GOOGLE is now ranked as the World’s Most Attractive Employer, says Universum global talent attraction index

…software industry highly dependent on human capital; attract, retain brightest minds in the world…

Stockholm, September 29th 2011—

Based on the preferences of over 160,000 career seekers, with a business or engineering background from the world´s 12 largest economies (based on nominal GDP), Universum releases the global talent attraction index: “The World’s Most Attractive Employers 2011”.

The index, split in the business category – preferences from business career seekers – and engineering category – preferences from engineering career seekers – reveals the current level of attractiveness that companies have as employers – and therefore their potential to lead the world of tomorrow.

On the Business index, Google repeats the win for the third consecutive year, with KPMG keeping its second place and with PwC overtaking Ernst & Young to secure a podium finish.

“The talent market for business career seekers is being dominated by the professional services firms, known for being great places to launch a career, and by companies that offer a new working culture in a dynamic environment.”

“For the last 3 years we have been seeing Google leading the pack and it will take a strong player with a clear talent strategy to steal this number one spot”, says Lovisa Öhnell, head of Research and Consulting at Universum.

On the Engineering index, again Google finds the way to the top spot for the third consecutive year, but now with IBM in the second position, relegating Microsoft to the 3rd spot on what seems to be a very strong competition for talent in the software industry – a battle that is being won by American companies.

“The software industry is highly dependent on its human capital, hence the efforts to attract and retain the brightest minds in the world. There’s a new working-culture paradigm today – the relaxed & creative office – and part of it we owe to this industry. Generation Y feels very comfortable working in this new environment and it’s clearly reflected in the attractiveness of the software industry.” says Carlo Duraturo, Global Account Director at Universum.

In parenthesis is the company’s position in 2010.

World’s Top 10—Business

1. Google (1)
2. KPMG (2)
3. PwC (4)
4. Ernst & Young (3)
5. Deloitte (5)
6. Microsoft (7)
7. Procter & Gamble (6)
8. J.P. Morgan (9)
9. Apple (18)
10. Goldman Sachs (10)

World’s Top 10—Engineering

1. Google (1)
2. IBM (3)
3. Microsoft (2)
4. BMW (5)
5. Intel (6)
6. Sony (4)
7. Apple (10)
8. General Electric (7)
9. Siemens (8)
10. Procter & Gamble (9)

For a full ranking list, please see below…

The index reveals some dramatic trends

1. American Multinationals have a competitive advantage

American multinationals are still dominating both rankings with 28 companies from the Business index headquartered in the US (a rise from 24 in 2010); and with 26 in the Engineering index (also a rise from 24 in 2010). Germany is the second most represented country with 6 companies in the Business index and 8 in the Engineering index. The podium in the Business index is completed by The Netherlands and Switzerland with 3 companies each and by The Netherlands with 3 in the Engineering index.

“The power of the German, Swiss and Dutch industry is visible not only by the global market share that they have conquered but also in the high-quality talent they are able to attract. In fact, I dare to say that the German, Dutch and Swiss competitiveness are a combination of great talent, strong management and the focus on quality. Interesting to see that companies from both Switzerland and the Netherlands are represented despite the fact that these two markets are not part of the world’s 12 largest economies – a sign that it doesn’t require big domestic markets to create global companies”, says Nelly Riggenbach-Hasler, Universum’s Director for Europe

2. Financial organizations are on the rise in the Engineering index while IT gains ground in the Business

Financial organizations such as J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are becoming more attractive to engineering career seekers while traditional IT companies such as Apple, Intel and IBM gain talent share in the business ranking.

“This new trend reveals that the war for talent is now conducted in a broader scale and companies are tapping into talent pools that they have not considered before. This is also a result of the increased complexity of companies, with finance companies basing their activity in robust computer systems and big technological companies needing more and more to find good marketing and sales people to gain market share.”, says Claes Peyron, Universum´s Director for Northern Europe.

3. Financial organizations are losing attractiveness amongst business career seekers Apart from J.P Morgan that still manages to attract more talent in 2011, other financial organizations are underperforming in what could be considered their niche market. UBS falls 5 places, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse lose 2 positions. Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank take a smaller hit and climb down 1 place. Goldman Sachs and Citi manage to keep last year’s position.

4. Automotive rises in the Engineering index After some troubled years when it comes to financial performance, the automotive industry is gaining attraction amongst engineering career seekers with BMW, Volkswagen, Ford Motor Company, Toyota and General Motors securing places in the top 20. Daimler has performed outstandingly, climbing up the ladder an amazing 32 places compared to last year.

5. The World of work/life balance and the “Me” brand

For career seekers in both Business and Engineering the most attractive attribute a company can offer is work/life balance. “There’s a generational gap – while Baby boomers and the generation X were highly focused on working hard to achieve materials gains, generation Y is looking for a more balanced life while still wanting to achieve these gains. They seem to be aspiring for what their parents missed” says Cecilia Dahlström, Global Marketing Director at Universum.

Engineering career seekers are also looking for companies that offer a creative and dynamic work environment and, a sign of turbulent economic times, a secure employment. Business career seekers are looking for professional training and development and good prospects for high future earnings, “a clear sign of the ‘Me’ brand – career seekers want to develop themselves in a way that every day is another step in increasing their employability and prospects for a better and balanced career”, adds Ms. Dahlström.

“In a world where top performing employees are becoming a scarce commodity, finding the right people is critical for business success. At a time when low birth and death rates are significantly shifting world demographics, the dilemmas of the 21st century are not only ‘Who will make up the workforce?’, yet more importantly ‘Who will own it?- Multinational corporations are increasingly aware of the current and future challenges of a shrinking workforce. To counter problems in securing their talent pipeline requires a talent attraction and employer branding strategy”, advised Petter Nylander, Universum’s CEO.

World’s Top 50—Business

1. Google (1)
2. KPMG (2)
3. PwC (4)
4. Ernst & Young (3)
5. Deloitte (5)
6. Microsoft (7)
7. Procter & Gamble (6)
8. J.P. Morgan (9)
9. Apple (18)
10. Goldman Sachs (10)
11. Sony (13)
12. The Coca-Cola Company (8)
13. L’Oréal (11)
14. BMW (12)
15. Johnson & Johnson (14)
16. IBM (19)
17. McKinsey & Company (16)
18. Morgan Stanley (17)
19. Nestlé (21)
20. IKEA (23)
21. Deutsche Bank (20)
22. The Boston Consulting Group (15)
23. adidas (24)
24. Bank of America / Merrill Lynch (22)
25. Unilever (26)
26. General Electric (27)
27. LVMH (incl. Louis Vuitton, Moët Hennessy, Dior, Sephora) (39)
28. Accenture (25)
29. Citi (29)
30. PepsiCo (28)
31. Kraft Foods (32)
32. Bain & Company (33)
33. Credit Suisse (31)
34. Hewlett-Packard (37)
35. UBS (30)
36. American Express (35)
37. Volkswagen (38)
38. Intel (44)
39. Siemens (new)
40. Heineken (34)
41. 3M (new)
42. Toyota (41)
43. Nokia (42)
44. Shell (40)
45. Esso / ExxonMobil (43)
46. Dell (45)
47. Ford Motor Company (47)
48. Pfizer (46)
49. Cisco (48)
50. Daimler (new)

World’s Top 50—Engineering
1. Google (1)
2. IBM (3)
3. Microsoft (2)
4. BMW (5)
5. Intel (6)
6. Sony (4)
7. Apple (10)
8. General Electric (7)
9. Siemens (8)
10. Procter & Gamble (9)
11. Johnson & Johnson (12)
12. Hewlett-Packard (13)
13. Cisco (11)
14. Volkswagen (17)
15. The Coca-Cola Company (15)
16. Shell (14)
17. Ford Motor Company (20)
18. Toyota (18)
19. Esso / ExxonMobil (16)
20. General Motors (23)
21. Accenture (24)
22. L’Oréal (29)
23. McKinsey & Company (26)
24. Oracle (31)
25. Nokia (27)
26. 3M (21)
27. Nestlé (19)
28. BP (28)
29. Schlumberger (30)
30. Goldman Sachs (34)
31. Dell (22)
32. Daimler (new)
33. IKEA (35)
34. Philips (25)
35. Bayer (39)
36. J.P. Morgan (41)
37. Pfizer (32)
38. Deloitte (40)
39. Bosch (33)
40. Kraft Foods (38)
41. Unilever (42)
42. The Boston Consulting Group (36)
43. adidas (43)
44. Lenovo (44)
45. BASF (45)
46. Morgan Stanley (50)
47. PepsiCo (new)
48. Ericsson (new)
49. ABB (new)
50. Heineken (48)

About Universum

Universum is an international company which specializes in the field of employer branding. Founded in 1988, its goal was to improve communication between students and the employers who want to recruit them. Today, Universum’s mission is to help employers excel in recruitment and retention by ensuring improvements to their employer brand. Universum delivers a full range of services in research, strategic consulting and communication solutions that enable employers to better understand, attract and retain current and future ideal employees. Universum is a trusted partner to 1,200 clients, including many Fortune 500 companies, and co-operates with 1,500 universities worldwide to conduct research on the career and employer preferences of top talent. Last year, Universum surveyed over 450,000 students and professionals worldwide. For more information, go to