Two large State-owned enterprises (SOEs) top the list of most-favored potential employers among university students this year, according to a recent survey by online recruitment company ChinaHR.com.
China Mobile and Bank of China ranked in the top two spots, followed by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) at No 5, in the best employer survey that queried 171,488 students at 764 universities around China.
The survey, the largest of its kind in the nation, found that among the top 50 most desirable employers, 23 are SOEs.
Edward B Lo, executive vice-president of Monster Worldwide Greater China and CEO of ChinaHR.com, told China Daily that since the financial crisis in 2008, SOEs have become a preferred choice among college graduates due to the government’s policy of minimizing layoffs and increased hiring of new graduates.
Another reason is that “some of the SOEs are global leaders in their fields – for example ICBC in financial services – and some are major engines driving China’s economic growth”, Lo said.
Ma Li, a senior executive in the HR department at China Mobile – which ranked No 1 in the survey for two consecutive years – said the company’s strength, market performance and brand value are its “winner’s cards”.
Graduates’ enthusiasm for China Mobile has not faded despite a 2009 order from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration to reduce benefits and compensation over the following five years.
“Ever-rising 3G technology will also drive interest to seek a career at China Mobile,” he said.
But Lo said the desirability of SOEs in the technology sector still lags multinationals.
Topping the tech companies as desired employers were Microsoft, which ranked 4th overall, and Google at 10th.
James Kaw, technical president of the P&G Technical Center, another Top 10 employer, said “multinationals like P&G offer life-long training and advanced benefits” so are preferred employers.
This year, 32 percent of survey respondents indicated that multinationals were their top choice.
Insiders note that the controversial high salaries of senior level management at central SOEs is also a key attraction for new graduates.