Research by Universum Shows What Canadian Students Want

TORONTO, May 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Universum, the global Employer Brand Research Firm, released its 2014 rankings of the IDEAL™ Employers in the Globe and Mail on Wednesday. Based on a survey of 30,000 Canadian students, the IDEAL rankings reveal which employers are most attractive to today's students and more importantly, why. This year's research uncovered some interesting trends about how students today are thinking about work.

"It seems like everyone is talking about the Millennial generation," observed Jason Kipps, Universum's Head of Canada. "Universum's student survey takes the information straight from the source and corrects many of the commonly held misconceptions about what these students actually want in their future careers - for example, while many peg Millennials as a group that wants to jump from job to job, the 2014 data demonstrates that students now intend on staying with their first employer for up to 5 years (up from 2 years in 2013)."

"What makes the Ideal Employer Rankings unique is that they are the result of a purely democratic process," Kipps continued. "This is not an award that can be purchased. Students vote based on their perceptions of a company's employment value proposition. The employers listed in the rankings have worked hard to build a brand that resonates with their target talent, and should be congratulated."

Students considering more employers than before

When thinking about their potential future employment options, Canadian students are considering more employers than in years past - an average of 15.4 employers.  Furthermore, while last year's list of considered employers tended to be industry specific, this year students seem to be evaluating a variety of potential employers across industries.    For employers, this means that it's particularly important to truly invest in differentiating themselves from the competition and ensuring that their employer brand stands out from the crowd.

"We know from our employer partners that differentiation is an incredible challenge, especially as students are considering more employers than in the past," Kipps continued. "Building and executing a strong employer brand is more critical than ever before."

Students focused on employers, not industries

Business students associate many government and non-profit organizations with their favored attributes, coinciding with an increased interest in government employers.  Other industries that grew in popularity among business students include auditing and consumer-packaged goods, while the banking industry fell significantly.

Engineers, on the other hand, have begun to move towards non-traditional industries (such as public sector, consulting, and automobile), while industries like energy and telecom suffered a decline in popularity.  Interestingly, these changes did not necessarily correspond to engineering students' interest in specific employers within each industry - students appear to evaluate employers within each industry on an individual level.

Organizational culture a top priority for this year's students

When it comes to an employer's offerings, Canadian students prioritize an organization's people and culture above other aspects like an employer's reputation or specific job characteristics.  In particular, the top three preferences for undergraduate students are a creative and dynamic work environment, a friendly work environment, and an employer's respect for its people.  More traditional work characteristics - such as a competitive base salary and competitive benefits - are not ranked as highly by undergraduate students this year.

"It's not necessarily that salary or benefits are no longer important to students," observed Kipps. "Those offerings are threshold - necessary to have, but not necessarily worth communicating.  Rather, employers should focus on the attributes that are distinctive for their company, and communicate what sets them apart."

Who are this year's top employers?

Top 10 Rankings - Business Students:

  Google 1
  EY (Ernst & Young) 2
  Government of Canada 3
  Apple 4
  The Walt Disney Company 5
  Deloitte 6
  KPMG 7
  Air Canada 8
  TD Bank Financial Group / TD Canada Trust 9
  L'Oréal Group 10

Top 10 Rankings - Engineering Students:

  Google 1
  Microsoft 2
  Apple 3
  Government of Canada 4
  Bombardier 5
  IBM 6
  Facebook 7
  Suncor Energy 8
  Intel 9
  Boeing 10

Top 10 Rankings Natural Science Students:

  Health Canada 1
  Government of Canada 2
  The Hospital for Sick Children 3
  Doctors Without Borders 4
  Provincial Government 5
  Canadian Cancer Society 6
  United Nations 7
  David Suzuki Foundation 8
  Google 9
  Canadian Natural Resources Limited 10

Top 10 Rankings - Liberal Arts Students:

  Government of Canada 1
  United Nations 2
  Provincial Government 3
  The Walt Disney Company 4
  Google 5
  The Hospital for Sick Children 6
  Health Canada 7
  Big Brothers Big Sisters 8
  Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) 9
  Apple 10

Top 10 Rankings - Law:

  Government of Canada 1
  United Nations 2
  Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) 3
  RCMP 4
  Provincial Government 5
  Google 6
  Apple 7
  Air Canada 8
  The Walt Disney Company 9
  Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) 10

Top 10 Rankings -

  Health Canada 1
  The Hospital for Sick Children 2
  Doctors Without Borders 3
  Government of Canada 4
  University Health Network 5
  Canadian Cancer Society 6
  United Nations 7
  Provincial Government 8
  Google 9
  The Walt Disney Company 10

For complete rankings please visit:

About Universum

Universum is the global leader in employer branding, providing end-to-end solutions that empower organizations to become better at attracting, recruiting and retaining top talent. Founded in 1988, Universum's mission is to create the best match between employers and potential employees by providing knowledge, guidance and actionable insights. The company gathers and analyses insights about the career expectations of 700,000 students and young professionals annually in 40 countries, and serves as a trusted partner to 1,200 clients globally, including many Fortune 500 companies. With its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Universum is a privately held company with offices in 12 countries.

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SOURCE: Universum

For further information:

Jonas Barck 
Mobile: (858)-405-5711

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