Pay not top priority for engineering students: Study

11 Sep 2017, 15:55

Photo: Collected

Bengaluru: Work-life balance and technical development opportunities are the factors that influence engineering students the most when deciding who to work for.

Pay and employee benefits are only the third and fourth most alluring factors. And all of these trounce factors like employer reputation, and organisation culture, according to a study that has just been completed by Bengaluru-based consulting firm Zinnov.

The study was part of an employer brand perception study of 100 MNCs with R&D and IT centres in India. It surveyed 1,061 students in 16 engineering institutes, including the IITs, reports Times of India.

Broadly, the study says ‘care and support’ and ‘career management’ are what students look forward to.

Among factors that can greatly damage an employer brand, portrayal of dishonest information was at No. 1. ‘Giving candidates untrustworthy or dishonest information about their work, compensation, etc is the biggest deal breaker for the employer brand,’ Anand Subramaniam, engagement manager & delivery head in Zinnov, said.

Candidates also reach out to current or past employees while making a choice. ‘Hearing negative opinions affects how they perceive the brand,’ the study says. Surprisingly, students also listed that a poorly designed and managed online presence, such as the website or social media pages, can alter their perception.

Asked to rank various components of benefit programmes, the students rated performance bonus as the most sought after component, a must have for most. Students also want to be rewarded for remaining loyal for a long period.

The popularity of employee stock options has crashed. Students ranked ESOPs as the least desired benefit.

About 20% of the students said they go to review websites like Glassdoor, and social networks like GitHub, Facebook and LinkedIn for accessing information about companies.

Subramaniam said that for employers, the way to break out in today’s crowded recruitment market is to engage with academia in curriculum design, provide them with consulting assignments and other faculty enrichment programmes.

Pay may not be a Top Priority but in very very few cases where the student is offered Key Post. Therefore in majority cases it does not sound true that pay is not top priority.

‘It’s not about recruitment any more, it’s about creating a talent pool that is aware of you,’ he said.

When respondents were asked to list the first five companies that came to mind, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Apple were named.

The study notes that these organizations have a dual advantage, in that their solutions are well known and are used extensively by students across all age groups.

Subramaniam said the recall for many others was very low, even though some are big brands globally.