Universum releases its rankings of the UK’s most attractive companies to work for

Our strategic partner, Universum Global has launched the findings for the UK portion of its annual Global Talent Survey which found that Google is the UK’s most desirable company to work for by graduates for the seventh consecutive year. Universum studied 39,500 students from 97 British Universities to understand the career aspirations, goals and workplace requirements for graduates.

Whilst Google continued to prove popular with those studying business and STEM, their applicant pool continues to widen with humanities and law students both ranking the organisation in their top two and four companies to work for respectively. The companies highly coveted graduate schemes and internships are in high demand and Google is renowned for rewarding its employees with highly competitive salaries and employee benefits – all combining to make the tech giant an attractive workplace for students across multiple disciplines.

The UK’s Top 10 Business and STEM Employers 2019

Rank Business Rank STEM
1 Google  1 Google
2 J.P. Morgan 2 Rolls-Royce
3 Goldman Sachs 3 Microsoft
4 Apple 4 Apple
5 PwC 5 Jaguar Land Rover
6 Nike 6 BAE Systems
7 KPMG 7 McLaren
8 Deloitte 8 Aston Martin
9 L’Oréal Group 9 Airbus
10 Morgan Stanley 10 Lamborghini

Increased interest in tech and innovation roles is a trend being reflected across many subject areas. UK STEM talent are looking for industries that embrace innovation and new technologies, and careers that will see them competitively and intellectually challenged. As a result, STEM talent are looking beyond traditional engineering roles to automotive and aeronautic employers like Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover and BAE Systems.

Explaining the move towards innovative, technology-driven companies by STEM students, Universum UK spokesperson, Nicola Kleinmann said “Electric cars, self-driving cars and an increase in safety globally, has recaptured STEM talents’ interest in the Automotive industry. The UK has a rich history of founding some of the best-known car firms in the world which could be why the industry has cemented its place at the forefront of the STEM top 100.”

Moving away from tradition

The move away from traditional roles associated with subject choice is also reflected across the business student market. Where previously banking had been a high career choice, business students are seemingly less interested in the sector as Deloitte slumped two places in comparison to the 2018 Global Talent Survey. Multi-national Morgan Stanley now sits in tenth place after falling three places since the previous year, meanwhile, US firms J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs retained their respective second and third places, while tech giant Apple climbed the ranks into fourth.

The wane in interest may be a demonstration of the wider impact Brexit uncertainty has had on the banking industry over the past year.

Universum Managing Director for Nordics, UK and Ireland, Claes Peyron said: 

“Brexit is obviously a factor that is weighing on the minds of young talent when they consider which industry to start a career in. When we conducted our 2019 survey, the deadline for Brexit was set for March, and there was a lot of media coverage during the field period on which industries would be affected the most. Banking is obviously one of those industries, and this could be why we are seeing varied success rates of employers trying to attract business talent, despite their increased talent attraction efforts over the past few years”.

“It was only two years ago during the release of our 2017 UK rankings when we reported that Brexit had no effect on talent wanting to join the Banking industry, on the contrary, more wanted to join than in 2016. However, I suspect that the closer we have gotten to the deadline, the more unsure talent have become about joining an industry where jobs are reported to be heading to the continent.”

Forward thinking

The results show how forward-thinking students are catching onto the fact that UK jobs in the sector are becoming few and far between, creating a challenging environment for those looking for long term careers in the sector.

The wider findings also delved into the media habits of students and found that Facebook, Instagram and most surprisingly, YouTube were amongst the top five most used online platforms used to learn about future employers, ahead of employer-focused resources across both business and STEM students. A huge 27% of students favoured YouTube, supporting the growing trend in how millennials and Gen Z are interacting less with traditional media and official outlets in favour of online and social media platforms.

See the full top 100 lists and find out more about the UK’s Most Attractive Employers 2019 here.





How to transform the employee experience of your graduate hires

43% of graduates relocate to start a job. The best have multiple job offers, and 70% would renege on a job – so providing a great employee experience to your mobile talent can help you attract and retain A Players. Here’s what you can do with almost no extra budget to smoothen graduates’ relocation, at scale.

A guest article by Nitzan Yudan, CEO of Benivo

The job market is mobile. 1.1 million people relocate for work in the UK every year. 43% of graduates do.

Moving house to start a new job is one of the most stressful experiences in life.

What do companies do to support their relocating employees?

  • Most senior employees get comprehensive, end-to-end red carpet treatment.
  • But graduates either receive no support; or only get selective support: The employer provides a few specifics, such as temporary accommodation or a small bonus. Beyond that, they are on their own.

And herein lies the problem.

Because despite the employer’s good intentions, selective support still leads to disappointment.

How good intentions result in failure

At Benivo, we constantly measure employee experience: How do those graduates who receive scalable, comprehensive support when moving house, rate their employer – and the results are staggering when compared to scenarios with only ad-hoc, selective support.


The main complaints in the selective group are about lacking relevant information, feeling left alone by an unresponsive HR department, and not knowing who to turn to. Some say that their moving experience left them with a worse opinion of their employer.

Is this entitlement? Ingratitude?

By no means. It’s just that being under a lot of stress makes people far more sensitive to actual or perceived slights or neglect. And that feeling can linger.

Comprehensive relocation support as a differentiator

The best graduates often have many companies vying for their attention. No surprise that 70% of them are willing to renege on a signed offer.

To provide relocation support beyond cash for a hotel room can make a huge difference in retaining graduates between job acceptance and Day One.

The most important conceptual step is to transition from selective to comprehensive relocation support. Look at the move through the graduate’s eyes and allow for flexibility. Not all graduates have the same challenges in their move. And most importantly: Frustration often stems from uncertainty and no one to turn to.

So what specifically can companies do to create a great relocation experience at scale without breaking the bank?

The best examples for low-cost, comprehensive relocation support at scale

1. Create a growing relocation playbook

Most companies issue a relocation guide, covering topics such as accommodation, family matters, settling-in admin etc.

The secret lies in creating it as an evolving document that anyone can contribute to. Moving from the Encyclopedia Britannica to the Wikipedia model.

We use Google Docs, but SharePoint or Dropbox work as well. Give editing rights to as many people as possible and motivate them to contribute.

2. Accommodation support

Finding a home is the biggest time drain. Reduce the workload thus:

  • Provide a neighbourhood guide – which affordable areas have good access to your office?
  • Recommend estate agents you trust
  • Inform about market quirks. Assume zero prior knowledge. You can copy existing online resources.
  • Get paperwork done in advance. Don’t make the employee request a proof of employment – issue it as a matter of course.
  • Encourage doing viewings on evenings and weekends, if possible.
  • List standard clauses in rental contracts and highlight some that shouldn’t be in there

3. Provide a forum for solution crowdsourcing

Create a Facebook group, invite past relocators, and ask them to contribute. Invite all the currently relocating employees to ask questions there.

Be an active group moderator. When someone asks a question that doesn’t get answered, step in and help out. Or encourage others who might know.

On a regular basis, distill the lessons learned in the group, and add them into the playbook.

4. Provide a named point of contact

This should go without saying, but many companies fail to provide it. The employee should have one person to speak to throughout the entire process, no matter where they are. This person doesn’t need to solve everything but at least point the employee in the right direction.


There is a unifying theme in the above advice: Show that you care.

A relocation is an opportunity to grow your employer brand by massively improving the employee experience. Your graduate hires will remember that you helped them in a time of stress.

As Maya Angelou said, people will forget what you said and what you did – but they will always remember how you made them feel.

Don’t make your job starters feel unsupported in their time of need.


If you want to learn more about the studies we conducted and the methodology used, contact me on LinkedIn.

Thank you to the London Business School community who contributed to our research.

Care to learn more about welcoming early career employees? Download our eBook The Art and Science of an Outstanding Company Welcome.


About the author:

Nitzan Yudan, moved house 7 times, started a new job 10 times.

Nitzan is the CEO of Benivo – helping employers of choice make every relocating employee welcome with innovative technology. Clients include Google, Microsoft, Bloomberg, Vodafone, and Hertz.