Published: 2008-07-21

A major new student survey shows most successful candidates received more than one job offer during their job search.

Given the steady increase in vacancies it is perhaps a reflection of the power shift away from the employer to the graduate that 60% of candidates had multiple job offers to consider this year. The SAGEA Candidate Survey 2008 is based on responses from 1,435 new or future employees from 61 organisations in South Africa.

The key findings from The SAGEA Candidate Survey 2008 are:

  • Most popular destinations for both female and male candidates are auditing (TIPP), finance & consulting.
  • 14% of candidates had received both a scholarship and an academic prize during their time at university.
  • 26% had completed work experience that will be directly relevant to their new employer.
  • 46% have no debts upon leaving university.
  • The median number of applications made by candidates was three.
  • Employers'own websites were the most heavily used source of information for candidates when searching for a job.
  • The overall reputation of the organisation was the most important factor for candidates when deciding who to apply to, and which job offer to accept.
  • The graduate employers of choice for The SAGEA Candidate Survey 2008 are PricewaterhouseCoopers, followed by KPMG, Standard Bank, Investec and McKinsey & Co.
  • Nearly half of candidates in the survey chose their 'aspirational employer'based on the overall reputation of the employer.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers had the highest profile at six universities within South Africa.
  • 30% of candidates expect to stay with their first employer for more than five years.
  • Remuneration, promotion and the chance to work overseas were the key factors in having a candidate stay longer with an employer.
  • Half of candidates think it is most likely they will work overseas in 2011 or later.
Notes for Editors
  1. The SAGEA Recruitment Surveys are carried out on behalf of The South African Graduate Recruiters Association (SAGEA) by the specialist student and graduate research company, High Fliers Research. Research for the surveys took place in May 2008, using online questionnaires.
  2. The South African Graduate Recruiters Association is a professional body dedicated to connecting and advancing the graduate recruitment industry. SAGEA is the hub of the industry, making use of synergies, resourcefulness and insights to bring global best practice to our members, and elevate the profession. SAGEA has over 100 corporate members represented by the country's top talent management specialists.
  3. Cathy Sims, National Co-ordinator for SAGEA is available for interview. Telephone: 021 712 6168 Email:

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