Best Employer Among Students – 2016

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Issues related to employer branding are on the agenda among the leading companies in Georgia. According to the EY General Industry Compensation and Benefits Survey – 2016, 33% of respondents consider these issues among their HR priorities for 2017 (compared to 23% in 2015). What are students’ preferences and what should companies do to attract top talent? These and other important matters were analyzed by EY based on the results of its annual Best Employer Survey, which reflects the opinion of students from 8 different universities of Georgia. Particularly: Free University of Tbilisi, Tbilisi State University, Ilia State University, Caucasus University, Georgian Technical University, Agricultural University of Georgia, International Black Sea University and Georgian Institute of Public Affairs.

EY expresses its special thanks to the leading Georgian universities for their cooperation in spreading the questionnaires among students.

Which companies are considered the most attractive for employment?

The respondents independently named about 200 different companies, which they considered as best employers in Georgia. The most frequently mentioned were the companies from Banking (and MFOs) and public sector, followed by audit and consultancy. On the other hand, energy, pharma and law are among the least popular industries among students.

EY - Best Employer Among Students – 2016

The list of the best employers consists of large Georgian and international companies with well-known corporate and product brands. The most attractive employers for students in 2016 are (in an alphabetical order): Bank of Georgia, BP, Geocell, Magti, National Bank of Georgia, TBC, Wissol Group, big 4 audit companies.

What attracts students in employers?

Growth opportunities or monetary reward – what do professionals consider first when choosing an employer?

EY - Best Employer Among Students – 2016

The key factors of employers’ attractiveness in 2016 are the opportunities for career growth as well as the personal and professional development and working conditions. The respondents, in particular, students with high level of English, also mentioned the opportunities of gaining an international experience as an important criterion. Employer brand and the company’s reputation are of a major importance for Generation Y candidates.

Sources of information about employers

Internet is the most popular source of information about employers. Among online sources, students most frequently use internet employment sites, such as and Moreover, every second survey participant receives information via friends and relatives. Information placed at university, is also popular among students. Notably, freshmen respondents mentioned this source of information more frequently than graduates. Students, especially without work experience, also visit different events arranged by the company employers (e.g. events with the companies’ representatives in the university, presentations, job fairs, etc.). At the same time, independent student organizations and recruiting companies remain the least popular source of information about employers among students searching the job.

EY - Best Employer Among Students – 2016

Job search difficulties

Lack of work experience is the biggest challenge for students – this factor was mentioned by 63% of respondents. Further, every second respondent indicated unsatisfactory employment conditions and limited number of vacancies that match specialization as among the major job search difficulties.  At the same time, in 2016 the survey participants less frequently mentioned the skills mismatch and incorrect information stated in the vacancy description.

About the survey

The main goal of the survey is to analyze the attractiveness of the companies as of employers, define preferences of the candidates while choosing a workplace and provide recommendations on employer brand management. During the survey, we ask respondents to name up to three employers in order of their attractiveness and choose attractive companies from the suggested industry lists. Moreover, participants of the survey may also indicate factors of employer’s attractiveness and sources of information about them, as well as answer some other questions, which help to determine the major trends on the labor market.

The People Advisory Services practice at EY Georgia provides consulting services on human resource management matters, including conducting external employer image analysis and employee opinion surveys (engagement level, corporate culture, values, motivational factors, etc.).