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eFinancialCareers' top ten ideal employers: the list

JPMorgan might have won our long-paused (and long-awaited) revival of the eFinancialCareers Ideal Employer rankings, but it was far from the only bank (or financial services company) in contention for the top spot.

7500 people responded to the Ideal Employer survey. Goldman Sachs (which won our last overall Ideal Employer award in 2018) received the second highest number of votes from people saying it was their preferred employer. HSBC and Barclays followed in 3rd and 4th. This was a particular improvement for Barclays, which came 18th in our last ranking five years ago.

As well as naming their ideal employers, we asked people to rank them for qualitative statements like "this company offers interesting work" and "this company has a good long-term future". Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan ranked highly across all our qualitative statements. Goldman Sachs ranked above average on statements concerning pay, long-term prospects, and the quality of its workforce. HSBC scored well in “soft” categories, such as its acceptance of hybrid and remote working, and was perceived as being good for employees’ health.

Barclays did well all round, especially in terms of remote/hybrid working and the quality of its workforce – but it was slightly let down by the perceived quality of its compensation. Fifth-placed BlackRock did similarly, although it scored particularly well for long-term careers and quality of compensation.

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Morgan Stanley’s popularity as an Ideal Employer employer has fallen. In 2018, Morgan Stanley came 4th but this year it has dropped to 9th. This is despite the strong performance of Morgan Stanley’s shares, which were up some 55% in the last five years compared to both Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan (up 33% and 28%, respectively). It’s also despite the general market perception that outgoing CEO James Gorman has done a good job.

In the qualitative statements, Morgan Stanley ranked strongly for long-term career prospects, compensation, and interesting work – however, it rated poorly for work-life balance (including opportunities for remote/hybrid work) and for some cultural statements.

The full eFinancialCareers Ideal Employer report can be downloaded here.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher & Zeno Toulon Insider Comment
  • ph
    29 November 2023

    One of the monster banks here, one I spent years at, told me that I was at the top of the list for a position which had an actual fixed starting date. Interviews were finished, date was a few weeks away, and they went 'off air' with zero explanation. I emailed about 2 weeks out, no response. One week, zip. This was several months ago, starting date long past, never heard back from them, and they never even updated the application status.

    While this is something of an extreme example, over the years I've applied to most of them for positions I was quite qualified for. For most, I had to consider myself 'lucky' if they updated my application status on their site within 6 months of last contact. With most, it was clear that I was as important a resource as a case of staplers. At one, the hiring manager was a kid half my age and obviously far less experience who had the gaul to tell me that I wasn't qualified; I could have taught this child how to do the job. As to the internal recruiters, some were decent, and clearly cared about what they were doing, a few were superb, and a bunch were clearly in the wrong line of work; I wasn't sure I could rely on them to do dog walking.

    At least top banks like these sort of follow the recent NYC and NYS laws on posting salary ranges, though those ranges can be a rather huge joke. For instance, $1 to $500,000, which, of course, totally defeats the intent of these laws. The HR people and hiring managers tend to just not care about this, let alone putting out a useful job spec. Some do, of course, but if too specific the HR reps tend to program their application systems to reject anyone who is missing a single meaningless keyword in their resumes.

    One thing that many of them do; try as hard as they can to eliminate anyone past 50, or even 40. I used to think it was about money, but no. They only want children to apply.

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