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Brazil’s Most Attractive Employers 2019

By Universum on 08/05/2019

Brazilian banks have overwhelmingly captured the attention of local business talent to become their industry of choice.

  • Brazilian students are choosing companies that first allow them to have a good balance between work and personal life.
  • Local talent are showing an increasing preference for national employers over international companies.
  • Security and stability in their work is still a major factor in the selection and prioritization process of employers available in the market.

Stockholm, May 8th 2019 – Yesterday, Universum released the findings from the Brazilian portion of its annual Global Talent Survey. This year saw more than 27,000 participating students from six main fields of study and 142 universities share their opinions and views on their career goals and ideal employers. Set out to track career aspirations and preferences of the future talent pool, Brazil’s Most Attractive Employers 2019 recognises the current most coveted employers based solely on the responses collected from the local talent pool.

Brazil has consistently been one of the emerging economies that has always attracted the attention of foreign investors, especially multinational firms who consider it a key and preferred market for international expansion. But this trend on the part of the companies was not always linear, in previous years there was a drastic decrease, accompanying the decline of the economy of the country. It is only from 2018 that companies have realized again that there are good opportunities for a return on investment. In this follow-up, despite the current political upheaval, Brazil continues to offer attractive perspectives among the best employers.

Student career goals among key study areas

The research reveals the wants and needs of the students and what they consider should be the conditions and opportunities offered by potential employers. It has been evident that the balance between work and personal life is the attribute that students in all areas of study regard as most important, despite a small proportional decline, this year it returns as the top career goal. Students in the business area are looking for companies that offer security and stability in their jobs as well as companies that will provide opportunities to be leaders and managers of people. The student engineering talent pool is fond of being entrepreneurs or creative/innovative without losing focus on job security and stability. The ambition of an international career in this ranking has overcome the need for security and stability for IT students, although an international career can certainly offer the necessary balance of those two career goals. It should be noted, however, that engineering students from the Southeast of Brazil (São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) have a priority to have a balance between personal and professional life than students in the rest of the country (7.29% difference ), in addition, IT students value technical and functional specialization 5.30% more than students across the rest of the country.

Juliana Calderari, Employer Branding Expert for Universum Brazil recalls: “This year’s rankings are extremely interesting – we came from a time of economic instability and a low contracting volume. With the demonstration of mild economic warming and with the companies coming back to recruit more strongly, in addition to the entry of new players, we are seeing very interesting reflections of this in the rankings of 2019.”

Brazil’s Most Attractive Employers

The study reveals a large attraction level in national companies for job success and development as 6 companies out of the top 10, for students in the area of business and engineering are topping the rankings. This isn’t the case for IT students, as Nubank is the only national company in the top 10, the remaining companies are based in the US, this indicator is certainly in line with the choice to work for the Computer and Software Services industry.

The Brazilian multinational and semipublic company, Petrobras, has established its constant position in the business area, and has gained 3 positions in this year’s ranking, it is the company of choice for Engineering students, however, it has continuously fallen positions in the last 5 years in relation to IT students. The Odebrecht conglomerate Odebrecht climbed 34 positions in Business Ranking this year, changing trends of dropping in the Business ranking since 2015, and also rising 9 positions in IT ranking. It is still the 5th most attractive company in the engineering ranking since last year.

Which are the newcomers in the Universum ranking? Undoubtedly, the prestigious multinational – Amazon, which launched in Brazil in 2012 only selling, and as of January 2019 has officially launched its full e-commerce site with 15 categories of products, is associated as being a fast-growing, entrepreneurial and innovative company, despite the high import costs of the products and the painful task of deliveries in a country of almost continental size. It is the first year in the ranking and slides into position 17 for Business students, 49 for engineering students, 9th for IT students. According to the National Manager for Brazil, Szapiro, this multinational has been directly and indirectly employing more than 1,400 people in Brazil. In fact, there is an almost generalized interest in a placement in this company, in both genres, that seems to attract the attention of all students in the major areas of study. For engineering students, the largest construction and real estate company in Brazil – MRV Engenharia, climbs into the ranking as 35th in Business, 2nd in Engineering, 84th in IT. The company is associated with being a good reference for a future career and a high level of responsibility. With reference to the company B3, one of the leading financial market infrastructure companies in Brazil, it is highly associated with challenging work, high level of responsibility and an excellent reference for a future career.

What are the industries preferred by the three study areas? For business students, the first choice is the banking industry, with a rise of 5.82% since 2018, on the other hand, the public sector (the 5th most attractive) has fallen 5.04% since last year. In the area of the engineering talent group, there is a preference for the industrial engineering and manufacturing industry (very stable since 2018), with the construction and civil engineering industry up 4.04% since last year. For students in the IT area, industry preferences include everything within the limits of computing software and IT services, but there has been a decline of 4.17% since last year, on the other hand, the banking industry rose from 8.37% since last year.

Characterization of the banking industry by business students

The study showed that 57.36% of business students expressed willingness to work for an international company/organization after graduation, however, given the information obtained in the context of the best choice of companies, it is easy to see that the opportunity of working for a national bank is undoubtedly very stimulating for any student. Itaú Unibanco (2nd), Banco Bradesco (3rd), Banco do Brasil (4th) and Nubank (9th) are the top five banking companies in the business ranking. All of these companies have seen a rise compared to the results presented in 2018. In turn, international banks such as Bank of America, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, have notably lost positions in the 2019 ranking.

Business talent’s preference for banking sector shows a 6% increase from last year, proving to be the number one sector for these students. What talent associate and expect from this industry is that these companies will eventually offer high returns, training and professional development as well as a good level of responsibility, and a good reference for the future career. With an 8% increase from 2018, the banking industry is also preferred by students in IT, making it the 3rd most attractive industry for this target audience.

Calderari commented: “It is extremely interesting to see how the banking industry has been transforming in recent years and how banks are consolidating as a benchmark in terms of employer branding. Accompanying the results in the rankings, mainly engineering and technology, we see the vast majority of banks going up in our rankings year after year making the banking industry a very appealing industry for young talent. But it is worth remembering that this is the result of consistent work and great efforts. This return is also seen in the ranking of Management and Business – for the first time we have 4 banks in the Top 5 in Brazil.”



1. Google

2. Itaú Unibanco

3. Banco Bradesco

4. Banco de Brasil

5. Santander

6. Governo Federal

7. Apple

8. Netflix

9. Nubank

10. Ambev


1. Petrobras

2. MRV Engenharia

3. Google

4. Governo Federal

5. Odebrecht

6. Ambev

7. Embraer

8. Apple

9. Vale

10. Microsoft


1. Google

2. Microsoft

3. Apple

4. IBM

5. Netflix

6. Facebook

7. Nubankk

8. Intel

9. Amazon

10. Samsung

Click here to download the full ranking and find out more about the career goals and preferences of Brazilian talent

About Universum:

Universum, part of the StepStone Group, is a global thought leader in Employer Branding. With 30 years of valuable experience in the field of employer branding, we have established ourselves in 60 markets globally, and our diverse workforce is physically present in 20 countries. We are uniquely positioned through our talent surveys to deliver key insights to recruiters about what future talent is looking for in a company. Our expertise and ability to support retargeting and strong branding sees us engage with 65m people and work with 1500 campaigns every year. Our data-led, human and meaningful output has attracted 1,700 clients, including many Fortune 500 companies, as well as global media partners that publish our annual rankings and trend reports. Find out more at