As the workforce becomes more diverse and the candidates' preferences dynamically change, the war for talents intensifies. Companies must keep a close eye on the labor market trends and consider the current expectations of candidates. EY People Advisory Services specialists conducted regular the Best Employer Survey to analyze the students' preferences when choosing an employer.

More than 2,000 students from over 60 universities in Ukraine were interviewed during the survey from September to December 2019. EY expresses its deepest gratitude to the leading Ukrainian universities for their cooperation and for spreading the questionnaires among the students. More information about the study results is available at the link.

Employer attractiveness factors

As in the previous years, students pay attention to career opportunities (69%) and salary (57%) when choosing an employer. More than half of the respondents (53%) expect net monthly pay starting from UAH 15,000.

The popularity of such factors as the “The company's market position” (54%), "Comfortable working conditions" (50%), "Ability to work according to a specialty" (37%) and "Corporate culture" (28%) significantly increased this year.  At the same time, the priority of the factors “Personal and professional growth” (51%) and “International experience” (46%) have been gradually declining over the past few years.

The most attractive industries and employers

The three most attractive industries remain unchanged. Most students prefer to work in companies of the IT-industry, FMCG-sector and professional services (audit and consulting). The retail and the banking sector remain relatively popular. The least attractive industries are agricultural, agrochemical and insurance.

The list of the most popular companies mentioned by the students include the following (in alphabetical order): 1+1 media, Google, GlobalLogic, EPAM, Microsoft, Nestle, PrivatBank, SoftServe and the Big Four audit and consulting companies.


Sources of information about employers

The Internet remains the main source of information about employers for most students (98%). Job portals (77%) and social networks (75% of respondents, which is 10% less than last year) are also quite popular. Corporate websites became less popular and were mentioned by 51% of the respondents.

Second most popular source of information about employers are the events with the company that was mentioned by 73% of the respondents. Students mainly get information about companies at the employment fairs (60%). 72% of the candidates find the information about the employers through the media, mostly online.

Job search difficulties

In 2019 the students stated that most job search difficulties are related to the lack of work experience, as well as due to insufficient skills and knowledge.

33% of the respondents named the limited number of vacancies that match specialization. It correlates with their strong desire to work according to their specialty (64%).

About 20% of the students mentioned job search difficulties relating to communication from employers (such as availability of feedback, information about job offers, etc.).

Students mobility

Most students are ready to relocate for employment purposes, 66% of which are ready to move within the country and 73% - abroad. These numbers have slightly decreased since the last year – by 5% and 4% respectively.

The most popular cities for internal migration are Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa, Kharkiv, and Dnipro (indicated in descending popularity order). Among the most popular destinations for relocation abroad the students mentioned Germany, the USA, Canada, Czechia and Poland. Students are mainly motivated for relocation by opportunity to gain living experience in another country, improve material well-being and develop as a professional.

An ideal manager for students

Within the Survey the students could also choose the key characteristics of an ideal manager from the proposed list. According to the survey results, the respondents want their manager to have the following characteristics: "Respects the employee", "Is open to new ideas", "Supports the development of employees", "Openly communicates". The least mentioned characteristics are "Ethical behavior" and "Use of best practices".

About the survey

EY conducts the Best Employer Survey in Ukraine since 2005. The main goal of the survey is to analyze the labor market attractiveness of the companies, define preferences of the candidates while choosing a workplace and provide recommendations on employer brand management. During the survey, we ask respondents to name up to three employers in order of their attractiveness and choose attractive companies from the suggested industry lists, which are based on the results of the previous years. Moreover, participants of the survey may also indicate factors of employer’s attractiveness and sources of information about them, as well as answer some other questions, which help to determine the major trends on the labor market.

The People Advisory Services practice at EY Ukraine provides consulting services on human resource management matters, including conducting external employer image analysis and employee opinion surveys (engagement level, corporate culture, values, motivational factors, etc.).

About EY

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