Rated Ranking: Universum World’s Most Attractive Employers 2016

Rated Ranking: Universum World’s Most Attractive Employers 2016


Universum, one of the leading global employer branding firms, have published the 2016 edition of their “World’s Most Attractive Employers” ranking. Each year, it reveals the most attractive employers among engineering/IT and business students worldwide, as defined by Universum.

The methodology is based on a qualitative survey among 267,000 engineering/IT and business students from the world’s 12 largest economies (the U.S., China, Japan, Germany, France, U.K., Brazil, Russia, Italy, India, Canada and Australia). The students were asked to choose five employers they would like to work for most from a list of companies. In order to appear on this list companies have to appear in the top 90% of Universum’s Most Attractive Employers lists in at least 6 of 12 markets surveyed. The ranking is established by the number of votes companies get. The results are also weighed by GDP of the markets surveyed. I.e. a high rank in the USA has a bigger impact than a high rank in a country with a GDB inferior to the USA one. The students were also asked about their career ambitions.

Google is the world’s most attractive employer in both rankings. In the engineering/IT students ranking Microsoft makes it to #2 and Apple to #3. In the business students ranking Apple is #2 and E&Y #3. When it comes to industries, employers offering financial services are losing attraction for business students. IT and engineering students particularly turn their backs on hardware-focused tech companies like HP and Philips. Winners in both rankings are the global consulting firms.

The ranking is based on a large and qualitative survey among students worldwide and thus allows insights in what future talents expect from their employers. It is also an indicator for the success of the companies’ employer branding activities. With publications in leading media worldwide the ranking gains a lot of awareness. Nevertheless, it predominantly is a tool for Universum to sell their consulting services. A summary can be downloaded on the Universum website but more detailed reports and insights must be purchased. All in all, it is a useful ranking with some flaws in transparency.

More information and a report for download can be found here. Please click here to read the CNN Money article on the ranking.

Relevance / Impact
– 13 points –
Added Value / Insights
– 9 points –

Trustworthiness / Intention
– 9 points –
– 11 points –

Aggregated points
– 42 (out of 60) –
Highly valuable ranking

Useful ranking with some flaws

Partially useful ranking with considerable flaws

< 30
Useless ranking

Reach of publication:

  • Global, e.g. North America, Europe and Asia (5 points)
  • Regional, e.g. Europe or North America (3 points)
  • Large national market: e.g. US, China, Japan, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Brazil (2 points)
  • Mid-sized or small market, e.g. Switzerland, Netherlands, Argentina, Singapore (1 point)

Ranking will be recognized by key stakeholders:

  • Opinion Leaders (Politicians, Professors; NGO’s) (2 points)
  • Business Advisory Board, C-Level Executives (CEO, CCO, CFO, CMO) (2 points)
  • High Potentials & Top Talents (employer market, students) (2 points)
  • Financial Market (2 points)
  • General Public (2 points)

Aggregated points: 13 (of max. 15)

Is the owner providing the ranking a credible and trustworthy organization?

  • Ranking owner has limited credibility and reputation. (1 point)
  • Ranking owner has fair credibility and reputation. (3 points)
  • Ranking owner has excellent credibility and reputation. (5 points)

What is the ranking owner’s intention to produce and disseminate the ranking?

  • Ranking is predominantly a tool to raise awareness for the owner with the possible intention to sell consultancy services. (1 point)
  • Ranking is partly a tool to raise awareness for the owner with the possible intention to sell consultancy services. (3 points)
  • Ranking is predominantly a tool to surface and share important insights on the subject surveyed. (5 points)

Comment: Universum‘s intention becomes very clear: acquiring new customers for their employer branding services.

Is/Are the media outlet(s) where the ranking is published of high credibility and reputation?

  • Media outlet(s) has/have limited credibility and reputation. (1 point)
  • Media outlet(s) has/have fair credibility and reputation. (3 points)
  • Media outlet(s) has/have excellent credibility and reputation. (5 points)

Comment: CNN Money is the media partner, results also published in leading media like Forbes.

Aggregated points: 9 (of max. 15)

Do the ranking results provide overall orientation where companies stand?

  • limited orientation only (1 point)
  • fair orientation provided (3 points)
  • very good orientation (5 points)

Comment: No detailed reports on single companies available for the public.

Is the Ranking published in the same format on a regular basis, e.g. annually, which allows to track developments and comparisons over time?

  • ranking is published for the first time (1 point)
  • ranking is published for the second time in the same format (3 points)
  • ranking is published for more than 3 times on a regular basis in the same format (5 points)

Do the ranking results provide added value and further insights on how companies are evaluated in in their industry, e.g. detailed ratings in various sub-dimensions of the overall result?

  • limited added value only (1 point)
  • fair amount of added value (3 points)
  • high amount of added value (5 points)

Comment: Detailed industry rankings and insights exist but are not publicly available.

Aggregated points: 9 (of max. 15)

Is the ranking based on a representative survey among key stakeholders or on a jury only?

  • Ranking is based on a jury’s opinion only. (1 point)
  • Ranking is based on a small survey or only on a limited group of stakeholders. (3 points)
  • Ranking is based on a robust and representative survey. (5 points)

Comment: Ranking is based on a survey among more than 267,000 IT & business students from the 12 leading economies worldwide.

Is the ranking methodology easy to understand and reasonable – even for non-statisticians?

  • Methodology not easy to understand and not reasonable. (1 point)
  • Methodology fairly good to understand and reasonable. (3 points)
  • Methodology very easy to understand and reasonable. (5 points)

Comment: Companies are ranked depending on how many students choose them as their desired employer. No further explanations given.

Is the ranking methodology easy to access and transparent?

  • Methodology not easy to find and not sufficiently transparent. (1 point)
  • Methodology fairly good to find and of medium transparency. (3 points)
  • Methodology very easy to find and of high transparency. (5 points)

Methodology is explained online but not explained in detail. The questionnaire is not published.

Aggregated points: 11 (of max. 15)

Ranking category

  • Product / Service Brands
  • Company Brands
  • Corporate Reputation and Company Esteem
  • Social Responsibility, CSR & Sustainability, Ethical Business Practices
  • Innovation & Technology
  • Employer Attractiveness & Diversity
  • Leadership
  • Nations & Destinations
  • University & Other Institutions
  • Sports
  • Lifestyle
  • Social Media
  • Personal Branding & CEOs

Ranking statistics

  • Name of Ranking: The World‘s Most Attractive Employers 2016
  • Ranking managed/produced by institute/organization: Universum
  • Ranking published by media outlet: CNN Money (media partner), Forbes
  • Date of recent publication: June 29, 2016
  • Date of previous publication: June 24, 2015

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