McKinsey, EY, BCG and Accenture among top 25 UK companies to work for

26 March 2018 Authored by Consultancy.uk

Social business platform LinkedIn has unveiled the most attractive companies to work for in the UK. The professional services industry was a big winner in the annual ranking, with three firms breaking into the top ten in 2018, and another being included in the top 25. Bricks and mortar retail brands meanwhile saw their stock as employers tumble, having dominated last year’s proceedings.

As the world’s largest professional network, career social media site LinkedIn is fed data continuously by its global user-base of job seekers. Utilising information gathered from billions of actions taken by their 433+ million members, the network’s insights and global editorial teams analyse the input annually to come up with a blended score. This score is then used by the site to rank the most desirable employers in particular locales.

Last year, the British consulting industry underwent a sustained period of growth, with experts now estimating it to be worth over £7 billion. Reflecting this, and reversing last year’s drop in consulting firms’ perceived attractiveness in the eyes of the British public, four professional services firms have moved into the top 25 most desirable employers in the UK, with three breaking into the top ten. 

In 2017, the consulting industry was entirely absent from the top end of the list. However, leading the charge this year, McKinsey & Company ranks third. The management consultancy was a prominent name in the UK throughout last year, winning a lucrative £1.9 million contract to aid the implementation of Brexit, and seeing UK&I leader Vivian Hunt named in the Queen’s New Year honours list, among other high-profile stories.

Accompanying McKinsey on the list is global professional services firm EY; a new addition to this year’s top 25, positioning in eighth. While the firm undoubtedly pushed its way up the ranking due to strong recruitment drives last year, EY is not finished growing yet, and is currently working to triple its headcount in the Midlands financial services sector, among other key areas. The firm are the only member of the Big Four to be present on this year’s ranking, contrasting with last year, when DeloittePwC and KPMG were all cited by British job-seekers as among the most attractive employers. The only other consulting presence in 2017’s rankings, PA Consulting, also failed to return to the top 25 this year. 

McKinsey, EY, BCG and Accenture

Rounding off the consulting presence in the top ten, meanwhile, in tenth place, is the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The firm was heavily involved in the launch of LGBT+ charity, GiveOut, with Partner Elliot Vaughn currently helming the project, and social responsibility drives such as this seem to have significantly enhanced BCG’s attractiveness as an employer for Britons in 2018.

Making the top 20 this year, Accenture joined LinkedIn’s list, following a year when the firm spent over $1 billion on acquisitions in digital and design acquisitions. The firm has already put its new assets to use in order to enhance its reputation in the eyes of prospective employees, and in order to better acquaint new personnel with what it does, Accenture has developed a 25-level video game app. The game, Sky Journey, sees players run an airport using real business solutions developed by the firm.

Top employers

Having dominated LinkedIn’s rankings last year, the retail sector saw its presence in the list decimated in 2018. Following a turbulent year, former number one John Lewis dropped out of the top 25 entirely – in part due to the axing of its lucrative end of year bonus scheme for employees. Scandal-stricken Arcadia joined John Lewis in exiting the rankings, having been forced to hire McKinsey – who interestingly now occupy the retailer’s vacated third place – in order to draft a strategic plan in a bid to turn around the company. Harrods, Sainsbury’s and the Co-op were also among the retailers to have fallen out of favour with the British workforce – though Selfridges remains at number 11.

Replicating a trend on British high-streets, however, the fall in stock of bricks and mortar brands has been accompanied by a boost for online retailers. This year’s LinkedIn ranking saw online fashion retailer’s sales soar by 30%, and its active customer count reached a whopping 16 million. In order to support this upward trajectory, ASOS grew its headcount by the same 30% margin in 2017, and is looking to hire a further 1,000 employees this year; something which is likely to see its presence at the top end of the list continue next year. In line with the trend for ‘luxury’ and ‘experience’ consumption, meanwhile, jewelers Richemont and Kering ranked fourth and fifth respectively.

Despite a challenging year in terms of human resources-related public relations, after it emerged top talent at Broadcasting House was subject to a huge gender pay gap, the BBC climbed seven places this year, to rank second. This contrasted Sky’s presence on the list, which declined by nine places to 21st, while ‘new media’ presences such as Facebook also saw their attractiveness fall.  

Meanwhile, financial services roles remained prominent amid LinkedIn’s UK data, despite the Bank of England’s warning in 2017 that as many as 75,000 financial services jobs could leave UK shores after Brexit. JP Morgan Chase & Company (6), HSBC (9), Barclays (13), Goldman Sachs (16) and Lloyds Banking Group (18), while Virgin was the only representative of the private equity and venture capital sector, in 23rd. IT services meanwhile enjoyed a sparser presence on the list, with ERP specialists Salesforce (20), Google’s parent company Alphabet (22) Dell Technologies (25).

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