsung is a close competitor in Asia Pacific. On the other hand, former communications and IT giant, Nokia, continues to fall in the rankings at 32nd place this year.

Across the Top 20 results, 50% are IT employers and seven are car manufacturers. The only FMCG present is P&G, which sits at number 16.
“P&G people have always been and continue to be our most important asset — we are passionate about improving the lives of our consumers and winning in business,” said Charles Lim, Vice President – Human Resources, Procter & Gamble Asia. “We’re honored for this recognition as part of our continued commitment to recruiting, growing and developing top talent to lead our business in Asia and around the world.”
“Engineering students’ employer choices are often driven by the innovative consumer products that they experience. Google’s continued dominance and Samsung’s increase in attractiveness can both be attributed to this: Google’s Android software is market-leading and well distributed through Samsung’s products,” said Rachele Focardi, Regional Director Asia Pacific, Universum. “Although professional service employers continue to attract management/commerce students, we are seeing investment in the region from FMCG employers who not only understand how to market to their products, but how to build strong employer brands,” continued Focardi.

In general, employers within the Energy sector grew in 2014, with Shell being top in the energy industry emerging as the sole company within the sector to be placed in both the Business and Engineering/IT sections and of the APAC’s Most Attractive Employers rankings.

Daniel Zhang, Regional Recruitment Manager (APME), Shell, said: “We are deeply honored to receive the award this year. This award reaffirms Shell’s strengths as a world-class company to work for, and our commitment to be the most innovative and competitive energy company. We are inspired to continue to invest in our people, to attract and retain the best talents within Shell.”

Career goals: students still seek work/life balance

Similar to most student respondents around the globe, students in Asia Pacific reflect that work/life balance is a top career goal, with 54% of respondents choosing this as a priority. This is followed by “to be secure or stable in my job” (47%) and “to be dedicated to a cause or feel that I am serving the greater good” (34%). The countries whose students are leading the search for work/life balance are Australia (61%), Hong Kong (66%), China (49%), Indonesia (58%), Malaysia (65%) and Vietnam (53%).

High future earnings vs. professional training and development

For employers, knowing what attributes attract talent is critical in recruitment success. The 2014 survey reveals that “high future earnings” is a top priority across Asia Pacific for both management/commerce students and engineering/natural science students. This attribute is ranked number one in Japan, and number two in Malaysia. “A friendly work environment” is the second most popular driver for students in Asia Pacific, ranked first in Malaysia and Singapore, and second in Australia, Hong Kong and Thailand. The third ranked attribute is “a creative and dynamic work environment,” ranked number one in India and two in Vietnam.

For students in Australia and Hong Kong, “professional training and development” is the most sought-after attribute. This is similar in other regions such as the Middle East and much of Europe. On the other hand, “a good reference for future career” is a top driver of employer attractiveness in China. With the exception of Thailand and China, the survey results revealed that “a high starting salary” is not among the Top 10 of the most attractive attributes of an ideal employer. This is because a growing number of Millennials across Asia Pacific prioritize employers who offer positive, flexible and creative working environments over a large paycheck.

While students from different regions are choosing a diverse range of career drivers, one theme for future employers is apparent—the Asia Pacific talent pool is increasingly selecting employer attributes which will provide their careers longevity and diverse opportunities to innovate, lead and succeed.

“Asia Pacific is a very diverse and challenging region for employers to secure top talent,” said Focardi. “There are a number of employer attributes that are very attractive to students, but those that trigger career decisions are ultimately quite diverse. We cannot treat them as one homogenous group – successful employers segment this audience and produce very targeted communications.”

Click here to see the top employers.