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Tech giants snag top spots in the Most Attractive Employers in the US

By Universum on 24/08/2022

NEW YORK, NY Aug 24th — Universum has just released the Most Attractive Employers in the United States — and the data show that young people in the US increasingly weigh quality-of-life issues like work-life balance and flexible works top attributes in a future employer — well above factors like professional development opportunities or a clearly defined path for advancement and even inspiring purpose which my come as a surprise to many companies.

“The last three years have changed the way young people think about work,” says Kortney Kutsop, Managing Director of the Americas for Universum. “A company’s compensation offer is always going to be a top priority for young talent, but the features of an ideal job are evolving— and employers that expect young people to ‘pay their dues,’ so to speak, may be disappointed. Young people want balance, and they’ll seek out the companies that offer it.”

Universum surveyed over 49,000 US-based students including business, engineering and computer science between October and April. The study asked students to choose which employer characteristics are most influential as they consider future employment, and which employer brands they most admire.

Among the noteworthy findings from this year:

The latest career priority is ‘self-care’: Each year we ask young people to rank the employer attributes that matter most. This year, work-life balance and flexible work became top-5 attributes, above issues like professional development and a future career path. The covid-era drive for high quality of life is still alive for 2023.

3 in 4 students want to work remotely. Despite commentary about young people wanting the camaraderie and mentorship of in-office working, the numbers tell a different story. The overwhelming majority want remote options — and the same is true for working professionals Universum surveyed; 87% of professionals say they want to work for a company that offers remote work.

Wage inflation is likely to continue into early 2023: Overall inflation is driving up pay expectations. This year, salary expectations for a first job out of university rose 13% compared to 2021 — 6x the growth rate from the year prior. Kutsop adds, “As job growth moderates in the second half of 2022, we believe these expectations will moderate. That said, given the rate of change we’re seeing currently, compensation is no longer a once-per-year discussion.” 

The race to attract engineering talent is still exceptionally competitive: For the first time in Universum history, there is near-zero movement in the engineering rankings among the Top 10, showing just how competitive those top spots are. Outside of that group, the auto industry made big strides; GM, Ford and Toyota all gained significant attractiveness points among engineering students (up 6, 7 and 9 points respectively).

Goldman Sachs gained most among the Top 10 employer brands for business students, rising 4 points to win an impressive #5 ranking overall. Goldman has been working to differentiate its employer brand across all its channels, with a specific emphasis on messaging to underrepresented groups about the company’s values and opportunities. Other big winners? JPMorgan landed the #3 spot among business students, Netflix for computer science students (up 4 points to #6), and Lego for engineering students (up 10 points to #21).

“Driving a significant change in employer perception may seem like a Herculean task,” says Jeff Rugg, Senior Employer Branding Advisor at Universum. “Yet year after year, the Universum research shows that if companies treat employer branding as a strategic asset, and invest in research to understand and engage critical talent groups, they can influence perception change in months, not years.”

The research has shown some interesting shifts this year that speak to what talent demands. “It is definitely a candidate-driven market,” says Kutsop. “The companies that prioritize their employer brand and develop a true and unique Employer Value Proposition (EVP) will have an advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.”

US Business Students’ Rankings
Employer2022 RankingChange from 2021
J.P. Morgan3
The Walt Disney Company4
Goldman Sachs5
US Engineering Students’ Rankings
Employer2022 RankingChange from 2021
Space X1
Lockheed Martin4
Northrop Grumman9
Raytheon Technologies10
US Computer Science Students’ Rankings
Employer2022 RankingChange from 2021
Space X7

To download a copy of the World’s Most Attractive Employers report, which includes detailed insights about industry preferences, ideal employer brand attributes and rankings, visit https://universumglobal.com/rankings/united-states-of-america/.

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