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YPAI International 2022 - revealing the secrets behind attracting young professionals

The YPAI 2022 International version contains a wealth of information invaluable to anyone looking to attract, develop and retain the European talents of tomorrow. Based on a survey conducted in six countries, the comprehensive report looks at the similarities and differences between the markets, identifying what is important to young professionals and the factors that influence their decisions.

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About YPAI International

The results and insights in YPAI International 2022 give employers active in more than one market within Europe a deep understanding of how to attract and retain one of the most sought-after groups in tomorrow’s workforce – young professionals. The survey is based on data from more than 14 000 respondents in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

The most attractive employers

Which are the places where international young professionals would most like to work? We have compiled a list of the most attractive employers according to this target group. Learn which employers made it to the top lists.

Top ten attributes

The respondents were asked to choose between ten important attributes they look for in an employer.

Set up a meeting with a YP Specialist

Our local YP Specialists are happy to provide advice and analysis of this year’s YPAI results tailored to your business. Book a meeting with us to discuss how we can organize the presentation in the best way possible to meet your company’s expectations and needs. Together we determine how extensive the presentation should be and what to include.

Uncovering the needs of international young professionals

Do you want to know how to customize job ads to attract Finnish candidates? Or what to consider when developing your employer brand strategy to retain German candidates? Growing your talent pool beyond local borders is a great way to bring new perspectives to the company. However, to attract and retain top talents, you need to be aware of their needs and motivations. Therefore, we explore international young professionals' similarities and differences by looking into the factors they find most important when considering an employer.

What is significant for Sweden?

The uncertain state of the economy has had an impact on the Swedish YPAI results. According to young professionals in Sweden, secure employment and company stability are among the most important factors, followed by good manager and leadership and clarity and structure, which all are connected to secure employment. Swedish young professionals want to know what is expected from them and that their jobs are safe, proving it important for employers to increase their sense of security.

The respondents’ desire for employee security also reflects their employer preferences. Many of the employers in the top ten are well-established tech companies with stable financials. Among the newcomers, we see several companies in MedTech.

What is significant for Norway?

The desire for secure employment is also notable in the Norwegian results. Companies face the challenge of communicating their efforts to provide job stability for candidates, and for newly established businesses with little to no reputation, this is particularly important. Good manager/leadership is another important factor for Norwegian young professionals, stemming back to secure employment. Strong leadership is required to lead people successfully through turbulent times and create stability.

Like many other markets, Norwegian young professionals value flexibility and work-life balance. However, they also find the geographical location of the workplace important, proving that they don’t want to work remotely full-time. Have you implemented a hybrid work model?

What is significant for Denmark?

Danish young professionals are very protective of their company culture, which explains why geographical location of the workplace is in the top five most important attributes. They also value flexibility and work-life balance, but unlike other markets, the conversation around workplace flexibility isn’t as dominant in Denmark as they understand the purpose of working on-site. Another reason the geographical location is important is the fact that Denmark is a relatively small country. Being used to short distances makes long-distance commuting over an hour a big no for young professionals.

The employers that Danish young professionals most want to work for include tech giants and pharmaceutical companies, which signals that employee security and financial stability are other important factors to them.

What is significant for Finland?

Finland stands out from the other markets as it is the only country not prioritizing job security. Finnish young professionals are future-oriented and keen to drive their growth and development. Those working in finance and tech are particularly keen as they prioritize the nature of work tasks more than any other business area. Employee-driven management is another noticeable trend unique to Finland, as they are the only market to speak of a desire for a flat hierarchy, humane management and modern leadership.

Just like in Sweden, Finnish young professionals want to work for employers at the forefront of innovation. Considering the Finnish gaming market explosion in recent years, it’s perhaps no surprise that several of the top ten employers are game developers of Finnish origin.

What is significant for Germany?

The business culture in Germany is known to be formal and hierarchical, making German companies less inclined to offer flexible working arrangements. However, the Covid- 19 pandemic accelerated a shift to flexible work, noticeable in this year’s YPAI results. According to German young professionals, flexibility and work-life balance are among the most important factors, making it essential for employers to at least consider flexible work models.

Another highly valued attribute includes salary and benefits, which increased by 11% as of last year. The increase can be explained by world events such as inflation impacting the global economy.

What is significant for Switzerland?

Secure employment is up high on the wish list of Swiss young professionals. Unlike Sweden and Finland, the respondents would most like to work for old institutions and companies in the public sector, which reflects their desire for financial stability. There is also a strong desire for flexibility and work-life balance. However, many companies aren’t willing to accommodate preferences towards flexible work due to a conservative business culture. Sadly, young professionals often turn down job offers as a result of this need not being met.

Just like the German market, Swiss young professionals consider salary and benefits to be of high importance. Compensation is about respect for them, and they want to be fairly compensated. Have you evaluated the fairness of your employees’ paychecks?

About Academic Work

Academic Work is a recruitment- and staffing company founded in 1998 in Sweden. Today, we are an international organization operating in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland and Germany. We are experts in recruiting young professionals and have, since the start, helped over 160,000 young professionals start their careers while fulfilling our clients' recruitment needs and helping them grow.

About Kantar

Young Professional Attraction Index (YPAI) has been conducted for eight years in a row by Academic Work in close collaboration with Kantar. Kantar is the world’s leading research agency within insights and analysis, with over 30 000 global employees in nearly 100 countries. Among a multitude of areas of expertise, Kantar has many years of experience working with perception studies in different target groups, both for the public and specific companies.