Caption: Talentbank founder and chief executive officer Ben Ho (fifth from left) presents ‘The Most Attractive Employer Brand’ award to Maybank executive vice president and talent attraction and workplace futurisation head Sophia Ang Wui Jiun (centre). (From left) Zainah Rujihan, Professor Dr Mohd Cairul Iqbal Mohd Amin, YM Syed Haizam Hishamudin Putra Jamalullail, Sandy Tan and Associate Professor Dr Othman Ibrahim look on.

Attractive salary and career development are the top two factors that graduates in Malaysia look for in their first job according to a survey conducted by a graduate recruitment company, Talentbank.

These factors are followed by learning and development opportunities, flexible working hours and company culture.

The survey is in parallel with the second annual Graduates’ Choice Awards (GCA) that took place recently.

Maybank emerged as the overall winner of The Most Attractive Employer Brand among university students in Malaysia, for the second year running.

The other four of the Top Five employers were Petronas, Maxis, Samsung and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Other winners include Top Glove in the manufacturing category, Microsoft in the Information and communications technology category and Lazada in the e-commerce category. Maybank also topped the banking category.

The winners were voted by 28,000 undergraduates from more than 100 universities.


Maybank Executive Vice President and Head of Talent Attraction and Workplace Futurisation, Sophia Ang Wui Jiun at the Graduates' Choice Awards 2019 gala dinner.

Maybank executive vice president and talent attraction and workplace futurisation head Sophia Ang Wui Jiun said the title is a recognition of the company’s relevance in the industry.

“This award serves as a validation of Maybank’s efforts in developing students and graduates.”

Ang said that Maybank embraces and nurtures talent from diverse backgrounds.

“Spending a tremendous amount of time on campus, we believe that recruitment starts before the interview stage. In fact, we have already known some of our talents since their first year of studies.

“Taking in graduates from different backgrounds, our management trainee programme creates a platform for them to discover their career pathway. On top of that, the international assignments provide valuable global experience.”

The Global Maybank Apprentice Programme retention rate is 100 per cent, according to Ang.

“We believe in empowering graduates to showcase their capabilities by giving them the flexibility to design their career together with the bank. I think this is what students and graduates are looking for,” said Ang.

Named the first runner-up of The Most Attractive Employer Brand, Petronas also won two other categories which were engineering and oil and gas.

Petronas Human Resource Upstream Business head Ahmad Laila Set said: “Being one of the employers of choice for our Malaysian students and graduates means the world to us, as we always strive to make Petronas a great place to work for everyone.”


Petronas Head of HRM Upstream Business Ahmad Laila Set at the Graduates' Choice Awards 2019 gala dinner. NSTP/ROHANIS SHUKRI.

The GCA recognises excellence in the graduate recruitment landscape, acknowledging the efforts of companies in bridging the gap between industry players and graduates, as well as their commitment to enhance their employer branding.

Talentbank founder and chief executive officer Ben Ho said: “In 2018, we had a total of 11,000 votes. This year, we have received more than 28,000 votes.

“This tells us two things. First, undergraduates are beginning to discover the importance of their voice in signaling to the industry the importance of employer branding. From an employer’s perspective, this indicates that young people are paying more attention to what companies do to brand themselves.”

In his speech, Selangor Youth Community trustee Syed Haizam Hishamuddin Putra Jamalullail said: “Let us not forget that a company is only as strong as the shoulders of the talents that are a part of them. Attracting the right talent is the foundation of a sustainable company.”

In total, 83 companies were nominated across 23 categories. The awards selections were made over a seven-month period, ending with an audit checkpoint by 15 board members from various universities.

The GCA 2019 ceremony was held on Oct 18 at the Sunway Hotel Resorts and Spa in Subang Jaya.

Present were Higher Education deputy director-general (research and international) Professor Dr Mohd Cairul Iqbal Mohd Amin, Polytechnic and Community College Education Department, Industry and Community Collaboration director Zainah Rujihan, Career Development Centre Club Malaysia president Sandy Tan and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Career Centre director Associate Professor Dr Othman Ibrahim.