Prospective hires look for flexibility, easy-going co-workers, and the ability to take longer breaks from work

07 Apr 2017

PwC Hungary has surveyed 13,000 young prospective job seekers on what they look for in a new employer.

Asked to rank job characteristics in order of importance, prospective hires put flexible work options and a good rapport with colleagues at the top of the list. Money is important, but prospective employees’ needs go beyond their salary: they only ranked it third among the top five priorities. In the survey, conducted between November 2016 and March 2017, PwC Hungary asked 13,000 high schoolers, college students and recent graduates about their job preferences.

“We launched this survey to examine the job preferences of high school and college students, to find out what they look for in an employer, and make the findings available to employers. Of the respondents, 63% are in higher education, about 20% are already employed, and 18% are high school students. They are the workforce of the future, and getting to know their preferences is essential in responding to skills shortages affecting nearly all industries, which 92% of CEOs believe to be the single biggest impediment to growth,”[1] said Róbert Bencze, HR Consulting Director at PwC Hungary.

When asked to rank a list of 36 job characteristics in order of importance, respondents put flexible work options at the top of the list, followed by co-workers, and salary. The ability to take longer breaks from work, as in the form of sabbatical leave, was fourth on their list, ranking immediately before “interesting and challenging work.” Respondents do not consider brand to be particularly important when choosing an employer. Vision and strategy are likewise not a top priority; rather, respondents value open communication.

Three-quarters of respondents expect to find work in Budapest. The industry in which the highest number of respondents expressed an interest was finance: 34% indicated they would consider a career in this area.

“In the survey we also asked participants about what motivates them to seek employment abroad, and what factors would make them stay in Hungary. The answer to both questions was salary and benefits, and career development,” Mr Bencze added.

Respondents are willing to relocate within Hungary, especially if their prospective employer also offers relocation assistance for family members. A strong argument for moving abroad is that, in addition to more attractive financial prospects, there are better chances for professional development.

“The survey results provide a comprehensive overview of the factors that attract prospective job seekers, including recent graduates and youth still in education, to a particular employer, based on demographics and other preferences. In light of this, companies can examine whether they offer any employee benefits or work arrangements that may be popular with tomorrow’s workforce. If they find something missing, they can align their offerings to better address future candidates’ needs,” Mr Bencze said.

The automotive industry has been a priority area in Hungary for years – a large number of respondents have selected it as a field they find attractive. In response to an open-ended question, they were also able to mention specific companies. Together with the Confederation of Hungarian Employers and Industrialists (MGYOSZ), PwC Hungary awarded prizes to automotive suppliers and manufacturers most popular with respondents.

Hungary’s favourite automotive manufacturers:

1. Audi Hungaria Zrt.

2. Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary Kft.

3. Magyar Suzuki Zrt.

Hungary’s favourite automotive suppliers:

1. Bosch Group

2. TAKATA Safety Systems Hungary Kft.

3. Continental Automotive Hungary Kft.

PwC Hungary conducted an online survey between November 2016 and March 2017, in which it asked nearly 13,000 young people aged between 16-26 (high school and college students, and career starters) about their job preferences. In addition to opinion-based questions, we also asked about demographics (age, place of residence, place of study) to assess respondents’ mobility preferences. Responses were collected anonymously and evaluated by demographic sub-sample.




[1] Source: PwC’s Hungarian CEO Survey 2017



Contact us

Cecília Szőke

Cecília Szőke

PR Senior Manager, PwC Hungary

Follow us