EY leads consultancies on Universum most attractive employers list

08 October 2019 Consultancy.asia 3 min. read

Ernst & Young has climbed one more rank in this year’s World’s Most Attractive Employers list compiled by Universum – with the professional services firm landing in 2nd overall.

Global professionals services firm Ernst & Young has bumped Goldman Sachs to claim the second spot among business students in the latest World’s Most Attractive Employers rankings released by employer branding agency Universum. Fellow Big Four firms KPMG, Deloitte and PwC have also jumped Goldman Sachs, with the latter, PwC, this year’s biggest top table mover – jumping three spots to overtake Deloitte and KPMG into third.

To arrive at the rankings, Universum surveyed over 245,000 business and engineering/IT students in the world’s 12 largest economies, including China, South Korea and Japan, quizzing them on the characteristics they thought most attractive in an employer as well as who they perceived to be their ideal employer. As in previous years, Google has topped the list for both business and IT/Engineering students, but EY continues its steady rise to the top.

“EY professionals work hard to create a culture that values and recognises diversity, inclusiveness and collaboration and this recognition in Universum’s annual ranking once again underscores that students around the world see EY as an organisation that can provide an exceptional career experience,” said Carmine Di Sibio, who in July took over as the Global Chairman and CEO of what is now a $36.4 billion enterprise with around 285,000 employees worldwide.

EY leads consultancies on Universum most attractive employers list

According to Universum, nearly half of the business students surveyed cited high future earnings as the most attractive attribute for an employer, followed by professional training and development (44 percent) and a good reference for their future career (39 percent) – with EY ranking first among professional services firms in the latter two categories, as well as for opportunities to take on challenging work. The firm was also number one among rivals in China.

One of those closest rivals, PwC, has meanwhile risen three spots on the global list to climb into the 3rd overall, with KPMG slipping one spot to sixth and Deloitte holding steady at fourth – marking the firm’s 11th consecutive appearance. “At Deloitte, we consider our people to be our most important asset, which is why we are honored to rank again among the most desirable employers,” stated Deloitte Global Chief People and Purpose Officer Michele Parmelee.

Despite consultancies crowding the top of the business student’s employer wish-lists – with strategy and management giant McKinsey & Company also among the top-ten and competitor BCG landing at 13th – this year’s survey marked a sharp decline in the desire of business graduates to work abroad, dropping from 35 percent two years ago to 27 percent this year. For Japanese business students, the decline was even more pronounced, down to 20 percent from 43 percent in 2017.

This fall in international aspirations is most likely due to economic uncertainty according to Universum, with over half of the students identified as security-seekers, and around a third focused on innovating against challenges. “Familiar brands lure Gen Z, with Google taking the top spot for the tenth consecutive year,” concluded Universum CEO Mats Röjdmark.” Continually evolving, Google appeals to Gen Z’s bifurcation: as an employer, it’s dynamic and innovative, as well as large, successful and secure.”