Local Employers Preferred by Asians, but Google Remains a Favourite

Local Employers Preferred by Asians, but Google Remains a Favourite
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 10 March, 2022

Global multinational corporations (MNCs), traditionally the dominating force in many Asian markets, are generally perceived to be far more prestigious and progressive, in contrast with local employers. It would therefore be natural to assume that given the choice, jobseekers would opt to work for an MNC over a local company.However, recent studies show that local employers in Asia are quickly gaining a competitive edge over their global competitors.

In a 2016 survey by JobStreet.com and jobsDB, 43,827 respondents in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam were asked to rank the top 10 companies they aspired to work for, in order of choice.

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From a regional perspective, the results indicated a 50-50 split between MNCs and local companies as the employer of choice. 7 out of the 3 countries named a local employer as the top employer of choice, with the exception of Hong Kong and Singapore where Google topped the list, and Vietnam with Unilever as the firm favourite.

Analysis of the data on a country level revealed that most of the respondents polled were divided between MNCs and local employers, with the exception of Singapore, where 7 MNCs dominated the top 10 companies to work for. On the other end of the spectrum, we had Indonesia with only 3 MNCs in the top 10 list, and Malaysia with only 4. Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Philippines appeared to be on the fence, with a 50-50 split between MNCs and local employers.

Despite the inconsistent trends on a regional level, it's hardly surprising to note thatGoogle emerged as the only brand present on each country's top 10 list(with the exception of Vietnam, possibly because there's no Google office there).

While Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia showed an inclination towards tech, transport and oil & gas industries, consumer goods appeared to be a predominant industry for most respondents in Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. Vietnam, however, listed mainly food & beverage and telco companies as their most desired employers.

Factors such as cultural values, standard of living vs quality of life, economic trends and national infrastructure all play a part in shaping one's perceptions of a desirable employer. While Google seems to be a common favourite amongst the respondents, the study also shows that local companies are quickly overtaking global MNCs as favoured employers in Asia.

The Go Glocal report by Nielsen published in April 2016 sheds further light on this unexpected trend, revealing that"local and regional (FMCG) players in Southeast Asia are outpacing multinationals". The report asserted that"empowered by low running costs, well-established networks, an intimate understanding of local needs and tastes, and the ability to move swiftly,home-grown FMCG local brands are going toe-to-toe with the big multinationals".

The report also documents a growing number of strategic collaborations between global MNCs and local players to level the playing field. The MNCs get to leverage the local player's distribution networks, while the latter benefits from additional resources and access to international R&D and management expertise.Does this signal a merging of both worlds? How will this affect employment trends down the line?

Here's a useful resource to help in your job hunt: company reviews submitted by employees. Get an insider's perspective on what it's really like to work in these companies. Click here to get your inside scoop.

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