The best companies to work for in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, according to LinkedIn

01-May-2021 Intellasia | CNBC | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Companies that adapted quickly to the pandemic while continuing to offer employees opportunities to advance their careers have ranked top among LinkedIn’s best places to work in Southeast Asia in 2021.

Focusing on Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, the professional networking site assessed companies’ performance through the unprecedented challenges of 2020 to formulate its list of 15 leading employers in each country.

Each company was measured across seven key factors said to lead to career progression: ability to advance; skills growth; company stability; external opportunity; company affinity; gender diversity; and educational background. Overall, those that managed to balance professional development with wellbeing support fared best.

“The past year has presented extraordinary challenges for so many around the world and our top companies methodology reflects these realities,” said Chris Anderson, senior news editor for Asia-Pacific at LinkedIn.

“This helped us surface companies who are investing in employee growth, as we navigate a world of work that’s forever changed by the global pandemic.”

To be eligible, companies had to have at least 500 employees in the country, with reductions in staff no higher than 10 percent as of December 31, 2020.

Here’s a rundown of the full list.


The top 15 companies to work for in Singapore in 2021 include those in the banking, financial services, accounting and technology industries.


Topping this year’s list is one of Singapore’s largest banks Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, which won plaudit for its management through the Covid-19 crisis. It is now offering staff additional time off as needed during the vaccine rollout. Having appointed its first female CEO in January, diversity will be high on the agenda as the bank goes on a hiring spree for financial advisors and mortgage specialists.

Standard Chartered Bank

Ranking in second place is British multinational bank Standard Chartered, which has been making strides in gender equality. The bank has also been an advocate of remote work, pledging to cut a third of its office space within four years and introducing a new policy letting staff choose when and where they work. The business is now looking to bulk out its software engineering and project management teams.


British consumer goods company Unilever emerged in third place due in part to the support it provided to local communities during the height of the pandemic in Singapore. The business has also been recognised for its sustainability and gender equality achievements. Going forward, it intends to retain a hybrid working model, saying employees will “never return to desks” for a full five-day week.

EY — Accounting

UOB — Banking

Citi — Financial services

Accenture — Information technology & services

ST Engineering — Mechanical or industrial engineering

FairPrice Group — Retail

Sea — Internet

IBM — Information technology & services

PwC — Accounting

KPMG — Accounting

Prudential plc — Financial services

DBS Bank — Banking


Malaysia’s top 15 companies in 2021 are largely multinationals in sectors spanning oil and gas, banking and telecommunications.


Malaysia’s government-owned oil and gas company Petronas ranked as the country’s top employer in 2021. With a staff of almost 40,000 covering functions from engineering to energy, the company has been making progress in its push for gender equality. Women make up more than one-quarter (27%) of its workforce and the company welcomed its first woman chief financial officer last year.

Permodalan Nasional Berhad

One of Malaysia’s largest fund management companies, government-linked Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) placed second among the country’s leading companies. Quick to introduce flexible work arrangements at the start of the pandemic, it has since added stress and time management training for workers. Meantime, the company advocates professional development through its staff training and scholarship programmes.

Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Utilities company Tenaga Nasional Berhad ranked third this year as it forges ahead with its renewable energy strategy. The CEO has pledged to create more jobs over the coming years as the company moves away from fossil fuel technologies, including expanding its footprint in Vietnam and Singapore.

AIA — Insurance

Telekom Malaysia — Telecommunications

Accenture — Information technology & services

Maybank — Banking

OCBC Bank — Banking

PwC — Accounting

Standard Chartered Banking — Banking

EY — Accounting

Axiata — Telecommunications

Prudential plc — Financial services

Intel Corporation — Semiconductors

Hong Leong Bank Berhad — Financial services


The Philippines’ leading 15 companies in 2021 range from banking to telecommunications and food & beverage companies.

Philippine National Bank

Emerging as the Philippines’ best company to work for in 2021 was Philippine National Bank. The company and its CEO were recognised for their “excellence” in responding to the pandemic, and managed to remain profitable in 2020. Looking ahead, the bank’s leadership said it is optimistic about the future as it embarks on its digitisation strategy.

Smart Communications

Smart Communications came in second place, and was also recognised for its response to the Covid-19 crisis, which continues to weigh on the Philippines. The telecommunications company deployed 600 stores in Metro Manila to help customers access internet services as companies shifted to remote work. It also launched a community support programme to help students suffering from mental health concerns during lockdown.

Manila Water

Utilities provider Manila Water ranked third among the Philippines’ top companies to work for in 2021. The business was recently commended by employees for its return to work policy, with 94 percent rating it highly. The company has also been offering mental health counselling and financial assistance programmes to employees, as well as learning and development opportunities.

Philip Morris International — Tobacco

EY — Accounting

Land Bank of the Philippines — Banking

Manulife — Financial services

Metrobank — Banking

Accenture — Information technology & services

Nestle — Food & beverages

The Coca-Cola Company — Food & beverages

Macquarie Group — Financial services

NCR Corporation — Information technology & services

BDO Unibank — Financial services

IQVIA — Hospital & Healthcare


Category: Malaysia

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