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The world's most attractive employers

Last updated on: November 3, 2009 12:44 IST

Rediff Business Desk in Mumbai

Internet search giant Google has emerged as the most sought after company for business and engineering graduates, according to two surveys, which term the company as the world's 'most attractive employer'.

According to the surveys compiled by Universum, a global employer branding firm, Google has been ranked number 1 in the list of top 50 global businesses and engineering companies.

The surveys said, "Google's number one position is no surprise. Due to its remarkable brand image, students worldwide see it as a company they would like to work for."

The global rankings -- based on a survey of 120,000 students -- highlights the world's most powerful employer brands and those companies that are 'the most successful in talent attraction and retention'.

Students from the United States, Japan, China, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, Spain, Canada and India's top academic institutions took part in the survey.

Soft drink major Coca-Cola is in the 13th position, while Citigroup has cornered the 21st place for itself among the list for business students.

Oracle and Philip Morris make it to the top 50 for business students, but not for engineering students.

GlaxoSmithKline and Alcatel-Lucent appear in the engineering ranking, yet not in the business ranking.

Despite it being one of the toughest years for car manufactures, BMW and Daimler appear in the global top 50
ranking in both lists.

Let's take a look at the top 10 favourite companies for both engineering and business students. . .

The world's most attractive employers

Image: Google's Mountain View campus.

Google: Rank 1

It was in the summer of 1995 that Larry Page and Sergey Brin met for the first time at Stanford. Larry, 22, a University of Michigan graduate, was considering the school, and Sergey, 21, was assigned to show him around. According to some accounts, they disagreed on almost everything during this first meeting.

In 1996, Page and Brin, now Stanford computer science grad students, began collaborating on a search engine called BackRub. It operated on Stanford servers for more than a year -- eventually taking up too much bandwidth to suit the university.

Next year, Page and Brin decided that the BackRub search engine needed a new name. After some brainstorming, they went with Google -- a play on the word "googol," a mathematical term for the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros. The use of the term reflected their mission to organise a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.

In August 1998, Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim wrote a check for $100,000 to an entity that dd not exist: a company called Google Inc.

In September, Google set up workspace in a garage at 232 Santa Margarita, Menlo Park.

Google files for incorporation in California on September 4. Shortly thereafter, Page and Brin open a bank account in the newly-established company's name and deposited Andy Bechtolsheim's check.

Craig Silverstein a Stanford graduate was Google's first employee.

In December 'PC Magazine' recognised Google as the search engine of choice in the Top 100 Web Sites for 1998.

Google is now headquartered at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California.

The world's most attractive employers

Image: Pricewaterhouse Coopers Tower, Auckland, New Zealand.

Pricewaterhouse: Rank 2 (business list)

The search giant is followed by Pricewaterhouse where most B-Schools students want to work.

"The employers that feature in this Top 50 all have one thing in common: they successfully appeal to current and
future talent, and they are aware of how scarce talent is," Universum said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has been created by the merger of two firms - Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand - each with historical roots going back some 150 years.

In 1849, Samuel Lowell Price set up a business in London, and in 1854, William Cooper established his own practice in the city, which seven years later becomes Cooper Brothers.

In 1982, Price Waterhouse World Firm was formed, and in 1990 Coopers & Lybrand merged with Deloitte Haskins & Sells in a number of countries around the world.

Finally, in 1998 following a worldwide merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, PricewaterhouseCoopers was born.

PwC audits:

  • 31% of the FT Global 500;
  • 30% of the Fortune Global 500;
  • 29% of the FT Europe 500;
  • 38% of the S & P Latin America 40;
  • 38% of the S & P Asia 50, and
  • 29% of the Fortune 500.

The worldwide gross revenues of its network of firms was $26.2 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009.

PwC was named the 2009 Top Company for Global Diversity by DiversityInc. While PwC was a top 10 winner in the 11th Annual Global Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise Award, PwC US was named one of Fortune's '100 Best Companies to Work For' in 2009.

The world's most attractive employers

Microsoft: Rank 2 (engineers list), rank 3 (business list)

Irrespective of ranks, the top 50 global employers for business and engineering students are very similar, showing strong employer brands transcend many skill and industry groups.

While engineering graduates preferred Microsoft as their second choice, for business students, Microsoft is the third choice.

Following the launch of the Altair 8800 (a computer), William Henry Gates III, (Bill Gates) called the developers of the new microcomputer, Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems, offering to demonstrate an implementation of the BASIC programming language for the system.

After the demonstration, MITS agreed to distribute Altair BASIC. Gates left Harvard University, moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where MITS was located, and founded Microsoft there.

The company's first international office was founded on November 1, 1978, in Japan, titled ASCII Microsoft (now called Microsoft Japan).

On January 1, 1979, the company moved from Albuquerque to a new home in Bellevue, Washington. Steve Ballmer joined the company on June 11, 1980, and later succeeded Bill Gates as CEO.

On August 12, 1981 IBM introduced its personal computer with Microsoft's 16-bit operating system, MS-DOS 1.0. on May 22, 1990 Microsoft launched Windows 3.0. 

The world's most attractive employers

IBM: Rank 3 (engineers list)

Nicknamed 'Big Blue' for its official corporate colour, IBM has been well known through most of its recent history as the world's largest computer company and systems integrator.

With over 398,455 employees worldwide, IBM is the largest and most profitable information technology employer in the world. It holds more patents than any other US based technology company and has eight research laboratories worldwide.

The company has scientists, engineers, consultants, and sales professionals in over 170 countries, and its scientists have earned five Nobel Prizes.

IBM was founded in 1896 as the Tabulating Machine Company by Herman Hollerith, in Broome County, New York. It was incorporated as Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation on June 16, 1911, and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916.

CTR's Canadian and later South American subsidiary was named International Business Machines in 1917, and the whole company took this name in 1924.

The world's most attractive employers

Image: The BMW headquarter in Munich, Germany.

BMW: Rank 4 (engineers list)

After World War I, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (English: Bavarian Motor Works or BMW) was forced to cease aircraft (engine) production by the terms of the Versailles Armistice Treaty.

The company consequently shifted to motorcycle production in 1923 once the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted, followed by automobiles in 1928-29.

Goldman Sachs: Rank 4 (business list)

Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869 by German immigrant Marcus Goldman. In 1882, Goldman's son-in-law Samuel Sachs joined the firm which prompted the name change to Goldman Sachs.

The company made a name for itself pioneering the use of commercial paper for entrepreneurs and was invited to join the New York Stock Exchange in 1896.

In the early 20th century, Goldman was a player in establishing the initial public offering market. It managed one of the largest IPOs to date, that of Sears, Roebuck and Company in 1906.

It also became one of the first companies to heavily recruit those with MBA degrees from leading business schools, a practice that still continues today.

The world's most attractive employers

Intel: Rank 5 (engineers list)

Intel - the world's largest semiconductor chip maker is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors.

Intel was founded on July 18, 1968, as Integrated Electronics Corporation and is based in Santa Clara, California, USA.

At its founding, Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce wanted to name their new company Moore Noyce. The name, however, sounded remarkably similar to more noise!

So they junked the idea, and used the name NM Electronics for almost a year, before deciding to call their company INTegrated ELectronics or Intel for short.

However, Intel was already trademarked by a hotel chain, so they had to buy the rights.

Ernst & Young: Rank 5 (business list)

Ernst & Young is the result of a series of mergers of ancestor organisations. The oldest originating partnership was founded in 1849 in England as Harding & Pullein.

In 1989, the number four (accounting firm) merged with the then number five, Arthur Young, on a global basis to create Ernst & Young.

In October 1997, EY announced plans to merge its global practices with KPMG to create the largest professional services organisation in the world.

In 2002, EY merged with many of the ex-Arthur Andersen practices around the world, although not those in the USA, UK, China or the Netherlands.

The world's most attractive employers

Image: Procter and Gamble's headquarter in Cincinnati, Ohio.

General Electric: Rank 6 (engineers list)

General Electric formed in 1892 through the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Company is worth almost $49 billion.

In 1896, General Electric was one of the original 12 companies listed on the newly-formed Dow Jones Industrial Average and still remains after 113 years.

Since over half of GE's revenue is derived from financial services, it is arguably a financial company with a manufacturing arm. It is also one of the largest lenders in countries other than the United States, such as Japan.

With 323,000 employees around the world, GE was the world's largest company by Forbes this year.

Procter and Gamble: Rank 6 (business list); rank 10 (engineers list)

William Procter, a candlemaker, and James Gamble, a soapmaker, immigrants from England and Ireland, respectively, who had settled earlier in Cincinnati, met as they both married sisters, Olivia and Elizabeth Norris.

Alexander Norris, their father-in law, called a meeting in which he persuaded his new sons-in-law to become business partners. On October 31, 1837, as a result of the suggestion, Procter & Gamble was born.

As of 2008, P&G is the 8th largest corporation in the world by market capitalization and 14th largest US company by profit.

The world's most attractive employers

Sony: Rank 7 (engineers list)

In late 1945, after World War II, Masaru Ibuka started a radio repair shop in a bombed-damaged department store building in Nihonbashi of Tokyo. The next year, he was joined by his colleague Akio Morita and they founded a company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo which translates in English to Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation. The company built Japan's first tape recorder called the Type-G.

When Tokyo Tsushin was looking for a romanised name to use to market themselves, they strongly considered using their initials, TTK. But Japanese railway company Tokyo Kyuko was also known as TKK.

The company occasionally used the acronym 'Totsuko' in Japan, but during his visit to the United States, Morita discovered that Americans had trouble pronouncing that name.

Finally they settled for "Sony" - a mix of two words - the Latin word Sonus which is the root of 'sonic' and 'sound' and the other was 'sonny', a familiar term used in 1950s America to call a boy.

At that time it was extremely unusual for a Japanese company to use Roman letters instead of kanji to spell its name and the move was not without opposition.

J P Morgan: Rank 7 (business list)

J P Morgan is part of JPMorgan Chase & Co, a global financial services firm with assets of $2.0 trillion.

John Pierpont Morgan (April 17, 1837 - March 31, 1913) was an American financier, banker and art collector who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation during his time.

He created the first billion dollar corporation by buying out industrialist Andre Carnegie and combining some 33 companies to form United States Steel.

During the financial panoc of 1907, J P Morgan saved several trust companies and a leading brokerage house from insolvency, bailed out New York City, and bailed out New York Stock Exchange.

And in 2008, J P Morgan played an important role in helping manage the credit crisis through the acquisition of Bear Stearns.

The world's most attractive employers

Siemens: Rank 8 (engineers list)

Headquartered in Berlin and Munich, Siemens AG is a conglomerate of three main business sectors: industry, energy and healthcare with a total of 15 divisions.

Worldwide, Siemens and its subsidiaries employ approximately 480,000 people in nearly 190 countries and reported global revenue of euro 77.327 billion as of 2008.

Siemens AG is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since March 12, 2001.

KPMG: Rank 8 (business list)

KPMG is one of the largest professional services firms in the world and one of the Big Four auditors, along with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu  and Ernst & Young.

Its global headquarters are located in Amstelveen, Netherlands.

KPMG employs over 136,500 people in a global network of professional services firms spanning over 140 countries. It has three lines of services: audit, tax, and advisory.

The world's most attractive employers

Shell: Rank 9 (engineers list)

Little did shopkeeper Marcus Samuel realise, when he decided to expand his London business, that he was laying the foundations of one of today's leading energy companies.

He sold antiques, but now added oriental shells. He aimed to capitalise on a fashion for using them in interior design. His instinct was right - such was the demand that Samuel quickly began importing shells from the Far East, laying the foundations for his import/export business.

The word 'Shell' first appeared in 1891, as the trade mark for kerosene being shipped to the Far East by Marcus Samuel and Company.

The word was elevated to corporate status in 1897, when Samuel formed The "Shell" Transport and Trading Company. The first logo (1901) was a mussel shell, but by 1904 a scallop shell or 'Pecten" emblem had been introduced.

When the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and Shell Transport and Trading merged in 1907 it was the latter's brand name and symbol which remained.

McKinsey & Company: Rank 9 (business list)

Ranked number one for six consecutive years in the list of top consulting firms, McKinsey & Company has been a top employer for MBA graduates since 1996.

James O. McKinsey & Company was founded in Chicago in 1926 by James O. ("Mac") McKinsey, an accounting professor at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, who pioneered budgeting as a management tool.

Marshall Field's became a client in 1935, and soon convinced McKinsey to leave the firm and become its CEO; however, he died unexpectedly of pneumonia in 1937.

Marvin Bower, who succeeded McKinsey resurrected the New York office and renamed it McKinsey & Company.
McKinsey has produced more CEOs than any other company and is referred to by Fortune magazine as "the best CEO launch pad".

More than 70 past and present CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are former McKinsey employees.

The world's most attractive employers

Deloitte: Rank 10 (business list)

According to the organisation's website as of 2008[update], Deloitte has approximately 165,000 staff at work in 140 countries, delivering audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services through its member firms.

Its global headquarters are located in New York City, New York. European headquarters are located in London.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is a Swiss Verein, a membership organization under the Swiss Civil Code whereby each member firm is a separate and independent legal entity.

While the full name of the Swiss verein is Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, in 1989 it initially branded itself Deloitte & Touche and then simply Deloitte.

Deloitte offers its staff a variety of career models to choose from based on their preferences, geographic location and business need.

The organisation is consistently rated by Fortune as one of their '100 Best Companies To Work For'.

In 2007 and 2009, Deloitte was rated the number one place to launch your career by BusinessWeek.

Procter and Gamble mentioned in slide 8 is ranked 10th in the business list.