Published: 2015-02-24

What are the SAGEA Awards?

The SAGEA awards are celebrated annually and provide our members (both Employers and Institutions of Higher Learning) with the opportunity to showcase their achievements in the field of graduate recruitment.  The Awards provide members with a platform to view some of the “best in class” work that has been done in attracting graduates as well as providing peer recognition for outstanding achievement.

The SAGEA Employer and Candidate Surveys

Each year, the outcome of several awards are determined by responses to either the SAGEA Employer Survey or the SAGEA Candidate Survey.  Both surveys are carried out on behalf of SAGEA by the UK-based specialist graduate research company, High Fliers Research Ltd.  Launched in 2007 the surveys are conducted on an annual basis to help SAGEA members review the success of their graduate campaigns and help plan their future recruitment programmes.  Research for these surveys took place from March to May 2014, using on-line questionnaires.

The 2014 Employer Survey identified winners for the following awards:

  • Best Career Fair 2014
  • Best Career Service 2014

The 2014 Candidate Survey was completed by graduates who had recently joined their respective Employer’s graduate programme.  These companies are members of SAGEA.  The 2014 Candidate Survey identified winners for the following awards:

  • Aspirational Employer of Choice 2014
  • Recruiter of the Year 2014

The winners of the 2014 awards are as follows:

  • Best Career Fair 2014 – University of Pretoria
  • Best Career Service 2014 – University of Cape Town
  • Aspirational Employer of Choice 2014 – PwC
  • Recruiter of the Year 2014 – Shaun Joseph of PwC

Marile Roos and Katlego Molaudzi of the
University of Pretoria with Ruda Landman

Nawaal Boolay and David Casey of
UCT receiving their award
Anita Smith of PwC receiving the Award
for most Aspirational Employer

SAGEA Awards

SAGEA recently held a Quarterly Networking Event at the Astrotech Conference Centre in Killarney, Johannesburg.  As well as hosting guest speakers, Professor Ian Scott and Ruda Landman of “Reader’s Unite” awards were announced for SAGEA members who have displayed excellence in certain elements of their graduate recruitment initiatives.  Awards were given for:

  • Best Print Campaign
  • Best Digital Campaign and
  • Best Integrated Campaign

In order to ensure a “level playing field” each of the above Awards are given in one of two categories – those employers who recruit “up to 15 graduates” and those employers who recruit “15 or more graduates”.  In 2014 the “up to 15 graduates” category only had sufficient entries for “Best Print Campaign” and awards were not given for “Best Digital Campaign” or “Best Integrated Campaign”.  Awards were given for all three categories in the case of employers who recruit “15 or more graduates”.

“Print” refers to any shape or form of hard copy marketing material used to attract graduate candidates, including but not limited to brochures, pamphlets, posters and other hand out items.

“Digital” refers to all digital elements of a graduate marketing campaign. These are generally accessible by all members of the general public, but specifically used to target and attract graduate candidates. These can include, but are not limited to, external internet sites, social media sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), virtual reality, email campaigns, teaser campaigns using QR codes, sms links, etc.

Integrated” refers to targeted and cohesive marketing strategies which extend beyond brochures, websites and other digital media forms. Examples include videos, direct marketing, competitions, events (photos), internet banner advertising, media coverage, exhibition materials, or any other media that formed part of an overall graduate recruitment campaign.

Participating Employers were required to upload their campaign aims and objectives as well as visuals representing the different elements of their campaign to a specifically designed link on the SAGEA website.  Once entries had closed SAGEA members were invited to review all of the entries and vote for their favourite campaign in each category.  Winners were thus determined by the number of votes received with the overall winner in each category receiving a Gold award, second place received a Silver award and third place a Bronze award.  In some cases there were joint winners of Silver and Bronze awards.

The winners, by category, are shown below with a short write up on each of the campaigns that won a Gold Award.

Best Print Campaign, Employers Recruiting up to 15 Graduates:

Award Recipient 2014
Gold Murray & Roberts
Silver McKinsey & Co
Bronze Hogan Lovells


Zazel Sale of Murray & Roberts
accepting their “Best Print” Award

About the Murray & Roberts Campaign:

Strapline: “Engineer your Career”

Murray and Roberts corporate yellow is an eye-catching colour which was used to great effect in their print campaign featuring three of their graduates and two bursary students – all of whom are star performers.

Use was also made of a fun and user-friendly “infographic” which guided students from where they were (Student or Graduate) to where they could get to – working for Murray & Roberts or applying for a bursary.

This is a campaign to which students could relate as it featured real people and told real stories about their careers and experience with Murray & Roberts as a graduate employer.  The campaign was used across posters, brochures, career booklets and pull-up banners.

Best Print Campaign, Employers Recruiting 15 or more Graduates:

Award Recipient/s 2014
Gold Unilever
Silver Nestle South Africa
  RCL Foods
  Standard Bank
  TFG (The Foschini Group)
Bronze First National Bank


Natasha Tilakdharee of Unilever
accepts the “Best Print Campaign” Award

About the Unilever Campaign:

Strapline: “A big impact …. Made by you”

This campaign depicts Unilever’s actual graduates engaging with their brands and sharing their stories of what it is like to work at Unilever.  It definitely helps that the Unilever products are literally “household names” for many graduates!  The brochure manages to communicate a great deal of information about Unilever in an eye-catching and informative way.

Use was made of brochures and posters in this campaign.

Best Digital Campaign, Employers recruiting 15 or more Graduates:

Award Recipient 2014
Gold Rand Merchant Bank
Silver First National Bank
Bronze Unilever


Ilke Dunne of RMB accepting
the award for Best Digital Campaign

About the Rand Merchant Bank Campaign:

Strapline, “Be part of the equation”

This new campaign for RMB made use of clever mathematical equations to appeal to actuarial, finance, engineering and IT grads.

The campaign forces the “reader” to think creatively in order to understand the “equation speak”.  The digital component of the campaign was deployed using a new website, email signatures and a competition whereby students were “called to action” in deriving their own equations – via social media (Twitter).

Best Integrated Campaign, Employers recruiting 15 or more Graduates:

Award Recipient/s 2014
Gold First National Bank
Silver Derivco
  Standard Bank
Bronze Accenture
  Nestle South Africa
  TFG (The Foschini Group)
  Shoprite Group


Joanne Preston of FNB Accepts
their Award for “Best Integrated Campaign”

About the First National Bank Campaign:

“League of Innovators”

FNB set up bespoke stands at 25 events with embedded iPads and interactive screens that allowed graduates to navigate beautifully crafted animations, informing them how their disciplines fit in at FNB. They gave out trendy paper wallets with a helpful double purpose: they were informative, driving students online as well as being hand, relevant giveaways. Use was made of interactive posters displaying previous grads, informing students how their degree could lead to a career at FNB. Using a QR code and their mobile phone, students were regaled with success stories from the mouths of previous graduates. To engage students online and drive applications FNB created a series of complex challenges across 4 disciplines. Undergraduates selected their discipline and completed challenges ranging from complex numerical problems to mind bending logic tasks. Only the truly talented could earn a full time position in the prestigious FNB Graduate Programme. They were challenged at every touch point including a first of its kind online ad that invited graduates to complete the impossible challenge in a 24 hour period to get the opportunity to a wild card pre-interview.


Winners each received a framed certificate and will receive a SAGEA “digital badge” which they can use in their graduate employer branding during 2015.

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