Unilever takes the lead as best graduate employer in FMCG

This is the fourth year that the FMCG giant has taken this accolade in the South African Graduate Employer Association (SAGEA) survey.

The study, encompassing 2 019 prospective graduates from 86 organisations, was conducted by independent researcher High Fliers Research during April and May 2014 and reflects the latest student trends, key preferences and focus areas of leading South African employers.

Antoinette Irvine, Unilever’s Vice President for Human Resources, said: “Amidst tough competition, earning the number one FMCG spot in the SAGEA survey has landed us in an exclusive group of talented employers and is an achievement we do not take for granted. We are committed to ensuring Unilever remains attractive and top-of-mind as an employer in the eyes of up-and-coming talent.”

Other participating FMCG companies included Procter & Gamble and Nestlé who took second and third place respectively. The criteria for the survey included candidate’s applications; job hunting techniques; factors which influence application and offer acceptance decisions; and future plans of candidates.

“People are at the heart of our business and we believe in making an investment in the learning and development of graduates whilst also creating an enabling environment in which best-of-breed graduates can be produced,” said Irvine.

When asked to name the one organisation candidates most aspired to work for - irrespective of their qualifications – Unilever was ranked number three, moving up four notches from last year’s seventh position, leaving behind PricewaterhouseCoopers and Google in first and second place respectively.

Responses were entirely at the discretion of participants without a predetermined list of organisations from which to choose.

Unilever was also ranked number two in the manufacturing sector and obtained recognition for the best graduate recruitment literature, website, online campaign and best integrated graduate recruitment campaign.

According to highlights from the SAGEA Employer Survey 2014, graduate vacancies are set to increase by 11.5 per cent in 2015 as compared with the numbers recruited in 2014. In addition, vacancy levels have increased in eight of the 10 industries or business sectors.

SAGEA is a professional body dedicated to connecting and advancing the graduate recruitment industry by using synergies, resourcefulness and insights to bring global best practice to its members, and elevate the profession.

Conducted annually, the survey enables Unilever to review the success of their current graduate campaign, strategies and further improve their future recruitment programmes.

As the blueprint for growing the business sustainably, Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) represents the company’s business strategy to double the size of the business while reducing the environmental impact by half.

“The student insights obtained from the survey will be used as an external benchmark to determine the efficacy of our graduate campaign and to establish how our target audience relates to the employer brand.

“It will also help craft and enhance our Unilever Future Leaders Programme, which is about developing tomorrow’s leaders, today. So far, the results of the feedback have been positive and very reassuring,” concluded Irvine.


About Unilever South Africa

Unilever South Africa (Pty Ltd) is one of the largest FMCG companies in South Africa. The Company is over 100 years old, with brands like Sunlight, OMO, Lux, Knorr, Vaseline, Shield, Sunsilk, Flora etc that are household names throughout the country. Unilever South Africa has over 3000 employees based across two offices and five manufacturing locations in South Africa. It is rated as one of South Africa’s best employers. For more information visit – www.unilever.co.za

Unilever Sustainable Living Plan

In November 2010 the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan was launched. Unilever publicly committed to a ten year journey towards sustainable growth, with around 60 specific targets embedding this new thinking into our business. What makes the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan different is that it applies right across the value chain. Unilever is taking responsibility not just for its own direct operations but for their suppliers, distributors and – crucially – for how consumers use brands like Dove, Knorr, Lipton, Lifebuoy and Pureit.

The plans sets out that by 2020 Unilever will:

  • help more than one billion people improve their health and well-being;
  • halve the environmental footprint of the making and use of our products;
  • source 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com

Unilever South Africa - Unathi Mgobozi External Affairs Manager

+27 31 570 3000
031 570 2470

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