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In last year’s rankings, Google won the hearts of students in Singapore, taking the top spot as the nation’s ideal employer among both business and engineering students.

This year, the tech giant retained its place – at least among business students from Singapore’s four main universities, SMU, SIM, NTU and NUS in the 2016 edition of Universum’s Singapore Top 100 IDEAL Employers.

However, it slipped to second place among the responses from engineering and natural sciences students who now consider A*STAR to be the most desirable.

While Singapore Airlines came in third among the engineering students, the airline company took second place among the business students, closely followed by the Walt Disney Company.

When evaluating employer attractiveness, Singaporean youths are notably focused on personal growth and long term career health this year.

They cited job characteristics such as ‘professional training and development’ (2nd for business and engineering students) and ‘high future earnings’ (3rd for business and 5th for engineering students) among their most desired employer attributes.

This year, the results also showed that for employers to attract the top talent, having a prestigious name alone is not enough for students.

Youth in the country were found to place more importance on organisations’ people and culture as the biggest driver when considering a potential employer.

Neither the business nor engineering students in Singapore ranked any of the employer attributes connected with employer reputation or image within their 10 most important.

On the other hand, among the top 10 people and culture attributes, ‘a friendly work environment’ is becoming a holy grail for employers in Singapore.

“This helps to outline why organisations like Google, who’re strongly perceived to offer this, continue to perform so highly,” the report stated.

The attribute is also consistent with the strong desire for a healthy work-life balance which 66.75% of the students consider as one of their top priorities. Other top priorities include ‘to be secure or stable in my job’ (53.11%), followed by ‘to be dedicated to a cause or to feel that I’m serving the greater good’ (39.32%).

ALSO READ: Asia’s top 10 companies to work for in 2015

Rachele Focardi, SVP at Universum said “Singapore’s talent has significantly evolved over the last few years, and all the key trends that have characterized Millennials in the west for the past 10 years are now widely witnessed in Singapore.

“Students no longer choose an employer based on the industry or corporate brand, but based on its culture, its environment and its purpose. They believe that work should be part of who they are, and not just a way to make a living, and therefore expect employers to embrace the complexity of their lives”

Focardi pointed out that it is now more critical than ever for organisations in Singapore to fully understand the preferences and expectations of their target group, and their perception as an employer.

“This the first step towards the development of a strong localized Employer Value Proposition that is attractive, true, credible, distinct and sustainable. If they go on communicating what would have worked only a couple of years ago, they are bound to fail,” she added.

“This is particularly important for Singaporean organisations who have not worked with Employer Branding as extensively as their MNC counterparts. And it’s the perfect time, since multinational companies are now losing ground to national champions: with a strong Employer Brand, Singaporean organisations will become hard to compete with.”

Additionally, the survey found that in the eyes of those about to graduate, pay equality across genders has not been reached in Singapore.

Female students were found to expect an average annual salary of $39,539 while males expected $42,824 – a wage gap of $3,295 (8.3%) compared to $2,137 (5.36%) in 2015.

Interestingly, year-on-year, female pay expectations have actually decreased by $314, whereas males now expect $834 more than they did a year ago.

Scroll down to view the top 10 employers for business, engineering students and more.

1. Google
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Walt Disney Company
4. PwC  (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
5. J.P. Morgan
6. EY (Ernst & Young)
8. Changi Airport Group
9. Apple
10. Deloitte

2. Google
3. Singapore Airlines
4. ExxonMobil
5. GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
6. Ministry of Education (MOE)
7. Shell
8. Rolls-Royce
9. Ministry of Health (MOH)
10. Changi Airport Group

1. Google
2. Microsoft
3. Apple
4. Facebook
5. IBM
6. Samsung
7. Walt Disney Company
8. Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)
9. Intel
10. Singapore Airlines

1. Ministry of Health (MOH)
3. GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
4. Pfizer
5. Novartis
6. Ministry of Education (MOE)
7. Google
8. Walt Disney Company
9. Singapore Airlines
10. United Nations

Humanities/Liberal Arts/Education
1. Walt Disney Company
2. Google
3. Ministry of Education (MOE)
4. Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)
5. United Nations
6. Singapore Airlines
7. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
8. Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY)
9. MediaCorp
10. Changi Airport Group

1. United Nations
2. Google
3. J.P. Morgan
4. Goldman Sachs
5. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
6. Walt Disney Company
7. Singapore Airlines
8. Apple
9. Resorts World Sentosa (Universal Studios)
10. Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)

Image: Shutterstock

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