Universum research in Africa shows insights into employer attractiveness

As world-renowned experts in employer branding, Universum Global is present on more than fifty markets globally and conducts extensive research amongst students and young professionals.  This year Universum expanded into five new African markets; Algeria, Morocco, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.

With this recent expansion, Universum has recently completed its first round of research into employer attractiveness drivers amongst students in some of these key territories. Employer Branding Consultant, Jenali Skuse says “The ‘Afrilennials’ will soon make up the bulk of the African work force. Understanding what drives them, what they value and what they want from their careers will be a key determinant in whether businesses manage to grow and thrive on the continent. Being able to tap into key drivers such as their desire for entrepreneurial opportunities is absolutely key”.

The research was conducted between February and May 2015 on over 16,000 students in these territories. The research has highlighted insights into the various employment landscapes with key differences becoming very clear.

There are a number of aspects unique to the Nigerian environment especially when compared to the other major economic player on the African continent, South Africa.

One of the most prominent trends from within the research is that to be entrepreneurial, creative & innovative are top career goals for Nigerian students. These goals are very different from South African students who highlight security and stability, as well as work life balance, as more important long-term career goals.

Morocco and Algerian students differ from their Nigerian, Kenyan and Ghanaian counterparts in that their career goals are focused more on international careers as well as prioritizing a work/life balance, similar to South Africa.

These differences might be an indication of how students react to -and also how they impact on – the unemployment rates in their respective countries. More young Nigerians have aspirations to start up their own businesses or work for startups, possibly leading to less unemployment. Whereas in South Africa, most graduates seek more traditional jobs, but often battle to find meaningful employment after graduation.

In regards to the gender gap and salary expectations between men and women, similar trends are found in all five territories and are similar to the rest of the globe. Across most territories males expect to earn more than what females expect to earn in their first job after graduating. In Nigeria men expect to earn 4 408 657NGN and women expecting to earn 3 341 476NGN, reflecting a significant gap of almost 1000000 NGN. This figure means that young women in Nigeria expect to earn only 75% of what men earn, whereas In South Africa female students expect to earn 84% of what male students expect to earn.

One of the more interesting findings from the research is that the energy industry is the most attractive industry for Nigerian students, even to the Business/Humanities and Law students. . Overall, the research also indicates that Nigerians would prefer to work for an international company or organization after graduating.

Tourism ranked amongst the highest preferred industries for Algerian students, and also features in the top 5 for Moroccan students. In South Africa, in line with young people’s desire for job security and stability, public sector and governmental agencies are a preferred industry.

Nigerian students also indicate that employer reputation and remuneration are equally important as advancement opportunities in terms of employer attractiveness.  Whilst remuneration and advancement opportunities have always been more important for South African students, trends in South Africa are starting to match those globally, with the people and culture of the employer increasing in importance throughout the years.

Key Account Manager, Luvuyo Magopeni says “With these insights in mind employers need to constantly refine and adapt their employer branding efforts to cater to talent needs. As much as talent would prefer to work for international companies, it is clear that as the market evolves these international companies will be faced with intense competition for the right talent from the small and medium enterprises”. Universum’s research into the drivers of employer attractiveness is the key component used to understand what attracts talent to a specific employer.  In order to attract top talent, businesses need to understand these drivers and be able to respond accordingly.

Universum Global just recently announced the results of its World’s Most Attractive Employers and will soon be announcing the results of its Most Attractive Employer survey for these five African territories.

For more information www.universumglobal.com

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