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S. African Grads Use Smartphones in Job Hunt

By Kathy Gurchiek  12/10/2012
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Three-fourths of more than 1,600 job-hunting college graduates in South Africa own some form of smartphone—and most have access to a Blackberry—giving them easy access to employer information and new ways of connecting with graduate recruiters, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the South African Graduate Recruiters Association (SAGRA).

The SAGRA Employer Survey 2012 is based on online research conducted from March to May 2012 with 78 South African employers and 1,689 new or future employees of those employers. Three-quarters of the new graduates had landed their jobs in January or February 2012. One-fourth had worked for their employer before they graduated—typically on their vacation from school.

About one in 10 students owned an e-book reader or tablet computer.

Employer websites were favored by 53 percent of grads seeking job vacancies and information about an organization.

When students were researching employers, they said an organization’s training and development, overall reputation, and the graduates’ long-term career prospects with the employer were the most important factors when deciding where to apply for a job and which offer to accept, according to the findings.

Other heavily used job-hunting sources included university career fairs (44 percent) and employer presentations (40 percent).

Facebook was the new graduates’ preferred social media site, with 89 percent logging in, but only 35 percent used it for job-hunting purposes. LinkedIn was the second most-used site for job hunting, cited by 18 percent of respondents.

Thirty-three percent joined an employers’ network, group or page; only 8 percent watched employers’ videos or contacted graduate recruiters for help or advice in their job search.

Using Social Media to Find Talent

While an overwhelming majority of students approved of employers using social media sites for recruitment purposes, less than half said it was acceptable for employers to look up an applicant’s social media profile. The survey found the following:

95 percent said it was appropriate for employers to use social networking sites to promote graduate opportunities and to publicize local recruitment events.

92 percent said it was appropriate for employers to use these sites to provide groups for newly recruited graduates.

89 percent said it was appropriate for employers to use these sites to put students in touch with recent hires.

78 percent said it was appropriate for employers to use these sites for contacting students looking for jobs.

46 percent said it was appropriate to search out applicants’ profiles.

Among student respondents, 42 percent were black and 34 percent were white; half of all respondents were 22 or 23 years old (23 percent and 27 percent, respectively); 58 percent of all respondents were men and 42 percent were women. Two-thirds of the respondents had completed, or were in the process of studying for, a commerce degree, which includes accounting, management and marketing. Slightly more than half were starting their career in Johannesburg or were preparing to do so.

SAGRA claims more than 135 corporate members and describes its purpose as connecting and advancing the graduate recruitment industry.

Kathy Gurchiek is associate editor, HR News

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