New research released this month by The Student Room, the UK's largest student community, shows that Generation Y graduates are thinking about their careers in the long-term when they enter the job market – according to the survey they are mature, goal-oriented and ambitious in their career thinking.  

Generation Y is generally defined as those born between the second half of the 1970s and the first half of the 1990s. Generation Y graduates made it clear that they understand the job market is more competitive than any point in history, that they are prepared to take several steps to fulfil their long-term ambitions, and said a job’s potential to be interesting (58%) or emotionally rewarding (42%) was a bigger incentive than salary.
According to Samantha Crous, General Manager of the CRF Institute South Africa which publishes the Careers SA Guide (a guide that gives graduates insight into various companies’ culture and areas of business and the opportunities they offer), the study is proof that graduates that are now entering the workforce with a real desire

 to know what employers offer.
“Ultimately, what Generation Y is looking for is a place where they can grow, where they can identify with a company’s culture and where they see some sort of synergy between what they value and what the organisation values.”
Crous said that many organisations are not yet as transparent and visible as they need to be about what they can offer Generation Y graduates. She said Careers SA, through its publications and online presence and on Facebook is endeavouring to bridge the gap to the benefit of both employers and graduates.
The Student Room study also revealed that eight out of ten graduates are confident they will eventually work in their preferred career. About 56% of working graduates said they deliberately chose their current job with an eye on the long-term.
Jamie O’Connell of The Student Room said the findings have important implications for recruiters.
"You should also not under-estimate your appeal (as a recruiter). Pay is not the be-all and end-all. Careers with large, blue-chip behemoths appear to be palling. If you offer interesting, rewarding opportunities then shout about it,” he said.
Jacques Pienaar, HR Consultant for the Shoprite Group, commented that because of the war for talent, many companies can create unrealistic expectations for graduates about what it is like to work for the business.
He says that the problem here is the disillusionment that graduates experience when they actually start working for an organisation and then find the daily work life is in direct contrast with what was offered to them.
“The trick is to accurately communicate your company’s real strengths and culture to these graduates. This will not only improve the retention of graduates in the long-term but should also fine-tune the applicants that choose to be part of your selection pool,” he said.
VW South Africa, with a view to being transparent, did research into what Generation Y expects from them as an employer, and according to their HR Consultant Walter Tumushiime, what topped the wish-list was having the opportunity to work towards being a leader or manager of people within the company; further proving the long-term thinking of this generation.
The latest Careers SA guide includes VW South African and Shoprite Group and is currently being distributed to all South African Universities. Careers SA aims to feed students information that is valuable to help kick-start their dream careers.
Various companies with graduate programmes are highlighted in the magazine and are only a click away online as well. It is for students an opportunity to learn about offerings, which helps them make an informed decision towards reaching their career goals.Organisations can contact Billy Elliott on 021 425 0320 to become part of the next edition.
Media wishing to get more information about the Careers SA Guide can contact Natasha Arendorf on 021 448 5941 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.