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24 Jun 2024 16:20

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New data: What employees in 16 countries say makes them join a company

As companies compete to win the war for talent, Brand Finance reveals which brands are considered the best employers and why

Employee priorities when considering accepting a job at a company are often the complete opposite of what matters when they’re thinking about moving on, and a prestigious sector for a career in one country can be the least appealing somewhere else, according to new data from Brand Finance, the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy.

David Haigh, Chairman and CEO, Brand Finance commented: “In a rapidly evolving market, talent strategies separate the winners from the losers, and HR leaders gain a competitive edge when they understand how their brands are perceived and benchmark that data against peers. The Brand Finance 2024 Employer Brand Index not only reveals surprising cultural differences viewed through the lens of what makes a company or a sector an appealing place to work but also how broad national attitudes to whether an industry is prestigious vary as well.”

When considering accepting a role, Chinese workers most highly prioritise whether the work itself is enjoyable and rewarding, giving the least consideration to whether a company is well managed and governed. That changes when they’re thinking about whether to stay or move on – employees at Chinese brands put the most stock in management and governance. There’s a similar shift in the Turkey and South Korea, where a prestigious company brand is the most important factor during recruitment but sinks to the bottom of the list of attributes that help to retain employees. Instead, rewarding and enjoyable work becomes the top reason.

Potential candidates in the U.S. and the U.K. share more than a common language, as prestigious brand and employer reputation are the top two most important factors when considering joining a company. For both American and British workers, the priorities shift when they later consider whether to stay at an employer – what matters most for retention are enjoyable and rewarding work and excellent salaries.

The research drills down into specific employer brands, with many consumer facing brands ranking highly. In particular, athletic wear companies have great reputations among top talent. Puma (98.5), Adidas (96.6), and Nike (93.1) are each perceived as winning employer brands in their respective markets – Puma and Adidas were the top two employer brands in Germany, and Nike scored highest in the U.S.

Air travel enjoys an aspirational reputation that’s reflected in the employer brand perception data, especially for flag carrier airlines Emirates (97.0) and Turkish Airlines (93.8), both of which rank first in their respective markets.

These cultural differences are also reflected in how desirable sectors are perceived externally as places to have a career. Telecoms was a hot industry in the early 2000s as mobile phones became ubiquitous, but the sector’s popularity has tapered in Europe and North America as the sector has become more commoditised. Brand Finance research reveals the exception is the Middle East, where telecoms remains a booming industry for top talent. e& (etisalat and) (87.4), stc (85.0), and Turkcel (84.6) all rank second in their respective countries.

Similarly, external respondents have mostly positive perceptions of banking brands as places to work around the world, except in North America and Western Europe. Chase was the highest-ranked U.S. bank but only 66% of respondents agree that is has ‘An inspiring vision’, 64% agree it has ‘A great business strategy’, and 56% agree Chase has ‘A great internal culture’. In comparison, Maybank, Malaysia’s top ranked employer brand, saw a considerably higher 88%, 88% and 79% of respondents agree with the same claims, and four of the top-six rated employer brands in South Africa were from the banking industry –

Standard Bank scores a perfect 10 in 5 separate metrics, including the top two most important drivers of consideration: ‘Employs Top talent in the Industry’ and ‘The work is enjoyable and rewarding’.

The technology sector continues to be positively perceived as an employer in Japan, where five of the top ten employer brands hail from the tech or electronics sectors. Japanese respondents ranked Sony (85.3) the highest, indicating their perceptions of the brand are that it’s prestigious and an employer offering enjoyable and rewarding work, which is the top driver of employee consideration and retention in the country.

The Brand Finance 2024 Employer Brand Index is the result of a survey of part-time or full-time employees in 16 countries, responding about brands within the sector of their current employer headquartered in the country they live in. The focus was to discover which employer brands within their own markets are rated the highest, and what are the considerations prospective employees have when considering whether to apply for a new role.

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