SHANGHAI, April 4th 2014 – Universum announced the latest findings from its China Top 100 Ideal Employers 2014 student survey during an awards ceremony and press conference held at Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park Hotel yesterday. This year’s study revealed huge concerns future talent in the country have over their career prospects upon graduation, due to emerging signs of a slowing economy. In particular, significantly more students chose “competitive base salary” as one of the most attractive attributes their ‘ideal’ employer should possess, making it the second most important quality to “good reference for future career”.
William Wu, country manager for Universum, said, “Competition for jobs is increasingly intensive as the graduating cohort gets bigger every year. Chinese talent have been distinctive in the global talent scene as they continue to place great emphasis on ‘remuneration & advancement opportunities’, while their peers have shifted focus to the ‘people & culture’ aspects of their future employers. With fear over a slowing Chinese economy and the impact on availability of jobs upon graduation, most of our undergraduates have decided to better manage their salary expectations and at the same time, significantly increased their preference to work for employers who can provide ‘competitive base salary’. “
Underlying the huge focus on monetary benefits upon graduation was the desire “to be secure or stable in my job”, which was the Number Two career goal among survey respondents. However, “to have work/life balance” – which most students related to “having a career that is aligned with my personal interests”, “work location” and “valuing and respecting employees for who they are and their contributions to the company” – remained top priority to Post-90s talent.
Through the China Top 100 Ideal Employers 2014 student survey, future talent in China also selected employers they deemed most attractive to work for upon graduation. The top employers, including Huawei which made the Top 1 Ideal Employer among Engineering students for the first time, were recognised during the awards ceremony. (see appendix for a list of employers who received their awards on stage yesterday)
Other key findings from the survey include:
Reflecting their outstanding business growth, homegrown internet companies – Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent – also caught the hearts of young talent in China as their rankings improved significantly across the board this year. In particular, Alibaba and Tencent joined Baidu among Top 10 Ideal Employers, according to the Engineering cohort, for the first time.
“It is no surprise to see Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent faring exceptionally well in this year’s China Top 100 Ideal Employers rankings. There are more and more common associations talent are making between Google and these three companies; ‘fast-growing/entrepreneurial’, ‘a creative & dynamic work environment’ and ‘team-oriented work’ being a few key ones. While Google has firmly retained its Number Two position, I see real potential for one of our very own to supersede the World’s Most Attractive Employer in the very near future,” Mr. Wu added.
The banking sector remained the most ideal industry for business students in China to work in upon graduation. Domestic banks – both state-owned and privately-owned – managed to extend the gap with their foreign counterparts as their average employer rankings improved from 2013. In particular, ICBC, China Development Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank ranked among Top 10 this year.
However, two foreign banks – Citi and HSBC – managed to grow in attractiveness among this group of talent, having improved their rankings by one and three positions to third and fourth respectively.
This year, Engineering students found the automotive sector particularly appealing to work in upon graduation, replacing the Engineering & Manufacturing industry as the most attractive industry. BMW Group, Volkswagen Group and China FAW Group were the three most coveted employers in the industry. Daimler/Mercedes-Benz and Volvo Car Group also enjoyed significant improvements in their Engineering rankings, climbing 30 and 29 positions respectively.
A significantly larger proportion of survey respondents – 28 per cent – chose Shanghai as their ‘ideal’ city to work in upon graduation this year. In contrast, only 21 per cent chose Beijing this year as compared with 29 per cent last year. The fall was largely contributed by students originating from Beijing who shifted their preferences to other cities including Shanghai and Hong Kong.