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The Netherlands Most Attractive Employers 2019

By Universum on 02/07/2019

• HEINEKEN and Tesla retain the respective top positions among Business and STEM talent.
• Deloitte widens the gap among the “Big Four” as the most attractive employer in the Auditing and Accounting industry for business students.
• The Construction and Civil Engineering sector finishes among the most attractive industries for STEM talent, up +2% from the previous year.

AMSTERDAM – July 2nd, 2019 – Today Universum – the Global leader in Employer Branding – released the 2019 findings of their annual Dutch Talent Survey. This year, 28,397 Bachelor- and Master- students from 33 universities shared their opinions and views on their career goals and ideal employers. Set out to track career aspirations and preferences of the future talent pool, The Netherlands’ Most Attractive Employers 2019 reveal who are the most coveted employers based on the largest survey done so far.

What motivates Dutch talent this year?

The results of Universum’s 2019 survey show that Dutch talent have been influenced by the continuing economic growth in The Netherlands. The rate of unemployment reached historic lows of 3,3% in April 2019, and its strong economy has fuelled positive expectations and ambitions among young Dutch talent.

Describing the emergence of this confident and ambitious new wave of Dutch talent, Universum Country Manager for The Netherlands, Aurelie Pradier, said “Dutch talents’ career aspirations, preferences and overall confidence in their future careers derive from a stable and growing economy and their choice of employers and preferred industries also reflect this.”

Aurelie Pradier continued “Auditing and Accounting, Retail and Banking are three of the industries that showed the biggest gains among business talent this year. Their choice in industries again underlines the strength of the current economic climate and the confidence the future of business talent has in it. The preferred industry choices of their STEM counterparts are a little more fascinating. The highest gainers include historically recession  proof industries such as Health Care Equipment and Health Care Services. However, we are also seeing a steady increase of STEM talent wanting to join Construction and Engineering and Media and Advertising; both industries saw an increase of 2% each from the previous year.”

The Battle of the Big Four

This year, Deloitte widens the gap among the “Big Four” as the most attractive employer in the Auditing and Accounting sector for business students by climbing an impressive five positions to take over 16th place. Its consistent campus recruitment strategy supported by the ambassador teams and targeted communication campaigns on social media have strengthened Deloitte’s position in the talent market, and they have succeeded at standing out from the crowd.

Discussing their successful strategy to attract talent, Jaap Hoogesteger – Employer Branding Manager at Deloitte said “We are proud of this splendid result and our consistent growth over the past years. We have spent the last few years, creating more effective contacts with our talent target groups by being innovative in our interactions, both online and offline. Our
colleagues and their own stories take centre stage in this. It signifies a growing group of people who appreciate the impact we have on our clients, employees and society.”

Deloitte is not the only firm in this group that has reasons to celebrate this year, as the other three employers also managed to hold their ground or make gains. EY climbed two places and to claim the 21st place, while KPMG jumped four spots to reach the 22nd place. PwC is the non-mover of the Big Four after continuing to hold on to its 27th position for the fourth year in a row.

Overall, this year the Auditing and Accounting sector has become more attractive in the eyes of business students, increasing by 5% since 2018. By contrast, the Management and Strategy Consulting sector has lost some of its attractiveness after falling 2% over the same period.

The Netherlands’ Top 10 Most Attractive Employers for Business and STEM Students 2019

While the top 10 on both rankings remain relatively stable, there have been some interesting developments among the Most Attractive Employers. For the fourth year in a row, the internationally renowned Dutch beer giant, HEINEKEN, remains the most sought after employer among business students. HEINEKEN has successfully built on the impact of its ‘Go Places’ campaign by launching ‘Go Places 2.0’, featuring unique and proud employee stories across all continents. For the first time since the launch of Universum’s Dutch survey in 2009, Nike reaches the top 3, while fellow sports and footwear firm adidas has been steadily increasing its attractiveness this year by climbing one position since 2018 to take over 9th  place.

Describing the approaches and attractive characteristics that these top employers share, Aurelie Pradier said “What these companies have in common is their bold and creative
communication style when it comes to employer branding. In today’s competitive talent market, they manage to differentiate their original and authentic campaigns. They also
successfully engage their own employees and turn them into great ambassadors through meaningful stories on what it’s like to work there. It is no longer a matter of just being visible; it’s also crucial to stand out from the crowd and create a personal connection with talent.”

Another interesting development this year is the gradual decline in the attractiveness of Google as an employer of choice among business students. Google was ranked 1st in 2014, and this year, they fell by two more positions and now sit in 5th place.

The choices made by Dutch STEM talent, remain extremely stable for the third year in the row, resulting in no movements among the top 5 most attractive employers. The American automotive and energy company, Tesla, holds on to its top spot in The Netherlands for the third year in a row, despite some recent unfavourable publicity and its negative stock trend. Google holds on to 2nd place, but the gap with Tesla has widened after Google loses 2% of its attractiveness since 2018. Philips, Rijksoverheid and Apple complete the rest of the Top 5.

Describing this year’s STEM talent, Aurelie Pradier said “STEM talent are driven by innovative companies, that embrace new technologies, and that constantly challenge the minds of its employees. It is therefore not a surprise to see Tesla, Google and Philips at the top of the STEM ranking as our data shows that these career drivers are very strongly associated with these employers.”

See the full TOP 100 Universum Ranking and find out more about the career goals and preferences of young Dutch 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 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