The war for the very best Graduate talent has never been more competitive than in the current candidate-driven market we find ourselves in the UK. Organisations are looking to take advantage of the annual Graduate "pool" which becomes available every Spring/Summer, as they seek to restructure their businesses for the New World.

Every year, university students vote for their ideal employers in the country's largest, most comprehensive and independent career-related study – the Universum Talent Survey. This year over 35,000 students in United Kingdom were surveyed and asked to provide insight on company characteristics they find most attractive in a potential employer as well as who they perceive to be their ideal employer.

Here are the Top 5 Preferences which Graduates identified in order with their 2021 placing in brackets.


  • 1 - High Future Earnings (2021: 4th)

  • 2 - Clear Path for Advancement (2021: 1st)

  • 3 - Secure Employment (2021: 3rd)

  • 4 - Professional Training & Development (2021: 2nd)

  • 5 - A friendly Work Environment (2021: 5th)

The Preferences don't really need explanation we feel but if you'd like to know more please speak to a member of our consulting team.

The rest of the Top 10, included: ethical standards; a business having respect for its employees; an Inspiring purpose; encouraging work-life balance and flexible working conditions.

While there is no showstoppers in this list the rankings are interesting and suggest the desire for flexible working isn't as high on the list of graduates as the "older" generations in the workforce.

Interestingly the preferences by gender showed some marked differences. Female Graduates ranked secure employment; ethical standards and clear path for Advancement as their 1,2,3 compared with male graduates who listed high future earnings; clear path for Advancement and Competitive base salary as their 1, 2, and 3.


Can We Help?

Here at Lucy Walker Recruitment, we have been helping firms with their talent acquisition, and job seekers find their ideal roles for over 30 years. We have placed thousands of candidates and filled thousands of roles for our clients; if you want to find out how we can help you call us on 0113 367 2880 or email us here.








About the Author: Mark Woffenden

Mark Woffenden is a Director at Lucy Walker Recruitment and has an extensive knowledge of the issues and workings of the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Commercial markets developed over the last 20 years in the Industry