Published: 2008-07-29

Employer survey shows strong increases in graduate vacancies for start dates next year.

Results from an independent survey in South Africa shows that employers are set to increase their vacancies by 11.9% for start dates in 2009. The SAGEAGraduate Recruitment Survey 2008 is based on responses from 63 of the largest graduate employers in South Africa.

The key findings from The SAGEA Graduate Recruitment Survey 2008 are:

  • Graduate vacancies are set to increase by 11.9% in 2009, compared to the numbers recruited in 2008.
  • Vacancy levels have increased in nine out of ten industries or business sectors.
  • The accounting and professional services firms are the largest recruiters with over half of all vacancies in 2008 and are set for a modest increase for 2009.
  • Other major recruiters in 2008 are retailers (increasing by 2.5% for 2009 vacancies) and investment banks or fund managers (increasing by 24.6% for 2009).
  • By job function, the most vacancies in 2008 are in auditing (TIPP) with over half of total vacancies available in this career area.
  • The median number of vacancies in 2008 is 24.
  • The highest starting salaries are for positions at mining companies, investment bank or fund managers, and consulting firms - each of these sectors have a median starting salary of R190,000 or more.
  • The most common additional benefits for graduates include study leave or sponsorship, training for a professional qualification, and pension schemes.
  • Just over half of employers expect a 'cost of living'increase for 2009 salaries.
  • When combined, survey participants spent in excess of R34m on marketing activities in 2008
  • Behavioural-based interviews were the most popular selection technique for assessing candidates (93%).
  • Aptitude testing was used by 79% of employers.
  • The median number of applications per vacancy in 2007 was 38.
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:

Recent News