My ideal employer?

What do interns think of today’s companies
… And their hopes for tomorrow


A Top Employers France study,carried out in collaboration with Pôle Paris Alternance

What do interns make of today’s companies as (future) employers? What do they expect from the induction process? What are their thoughts on continuing education and skills development? On management and leadership? What are their preferences in terms of pay and working conditions? What are their proposals for the corporate culture of tomorrow?

The “My Ideal Employer?” study sprung from an exclusive partnership between Top Employers France, leader in the certification of excellence in employee conditions, and Pôle Paris Alternance, France’s number one school for work-linked higher education. Also, and above all, it is the culmination of research carried out by the students themselves.

For an entire year they conducted a survey on the expectations of new generations with respect to employers, with methodological support from Top Employers France. They collected the opinions of over 500 interns on today’s employers, as well as their thoughts on the future of work.

The study provides unprecedented data on a particularly interesting population, in other words young people who still have one foot in their studies and the other already in professional life. They discuss the world of work with full knowledge of the facts and with an energy suggesting an ability to bring about change, motivated by strong ideas and values.

Some of the results of this research are consistent with other recent analyses of intergenerational work issues. Others are impressive and shake up the clichés about our “Gen Y”.


  • 500 respondents, including 43% with 2 to 5 years’ business experience
  • 85% believe the induction process marks a crucial step in a young recruit’s professional life
  • 62% believe continuing education should be permanent, delivered throughout the year
  • 61% would like to benefit from a flexible career path, notably including internal mobility opportunities
  • 43% would prefer a pay “bundle”, including a fixed wage, a variable component and in-kind benefits
  • 59% attach importance to the presence of a works council
  • 83% consider the working atmosphere the first criterion of employer excellence
  • 75% attach importance to the presence of areas for relaxing, leisure and socializing at work
  • 73% are in support of “participative management”
  • 90% defend their “right to make mistakes” as the best means of learning a trade

Press contact:
Benoit Montet
Top Employers France
Tel: +33 (0) 1 47 51 79 99

Register for the full report


+39 02 6203 3059


“Working with the Top Employers Institute allows us to get a market reference and benchmark on best practices and new practices as well as inspiration from inside and outside our own business field. If we say that we care for people, we’d better do.”

Read others

Register for the Full Report