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Although still attractive, interest in remote working opportunities wanes among Indian graduates

By Universum, 2023-06-02

High future earnings, a friendly workplace and professional training & development top career preferences list, while Google is crowned as India’s most attractive employer among all students

India, 30th May 2023 – Universum, a global thought leader in employer branding, shared the India findings from its latest annual global talent survey 2023, involving over 21,000 students from 175 universities in India. The research sets out to track the career aspirations and preferences of India’s future talent pool and recognises the most coveted employers based solely on collected responses. This year, tech giant Google emerged as the number one employer of choice among India’s future workforce.

The research conducted from September 2022 to March 2023 also reveals that India’s future talent has a stronger appetite towards large global companies that are well-established and have operations worldwide. This is clearly reflected in the top 100 business rankings as nine of the top 10 companies are international organisations.

“One thing that constantly sets Indian talent apart from their regional and global peers is their high interest in international career opportunities, be that working for international employers or domestic employers with significant operations overseas,” said Mike Parsons, APAC managing director for Universum.

Gender gap in expected annual salary is the highest in five years

In 2023, the gender gap between male and female students is 25%, with the expected salaries of male students at 1,351,373 INR and women at 1,007,052 INR – the highest gender pay gap in five years. The survey further reveals that the expected annual salary of university students has slightly increased since last year by 3% from 1,201,450 INR to 1,232,477 INR.

High future earnings and a friendly work environment are top priorities

The research shows the top two employer preferences remained the same as those in 2022, including “high future earnings” and “a friendly work environment”. Students have placed greater importance on “flexible working conditions”, which rose three places on the list to the fifth, compared with the previous year. There was a notable drop in the preference for “leadership opportunities” that shifted down to eleventh position this year from sixth place in 2022.

Looking at top preferences by gender, female talent prioritizes employers who can offer “secure employment”, “professional training and development”, and “flexible working conditions”. In contrast, male talent is more attracted to companies that provide “good reference for future career”, “leadership opportunities”, and showcase innovation in their products and services. 

When it comes to remote work, the appetite for exploring remote work opportunities has declined from last year (70% in 2023 compared to 75% in 2022), with a number of increased concerns about a remote work setup. Feeling isolated and missing out on social connections with co-workers remains their top concern (2023: 38%, 2022: 27%), followed by their concern about the impact on earning potential (2023: 35%, 2022: 26%) and the potential impact on their work-life balance (2023: 29%, 2022: 22%).

“We can see from the high numbers of employers that Indian grads would consider working for, and the high number they select as ideal, that competition for top talent in India is fierce. Employers must tap into the data to formulate compelling employment propositions if they want to stay competitive in this market,” Parsons said.

About Universum  

Universum is a data-driven employer branding agency. Founded in Stockholm, we are now active in over 60 countries, with key hubs in Zürich, Paris, Berlin, London, New York, Singapore and Shanghai. The Universum Talent Survey, conducted in over 60 markets worldwide, surveyed more than one million students and professionals about their preferences among potential employers, their career ideas, and communication preferences. Leveraging this, we provide our clients with the research, strategy, and creative solutions they need to compete more effectively for talent.  

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