Win some cash, get introduced to some of the country's top potential employers - what's for a graduate not to like?
With graduate unemployment at an all-time high, recent graduates may be wondering how next to get their hands on some funds, but for at least one lucky person, there's cash flow coming in from the online career guide at CareersSA.net.
CareersSA.net has launched a new competition, in which the winner will be paid R1000 in cash after solving a simple puzzle.
But, say representatives, the cash prize is not the only benefit - the main purpose of the competition is to drive engagement with the CareersSA.net website, offering valuable guidance and assistance to job-seeking graduates.
"The cash prize is really just the cherry on top. The main benefit for graduates in engaging with our website is, of course, in making contact with a large number of potential employers - and getting to know them through their presence on the website," says Samantha Crous, South African manager of the CRF Institute, publishers of the CareersSA.net Guide
The competition features CareersSA.net's mascot, Mannie, who has lost his trademark hammer. The hammer is hidden on one of the site's employer profiles, and in order to stand a chance to win, entrants need to find the hammer.
"This naturally means that the entrant will be combing through the employer profiles and hopefully finding one or more that he or she would be interested in working for," says Crous. "It is, after all, the purpose of CareersSA.net to function as a leading career development portal and a bridge between graduates and employers. So any competition we run has to support that goal first and foremost."
CareersSA.net fills an important niche in the current economic environment, says Crous, where over 600 000 university graduates are unemployed in South Africa, according to a recent study by Adcorp.
This figure has doubled since last year, when 300 000 graduates were without work, according to one independent survey in May 2011. Furthermore, according to a recent report in Mail & Guardian
, employment has fallen at an annualised rate of 0.23%, following sharp declines of 3.1% in May, 2% in June, and stalled employment numbers in July.
Analysts agree that this places many graduates in the unfortunate position of either being unemployed, or employed in a job that is not suitable for them. "Tens of thousands of people with suitable capabilities are forced to enter second-choice careers, earning less than their aptitude and qualifications justify," Adcorp's labour market analyst Loane Sharp told City Press
A service such as that of CareersSA.net can give an essential leg-up to graduates who do not know how to begin marketing themselves or working on a job-hunting strategy, says Crous. "In addition to our featured employers and our CareersSA Guide, the printed publication which offers tons of useful strategic information, the website also includes a blog which is regularly updated with advice from successful career role models."
Recent voices featured on the blog include radio personality Gareth Cliff; Elizabeth Warren, Global HR Executive of Standard Bank Group; and William Mzimba, Chief Executive of Accenture South Africa, which has been certified as one of the country's best companies to work for in the CRF Institute's Best Employers Index. * Visit www.careerssa.net for more information, assistance in finding employment, or to enter the competition.