HR · 21 March 2018

Online brands sweep aside high street retailers as Britain’s most desirable employers

ASOS’ London headquarters | Image: MoreySmith
Online fashion retailer ASOS has been ranked the most sought-after employer in Britain, as a new league table highlights the appeal of digital brands for jobseekers at the high street’s expense.

The UK’s most desirable employers were compiled by professional network LinkedIn for its Top Companies 2018 list and saw a number of high street institutions fall out of favour with jobseekers.

In 2017, the same list saw John Lewis emerge as the most desirable employer, with luxury Knightsbridge department store Harrods at number four. Meanwhile, supermarket chain Sainsbury’s landed at number six. This year, all three companies dropped out of the top 25 altogether.

Online auction giant Amazon also climbed up the rankings this year, entering the top ten having been listed 18th in 2017.

The growing draw of online brands follows what has been a difficult period for the British high street. In February, children’s retailer Toys R Us entered administration, putting as many as 5, 500 jobs at risk, before restaurant chain Prezzo announced the closure of almost 100 branches.

High street banks were well represented, however. Lloyds Banking Group remained in the top 25 employers, with HSBC and Barclays joining for the first time.

LinkedIn 25 most desirable employers 2018

1 14 Loral
2 BBC 15 Vodafone
3 McKinsey & Company 16 Goldman Sachs
4 Richemont 17 Facebook
5 Kering 18 Lloyds Banking Group
6 JPMorgan Chase 19 Accenture
7 Amazon 20 Salesforce
8 EY 21 Sky
9 HSBC 22 Alphabet
10 Boston Consulting Group 23 Virgin
11 Selfridges Group 24 Volkswagen
12 Apple 25 Dell Technologies
13 Barclays
Take a look at the full list on

Commenting on the rankings, Emily Spaven, LinkedIn’s UK news editor, said: “Every year the Top Companies list reminds us how fierce the competition for talent is, and 2018 is no different. We’ve seen that businesses are increasingly using LinkedIn to make themselves as attractive as possible to the top talent, by leveraging their employees as brand ambassadors to convey the most authentic voice.

Since launching in 2000, ASOS has grown its global headcount to 4, 057, with a 30 per cent increase in 2017 alone. Workplace initiatives, such as awards for long service and the chance for employees to name products after themselves, have seen jobseekers look to the UK retailer as the most desirable destination.

Holly Middlemiss, talent brand and engagement partner at ASOS, said the company’s employees live and breathe our values of authenticity, creativity and bravery.

“it’s equally important for us reflect these through our employer brand, bringing to life our unique culture internally and externally. At ASOS we do things not just to simply tick a box rather, we genuinely care, we want to do the right thing and see the value in doing so.



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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