Google has been named as the most attractive employer for the third consecutive year, pipping KPMG and PriceWaterhouse Coopers to the post in terms of business employers, and ahead of IBM and Microsoft on the engineering index.

This is according to the global talent attraction index: “The World’s Most Attractive Employers 2011” from Universum, based on the preferences of more than 160 000 career seekers with a business or engineering background from the world’s 12 largest economies.

The index, split in the business category – preferences from business career seekers – and engineering category – preferences from engineering career seekers – reveals the current level of attractiveness companies have as employers – and their potential to lead the world of tomorrow.

“The talent market for business career seekers is being dominated by the professional services firms, known for being great places to launch a career, and by companies that offer a new working culture in a dynamic environment,” says Lovisa Ohnell, head of research & consulting at Universum.

On the engineering index, Google finds the way to the top spot for the third consecutive year, but now with IBM in the second position, relegating Microsoft to the third spot on what seems to be a very strong competition for talent in the software industry – a battle being won by US companies.

“The software industry is highly dependent on its talent, hence the efforts to attract and retain the brightest minds. There’s a new working-culture paradigm today – the relaxed and creative office – and part of it we owe it to this industry. Generation Y feels comfortable working in this environment and it’s clearly reflected in the attractiveness of this industry.” comments Carlo Duraturo, global account director at Universum.

The top 10 employers on the business index are Google, KPMG, PwC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, JP Morgan, Apple and Goldman Sachs.

The top 10 employers on the engineering index are Google, IBM, Microsoft, BMW, Intel, Sony, Apple, General Electric, Siemens and Procter & Gamble.