Graduates leaving university will no doubt be on the lookout for their first role with some of the most sought-after employers of 2015 and as a result, LinkedIn has revealed the top 20 most in-demand employers.

The largest professional network uncovered the most favoured employers among its 19 million UK members.

The graduate wish-list

The likes of British retailers and tech giants in the USA remain high on graduates employer wish-list, with the department store John Lewis ranking as a clear favourite.

Selfridges is a new entry, along with the online retailer ASOS however, Google remains the top most in-demand employer among talented professionals.

Meanwhile, British Airways, Rolls-Royce, Amazon and Goldman Sachs have surprisingly dropped from the top 20 in the past year, allowing for firms such as Facebook, Walt Disney, Selfridges and Topshop to make their way into the list.

Yvette Bloxham-Smith, Head of Resourcing at John Lewis, said it’s important that as an employer John Lewis find the right employees that fit in with the unique culture and environment of the business.

In order to both attract and select talent, the John Lewis employer brand helps the recruitment team to find the very best candidates, she added.

Meanwhile, Chris Brown, Director LinkedIn Talent Solutions, commented that these rankings highlight the organisations that have worked hard to successfully build their very own employer brand and use this to engage with new employees.

Top 20 most sought-after employers

The top 20 employers most in demand for this year’s graduates were found to be:

  1. Google
  2. Apple
  3. John Lewis
  5. Shell
  6. BBC
  7. Selfridges
  8. Facebook
  9. Microsoft
  10. BP
  11. Unilever
  12. Burberry
  13. The Walt Disney Company
  14. ITV
  15. The Net-A-Porter Group
  16. Harrods
  18. Niageo
  19. Carillion
  20. McKinsey & Company

From this research it’s clear to see that UK firms with poor employer reputations will face a shortage of candidates applying for roles, leading to the offering of higher wages – potentially costing them more than £4 million a year.