About 67% of Asian jobseekers preferred to work in Western companies, with 71% of Malaysians choosing US-owned companies as ideal workplaces, according to a survey. Work environment, training and development opportunities, and perceived brand quality were the main reasons for the preference.

The Asia Connect Jobseekers’ Preference Survey, conducted jointly by Jobstreet.com and Aon Hewitt Consulting, surveyed around 14,000 jobseekers from eight Asian countries including Malaysia, Singapore, India, Thailand and the Philippines. By far the most interesting result was young Asians’ preference for Western employers over Asian owned businesses, suggesting local employers had some image building to do to attract the highest quality applicants from abroad — or home.

Among Malaysians, US owned companies were the top choice followed by UK and Australian. The top Asian company owner was Japan, with a 52% preference. The results were similar to the Asian average, with Chinese and Indian companies ranking 30% or less in preference, even achieving the same percentage in negative perception. The survey also found that most were not swayed by the nationality of local management, indicating that neither familiarity or patriotism were particularly important to Asians when selecting a career.

One anomaly was India: Indian jobseekers showed a 87% preference for Indian companies.

The survey was administered online in October 2010, with a male-female ratio of 3:2. 100% of respondents had at least a university degree, with 17% holding a Master’s degree. 57% of respondents were under 30, and 30% were aged 30-39.

sources & articles: The Edge Malaysia, Aon