I recently attended the results presentation for the SA Graduate Recruitment Association (SAGRA) survey. There are two parts to the survey – one that goes out to employers of graduates, and one that goes out to graduates who have recently found employment with those companies. The intention of the survey is to get a snapshot of the state of graduate recruitment in South Africa.
There were a few interesting things that emerged. The survey confirmed that South Africa has this worrying twin problem of having a shortage of skills which leads to a war for talent – many companies all chasing the top talent pool, which is relatively small – as well as a large number of graduates who are unable to find work when they leave university. One of the most striking statistics was that there are on average 65 applications received for every graduate post available – meaning that 64 out of 65 graduates will be unsuccessful!
Another interesting statistic, and one that has been observed for a few years running now, is that ‘training & development offered by the company’ is the #1 most important reason graduates give for choosing whom to apply to, as well as whose offer of employment to accept. Obviously some of the training & development that they look for is technical training, but soft skills development is becoming increasingly important as well.
Retention of graduates is also largely driven by the training & development that they receive, as well as ‘visible career pathing’ – if graduates can see where there career is going, they are far more likely to stay.
Finally, it was interesting to note the growing role of social media in the graduate recruitment space. Facebook was the number 1 source that graduates used to get further information on companies, with Linkedin coming in at number 2. Graduates were perfectly happy for companies to use these social networking platforms for recruitment purposes.
A summary of the survey should be available on the SAGRA website shortly, whilst the full version is only available to those who take part in the survey, or at a fee from SAGRA.