European students attracted to the FMCG industry

European students attracted to the FMCG industry

Yet Google and Siemens remain their favourite employers

Stockholm, 21-05-2014 – For the second year in a row, Europe’s future engineers rank Siemens as their number one employer in Universum’s “Europe’s most attractive employers ranking”. While Business students consistently want to work for Google.

The annual talent attraction index compiles the results of the Universum Student Survey in 12 European countries: Germany, France, UK, Russia, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Poland and Belgium. The index is divided into two rankings: one based on Business students and one based on Engineering students, representing the preferences of more than 130,000 career seekers across Europe. The survey was conducted between October 2013 and March 2014.

The Top 5

Engineers are consistent with their choice of ideal employers with only small shifts in the top five: IBM rank second climbing from third, while BMW Group fell from second to third. Google and Microsoft remain in fourth and fifth position respectively.

“Companies ranked the highest in the European rankings continue to deliver strong and attractive communication to students across all markets, which is not easy as the European market is a complex group of countries with different expectations,” Said Claudia Tattanelli, Chairman Strategic Board at Universum.

Although Google retains the top spot there are notable challengers in the business ranking’s top five: L’Oréal Group (+1) and PwC (+2). EY (Ernst & Young) lost two positions and is now 4th while Microsoft (+4) continues to climb and is now safely within the top five.

“These companies managed to build a strong employer branding message globally and adapt it locally. They are active on campus as well as digitally and they created some real European strategies, such as a global internship program at Coca-Cola Enterprise or a global case competition at L’Oréal Group. This international aspect is fundamental for students,” continued Tattanelli.

Jean-Claude Le Grand, Senior VP Talent Development and Chief Diversities Officer at L’Oréal Group commented on L’Oreal’s climb: “Beyond just being a highly regarded company on a CV, it’s fundamental for us to know that L’Oréal offers what students are seeking from an employer today. This includes early responsibilities, diversified career paths and meaningful work. This ranking shows that students have a true insight into the adventure of joining L’Oreal: meeting inspirational people, creating, innovating and conquering new markets even today.”

The Big Four

PwC boast the most significant change of the Big Four professional services firms climbing from ninth in 2012 to third in 2014 – now the most attractive of the Big Four after EY (Ernst & Young)’s fall to fourth. KPMG (8) and Deloitte (15) remain steady in the business ranking. PwC’s strong performance can be attributed to them not only being broadly perceived to deliver on what students consider important, but they also have a great gender balance of students attracted to them.

“We are delighted to see our brand doing so well in the Universum rankings. Our strength in the minds of students is an important part of our brand and it is good to see them responding positively to our value proposition.” Said Charles Macleod, Director, Global Sourcing and UK Talent at PwC.
“For any student joining PwC, the skills, experience and relationships they build here will create all sorts of outstanding possibilities for the future – it’s what we describe as the opportunity of a lifetime.” Continued Macleod.

The rise of the FMCGs

The top industry for business students is now the FMCG sector, topping the traditional banking industry. The biggest climbers in this sector are Mondelēz International and Philip Morris International with an increase of 15 ranks each. The same trend is evident for engineering students where all the FMCG companies climb, especially Unilever and Johnson & Johnson (+12 each). The exceptions are L’Oréal Group (-2) and Coca-Cola Enterprise (-4).

“Companies from the FMCG sector have many best practices to share, indeed they communicate a lot about their employees, showing facts and using storytelling. They convey how it is to work for them, they emphasise their diversity and they are also clever at talking with millennials, both in person at career fairs and through contemporary digital communication.” Said Tattanelli.

Management & Strategy consulting is still attractive
All the companies from this sector retain their positions in the ranking (with two of them in the top 10), except Roland Berger Strategy Consultants that slightly decreases (-1). This sector is still very attractive for students in Europe year after year.

Consumer electronics loose it all

Engineering students have lost interest in consumer electronics: all companies from the sector decrease. Nokia registers the biggest drop (-10), followed by Sony (-7), Philips (-4) and even Apple (-2).

What students want?

Work/life balance is still the most attractive career goal for students in Europe, and although potentially unrealistic, it’s important to understand what work/life balance actually means to this generation. We’re not talking about shorter working hours, but about companies who foster a culture of respect and a comfortable and friendly work environment where employees can connect with colleagues creating the relationships that power a work/life balance.

“Students want to find diversity, encounter different personalities and different work styles so they are looking for an inclusive working environment. They want the company to hire them for what they are and what they can bring and not have to change themselves in order to fit the company.” Added Claudia Tattanelli.

Top employers understand that the strongest employer brands are those of companies who can convey not only “what they do”, but other less tangible factors that form the culture and the every day experience. Google is an excellent example of this, communicating how their employees will be able to “make a difference” at work and how they should “come with their own ideas, coupled with their market leading products and services is why they are a time enduring favourite.

For both business and engineering students, securing professional training & development and a creative and dynamic work environment is a strong driver. However, the study reveals some differences between countries, for example French business students focus more on a friendly environment, while German students are more driven by money: they want a competitive base salary first.

Europe’s Top 10 — Business

1. Google
2. L´Oréal Group
3. PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
4. EY (Ernst & Young)
5. Microsoft
6. McKinsey & Company
7. Unilever
9. P&G (Procter & Gamble)
10. BCG (The Boston Consulting Group)

Europe’s Top 10 — Engineering

1. Siemens
2. IBM
3. BMW Group
4. Google
5. Microsoft
6. Nestlé
7. GE
8. Bosch
9. Daimler/Mercedes-Benz
10. EADS

Click here to see the full list of top employers.