The BBC was voted the most ideal employer by 4,200 working professionals who judged 130 organisations on factors such as appeal in the recruitment market and employer brand.
Google was placed second, as it was in 2008, while Apple took the third spot in the ranking as a new entry, according to The UK Professional Survey, carried out by research firm Universum UK.
The NHS climbed three places to fourth this year, but the Civil Service was one of nine organisations among the top 30 that dropped in the ranking, falling from third to 13th place.
The Virgin Group dropped two places this year from fourth to sixth, and the Environment Agency fell from fifth in 2008 to 10th this year.
The survey also found that just 41.4% of respondents linked competitive base salary with their ideal employer, and more than half (54.1%) have not applied for a new job over the past 12 months.
Anne Margrethe Mannerfelt, market unit manager Western Europe at Universum, said: “The current climate is obligating employees to remain with their current employer. Yet with job lay-offs and cost-cutting initiatives, employee engagement is low. When the economy picks up, these employees will be looking for new opportunities, and employers will be faced with a challenge: how to deal with rising attrition rates and at the same time meet new market demands.”