• Engineering named the most attractive sector to work in for the first time, after five years of falling outside of the top three
  • The sector overtook IT & Communications (ITC), which had topped the chart for the previous four years
  • Three out of five (61%) of workers feel that they do not have the skills needed to enter many of the most sought-after industries

New research from Randstad, the world’s leading HR Services company, shows that engineering has knocked ITC off the top spot as the most desirable sector to work in. ITC has fallen to third place after four years in the number one position in Randstad’s Employer Brand Research (REBR) which surveys the sentiments of 163,000 working age people across 16 sectors and 31 markets.

The news comes as employers across all sectors are struggling to hire and retain talent, with 70% of all workers open to new job opportunities. The pandemic had also led to employees reprioritizing work in their lives with nearly half (48%) saying they would quit their job if it was preventing them from enjoying life and a third (34%) saying they have left a role because it didn’t fit within their personal life*.

engineering on the up, IT & Communications off the top spot

In this talent-scarce, competitive market, ITC - which includes roles such as technology services managers, software developers, and telecommunications technicians - has been knocked off the top spot for the most attractive industry for workers. Meanwhile, 60% of respondents said that they would be willing to work in Engineering - a 10% jump from 2021. This includes careers such as civil engineers supporting infrastructure, computer engineers advancing technological development and petroleum engineers helping solve the energy crisis.

The Automotive sector was ranked second in attractiveness by the survey respondents, with 59% of workers willing to work in the industry. ITC, Agriculture and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) rounded out the top five most attractive sectors.

quote icon

This year’s Randstad Employer Brand Research signals that the tides are changing in terms of which sectors are seen as the most attractive for employees. Increasingly, talent wants to work in sectors that make an impact in both the physical and digital world.

There’s still a job to do for employers in these sought-after industries to ensure that they are removing the barriers to entry for willing talent. Offering reskilling and upskilling programs can help employers stand out from the crowd and attract workers.

Joanna Irwin
CMO Randstad

REBR found that there are differences around the world in terms of which industries talent view as the most attractive. In Europe, for example, workers ranked the Automotive sector as number one (46%), followed by Life Sciences (44%) and Industrial (44%). In Latin America, Automotive also took the top position (73%). Industrial (68%) and FMCG (68%) followed in second and third respectively.

skill shortages deter workers from pursuing the most attractive sectors

Despite workers being attracted to certain industries, three out of five (61%) feel that they don’t have the skills required to enter many of the most sought-after industries.

Although engineering is the most attractive sector, a significant portion of the workforce (65%) believe they lack the skills needed to work in the industry. It is even more the case for the chemical (72%) and construction (69%) sectors.

At the other end of the scale, nearly half of the global workforce (46%) feel that they have the skills to work in retail. Hospitality comes in second (43%), followed by ITC (42%). White collar workers are more likely to feel that they have the skills to work in any sector, compared to blue collar workers (41% vs. 34%).

The research also found that over three quarters of workers (76%) consider it important to be offered the chance to reskill by their employer. Only 61% feel that their employers offer these opportunities.

what does this mean for businesses?

Regardless of which sector is deemed most attractive, employers still need to offer a compelling employee value proposition to win the competition for talent. This includes prioritizing the creation of a better talent experience for their workforce, with more autonomy and flexibility.

about REBR

The Randstad Employer Brand Research is the most comprehensive, independent and in-depth employer brand research amongst working-age adults in the world, identifying the most attractive employers among thousands of companies. The research surveys the views of over 163,000 people across 16 sectors and 31 markets. It provides insights into the perceptions and drivers of choice of survey respondents. The research addresses questions such as “Why do people prefer one company, or a specific industry, over another?” or “What motivates them to stay with an employer or start looking elsewhere?” The research, conducted since 2000, is conducted by Randstad’s international research partner, Kantar. Respondents for the 2022 research were polled between January and February 2022.

about randstad

Randstad is the world's largest HR services provider and is driven to become the world's most valued 'working life partner', supporting as many people as possible in realizing their true potential throughout their working life. We provide companies with the high quality, diverse, and agile workforces they need while helping people get rewarding jobs and stay relevant in the ever-changing world of work. In 2021, we helped more than two million people find a job that is right for them, advised 235,000 clients on their HR needs, from talent acquisition to total workforce management, and delivered training to over 450,000 people. We use data and technology to provide the right advice at the right moment at scale, while our consultants across almost 5,000 locations in 38 markets give talent and clients personal, dedicated human attention. It is this combination of Tech and Touch that makes our offer unique.

Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. In 2021, Randstad had on average 39,530 corporate employees and generated revenue of € 24.6 billion. Randstad N.V. is listed on the Euronext Amsterdam. For more information, see www.randstad.com

*According to Randstad’s 2022 Workmonitor report (Link)