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2022 ranking: The most ideal employers for Hong Kong students

2022 ranking: The most ideal employers for Hong Kong students


The HKSAR government is ranked as an ideal employer among Hong Kong students in all categories. J.P. Morgan, HSBC, Google, Apple and Microsoft also make it to the top five.

Universum has released the Hong Kong findings of its latest annual global talent survey 2022, involving almost 4,500 students from nine universities in the city to find out the career aspirations and preferences of Hong Kong’s future talent pool.


Ideal Employer Rankings 2022

Top 5 Most Engaging on Social Media

Business/Commerce students

1. J.P. Morgan
3. Google
4. HKSAR Government
5. Apple

3. Google
5. UBS

Engineering/Natural Sciences students

1. HKSAR Government
2. Google
3. Apple
4. Microsoft
5. J.P. Morgan

1. Google
2. Apple
3. Huawei, Facebook
5. Microsoft, Ocean Park, HKSAR Government, Intel

For business/commerce students, key corporate preferences ranked banking as the most preferred industry (46%), followed by advertising (30%) and financial services & technology and e-commerce (tied at 26%). The five companies that have significantly risen in the rankings are:

  • AIA Group up 33 places to 43 (insurance industry)
  • Credit Suisse up 24 places to 29 (banking industry)
  • BlackRock up 20 places to 25 (financial services & technology industry)
  • Bank of China up 17 places to 31 (banking industry)
  • DBS Bank up 12 places to 35 (banking industry)

For engineering/natural science students, notable shifts in their ideal employer rankings were also highlighted with J.P. Morgan’s debut to land in the top five as an ideal employer – a 26-place boost in ranking from the previous year. Similarly, Goldman Sachs jumped 20 positions to 23 and Deloitte jumped by 42 places to land in the 43rd spot in this group of students.

Amidst inflation and economic challenges, students also have a higher expectation of starting salary, seeking 19% more than the previous year. In 2022, their expected annual salary rose to HKD303,000 (HKD25,300 per month) from HKD254,400 (HKD21,200 per month) in 2021.

Amongst those students studying engineering/natural sciences, expected salaries increased by 24% to HKD304,200 per annum, while business/commerce students’ expectations increased 20% to HKD297,600 compared to 2021.

In 2022, the gender gap on expected annual salary closed by around half to just 7%, with expected salaries of men at HKD317,700, and women at HKD295,300 per annum – the lowest gender pay gap in five years.

Students, when considering a job, are looking for training and development opportunities, advancement opportunities as well as remuneration and benefits. “Encouraging work-life balance” is ranked above “secure employment” in 2022, highlighting similar sentiment to those in pre-pandemic times.

Meanwhile, students are increasingly interested in working from home (75% in 2022 compared to 67% in 2021), with reduced concerns on the impact this may have on their social or work life development, such as feeling more isolated, having less earning potential, feelings of employer bias for those at the office and work-life balance topics.

“From an employer perspective, there is a lot that companies can do to attract, recruit and retain young talent, especially in the era seen as the Great Resignation where employees are reassessing their goals in life and career," said Mike Parsons, Managing Director APAC for Universum.

"Employers need to have a clear understanding of the priorities for their target talents, how they stack up compared to their competitors and what sets them apart in order to align their Employer Branding accordingly.”

On the other hand, as the data showed students are learning about their employers through LinkedIn and Instagram, Parsons added that it is important for companies to engage new talent on social media.

Image / Shutterstock

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