MALAYSIA’S 100 Leading Graduate Employers 2017 survey has found that university student and graduate job hunters seek employer leadership, training and development as well as good career prospects.
Factors such as attractive location, status and prestige. and high starting salary were least important to them.
The survey, which took place from January till mid-September, also determined employer attractiveness, which answers the question “Why do I want to work for this company?”.
The largest and longest-running graduate recruitment study in the country also reveals that 47.4 per cent of the respondents have not undergone internships while at the university.
This year, the respondents are willing to submit as many as 13 job applications before finding their first job. And 24.5 per cent have received job offers, marking a significant increase from the 18.9 per cent recorded last year.
University students and graduates, however, do not like long hours at work. They are willing to work 8.6 hours per day, the same duration recorded in the 2016 survey.
However, their expected starting salary has decreased this year compared to last year. The expected salary of RM2,712 is a decrease from the RM2,827 expected in 2016. The figure was RM2,999 in 2015.
In terms of internships, 43.1 per cent of students and graduates completed one formal internship while at university, while 7.2 per cent have undergone two formal practical experience.
Only 2.3 per cent have completed three or more internships during their studies. Compared to 2016, there is increased participation in work experience and social, voluntary and political activities by the respondents this year. Some 72.4 per cent are involved in social activities such as student societies, charities, religious groups and non-governmental organisations. Meanwhile, 71.9 per cent have work experience unrelated to their course of study.
The respondents are also involved in work, study or voluntary activities in a foreign country (32.7 per cent) and political activities such as political parties, lobbying or special interest groups (13.4 per cent).
This year, the survey gathered responses both online and offline from 29,659 university students and fresh graduates from tertiary institutions across the country. The number of respondents is an increase of 5.6 per cent from last year.
There is also an increase in respondents with above average achievements. Thirty-two per cent are from this high achieving group of students in 2017, compared to 26.8 per cent in 2016.
Forty-nine per cent are average students, while the remaining are those with below average academic achievements. A whopping 32 per cent are final-year students graduating this year while 20 per cent are expected to graduate in 2018. Seventeen per cent of respondents are fresh graduates.
The survey results were announced during Malaysia’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers Awards Night 2017 held in Kuala Lumpur.
PricewaterhouseCoopers emerged as the most popular employer among university students and graduates in the country, followed by Ernst & Young and Maybank. Other employers include Petronas; Top Glove Corporation Bhd; UEM Group; KPMG; AirAsia; Sime Darby; and Deloitte.
Ernst & Young Malaysia talent leader and partner Lee Soo Fern said the recognition is an affirmation that the firm is a good employer by providing career opportunities for aspiring talents.
“We are not the only firm which provides professional service but what is different is how we do it. The people, culture and support make the difference.
“We promote a sense of belonging, value diversity and ensure equal chance for success. We provide learning opportunities, career advancement and challenging assignments to encourage recruits to succeed sooner that they think they can,” she said.
Maybank talent attraction and workplace futurisation head Sophia Ang Wui Jiun said it believes in building talent and ensuring that the group stays relevant.
“We want to continue to connect better with students and graduates. It is not just about new products and programmes, it is also about sustainability.”
At the event, winners of the 2017 gradmalaysia Graduate Recruitment Awards for best academia and industry collaboration, under the auspices of the Higher Education Ministry, were also announced (see infographics).