Business

Public sector still the most attractive destination for Northern Ireland professionals

Five candidates waiting for job interviews, front view, crop
Ryan McAleer

THE public sector remains the most attractive destination for Northern Ireland professionals, according to a new survey.

The civil service has topped a new index of the north’s most attractive employers, ahead of the health service and Department of Education, with the BBC and PSNI completing the top five.

UTV is the top ranking private sector employer, and the only indigenous non-state owned company to make the top ten.

PwC, Deloitte, Diageo, Kainos and Almac also feature in the top 15.

Hastings is the only hotel group in the top 30.

Compiled by online recruitment platform NIJobs.com and global employer brand specialist Universum, the research is based on the feedback of 1,476 professionals across a range of sectors, surveyed over October 2019 and May 2020.

NIJobs.com General Manager, Sam McIlveen said: “Attracting the best talent is critical to an employer’s pathway to recovery. Covid-19 has changed the world of work, and so too have people’s priorities. An organisation’s recruitment and retention strategy must reflect this when it starts to normalise again.”

The research also analysed the choices of business students, the major professional services groups coming out on top.

The so-called ‘big four’ professional services firms – PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG dominated the top five, with Google wedged in at number three.

A survey among business professionals put the civil service at number one, but drinks giant Diageo featured much higher, at number three, just behind the BBC.

Mr McIlveen added: “Our research reflects the changing priorities among students and professionals. Students, understandably, want to work for employers where there is potential to earn significant amounts of money and opportunities for career development.

"However, as professionals progress in their careers, their priorities change and considerations such as work-life balance and job security come to the fore. For employers, it is critically important that they recognise these nuances and changing motivations of individuals at different stages in their career."

Claes Peyron of Universum added: "Every year we work with over 2000 universities, alumni groups, and professional organisations across 60 markets to gather insights from students and professionals to advise employers on how to attract talent that fits their culture and purpose.

“This index gives employers in Northern Ireland the opportunity to learn and understand how they are perceived by the talent they would like to attract. These valuable insights can assist businesses to develop hiring strategies to ensure they emerge from this crisis with the ability to restart and grow."

Ranking

Most Attractive Employers Index 2020 Northern Ireland Top 50

1

Civil Service

2

Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland (HSC)

3

Department of Education

4

BBC

5

Police

6

UTV

7

PwC

8

NI. Water

9

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

10

Deloitte

11

Diageo

12

Kainos

13

Almac

14

Marks & Spencer

15

Power NI

16

Citi

17

Allstate

18

KPMG

19

BT

19

EY (Ernst & Young)

21

Danske Bank

22

Ulster Bank

22

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

24

Hastings Hotels

25

Bank of Ireland

26

Randox

27

IBM

28

Bombardier

28

Santander

30

First Derivatives

31

Lidl

32

Tesco

32

IKEA

34

Dale Farm

34

SSE Airtricity

34

Kingspan

37

Sky

37

Seagate Technology

39

HSBC

40

Caterpillar

41

Accenture

42

EuroSpar (Henderson Group)

43

GE - General Electric

44

Baker McKenzie

45

Barclays

46

Moy Park

46

Norbrook

48

McLaughlin & Harvey

48

Thompson Aero Seating

50

Sainsbury’s

50

Charles Hurst Group

50

Musgrave Group

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