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Universum releases its first student rankings of 2019 – Sweden’s Most Attractive Employers

By Universum on 22/03/2019

Google’s popularity is slowing down among talent in Sweden, but they once again fight off Volvo Cars and Spotify to remain the most attractive employer for Swedish business, engineering and IT students.

  • Swedish Gen Z expect higher entry-level salaries than their Gen Y counterparts
  • Job stability and work/life balance remain the top career goals for Swedish talent
  • Swedish Talent tends to favour domestic employers over international firms

Stockholm, March 22nd 2019 – This morning Universum launched the findings from the Swedish portion of its annual Global Talent Survey. This year saw more than 25,000 participating students from 186 different areas of study and 33 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, Sweden’s Most Attractive Employers 2019 recognizes the current most coveted employers based solely on the responses collected from the local talent pool.

Highlighting the popularity, the international technology giant has over young talent in Sweden year running, Google has once again been selected as the number one employer to work for by those studying business, IT and engineering.

While the top ten spots on all three rankings remain quite stable, it is important to note that domestic firms such as H&M and IKEA take up the majority of these positions, which would suggest that Swedish talent is currently favouring national employers over international companies.

Describing this trend, Universum MD for Nordics, UK and Ireland, Claes Peyron said. “This has to do with their approach to attracting and engaging with talent, they are so people-centric. What connects two very different companies like Volvo Cars and Spotify is the inside out approach to engaging with talent. Everything these companies talk about comes from within and their messages are received as true and authentic, which is a recipe for success in 2019 and beyond.”

Gen Y vs. Gen Z

The 2019 rankings are quite unique compared to previous years in that for the first time the majority of one generation is starting to leave university whilst another generation is starting to embark on their studies. This has meant that we have been able to directly compare both generations studying at the same time at the same universities, and there are some clear differences.

Describing some of these differences, Peyron said “Overall, Gen Z expect a higher salary and they also place more importance on high future earnings than their Gen Y counterparts. Gen Z also views themselves as the leaders of the future. In the long run, this will place new demands on employers when it comes to attracting the best talent from this younger generation. Once this new talent realizes their value, I expect that this will lead to an even more competitive talent market in Sweden.”

The Swedish Top 10 Most Attractive Employers for Business and Engineering Students 2019

Google, Spotify, IKEA and H&M all managed to retain their respective top four places from the previous year, while PwC managed to climb two places to take over fifth place. Fellow climber, Swedbank, managed to leap an incredible twelve positions since 2018 and now sits in sixth place, ahead of Handelsbanken which also climbed this year to take over seventh place. Falling by two positions, EY (Ernst & Young) now sits in eighth place,  ahead of SEB which climbed four places since the previous year. Nike is now the tenth most attractive employer for Swedish business talent after falling five places since the previous year.


1. Google

2. Spotify


4. H&M

5. PwC

6. Swedbank

7. Handelsbanken

8. EY (Ernst & Young)

9. SEB

10. Nike

Mirroring this year’s business ranking, there are no changes to the top four in the engineering ranking with Google, Volvo Cars, Spotify and Volvo Group all managing to retain their respective top four places, while Sweco jumped three places to take over the fifth place spot. IKEA climbed one position and now sits in sixth place, ahead of fellow climber Microsoft which moved from ninth to seventh place since 2018. After falling three places each, ÅF and Saab (Defence & Security) are this year’s eighth and ninth most attractive employers for Swedish engineering talent, while ABB took over the tenth place spot after climbing one position since 2018.


1. Google

2. Volvo

3. Spotify

4. Volvo Group

5. Sweco


7. Microsoft

8. ÅF

9. Saab (Defense and Security)

10. ABB

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

About Universum

Universum is the global leader in employer branding. During our 30 years of service, we have established ourselves in 60 markets globally. Where our diverse workforce is physically present in 20 countries. Our services include actionable researchstrategic advisorydata-driven communication and social media solutions for talent branding, sourcing, and analytics. Universum is a trusted partner to over 1,700 clients. This includes many Fortune 500 companies, as well as global media partners that publish our annual rankings and trend reports. We work with over 2,000 universities, alumni groups, and professional organizations to gather insights from students and professionals in order to advise employers on how to attract and retain talent that fits their culture and purpose. On an annual basis, Universum surveys over 1,000,000 students and professionals worldwide. Find out more at www.universumglobal.com.