How Graduates Find Employers Online

Posted by Daniel Purchas

How graduates search for employment in Australia

Onetest conducted this survey of approximately 1700 graduates who had applied via the Onetest eRecruitment/Assessment system irrespective of whether or not they completed assessment.

Onetest surveyed these graduates on a whole range of different aspects of their job hunting process, but the section of particular interest to us in our space was what sources that graduates used to find employers to apply to in the first place. Onetest specifically asked for what employment promotional sources graduates were aware of and then also asked what source the graduates used for their primary source of information. This is the 4th year that Onetest has run this grad survey and will be presenting the full findings of the survey at the upcoming AAGE conference so make sure you go and check this out to find out more information from the survey and you can also email [email protected] if you would like to receive a copy of the 2010 survey plus you can check out more here on the Onetest website.

The Results

So here are the results from the survey, the methodology was to ask graduates who were being assessed beyond the initial Resume screens and had moved through to the psychometric testing phase of assessments. Onetest asked what marketing channels that each graduate was aware of and which one they used as their primary or top source to find out information and to apply to employers.

PlaceAnswer% Aware% Top SourceCategory
2ndCompany websites directly58%15%Web
3rdCareer Fairs72%11%RealWorld
4thGraduate Opportunities Website35%6%Web
5th=University Career Centres51%5%RealWorld
6th=Online University job boards43%4%Web
6th=Government job searching facilities41%4%Web
7th=Graduate Careers Website45%3%Web
8th=Graduate Jobs Website35%2%Web
9th=Local Newspaper50%1%Print
9th=Referral from family/friends39%1%RealWorld
9th=University Careers Advisors32%1%RealWorld
9th=Professional Associations22%1%Associations
20thMajor metropolitan newspaper25%0%Print
10th=Virtual Career Fairs (Virtual Careers Fairs)16%0%Web
10th=Industry Experience for Undergraduate (IEU) website2%0%Web

Top 5 Analysis

Seek is the big dog still but this is down to of visits and the use of the vast majority of employers of seek as an advertising channel by default. Nielsen rating figures for last month outlined that seek had over 4 million unique visitors and 11 million actual website visits making it a monster when it comes to online job seeker traffic with the graduate sector making up a very small percentage of the total visitor base. Company Websites are a massive contributor as always as a primary source of information, but you still need to think about how to get graduates to your company website in the first place, is your site optimised and what other channels do you have in place to drive graduates there. Careers Fairs are in 3rd spot but a fair way back with only 11% of grads using them as a primary job source. They perform well on the surface, but this is effectiveness across all university careers fairs in the country appx 40, and to attend all of these next year will take you over 6 weeks of travel time and they are costly to attend in large volumes. The Graduate Opportunities Website comes in at 4th. Now this is interesting as this is specifically the website for the graduate opportunities print directory. This site was used by 6% of the surveyed graduates as their primary source. 5th equal in the survey with 5% respectively of the graduate base using them as their primary source of graduate jobs information were the University Careers Centres and us, GradConnection. We have to say that after only 18 months of being live and online, we are really happy with this result. Outside of the top 5, the remaining advertising channels do drop away in effectiveness quite quickly which should hopefully make your job easier when it comes to choosing and booking marketing streams for your graduate program for next year which we know a lot of people are doing at the moment.

Interesting Observations

Mainstream Job Board Performance: Seek is massive, everyone knows that and they have a solid brand presence and mindshare. The other 2 major job boards MyCareer and CareerOne were really off the pace when it came to being a primary source of information for graduates looking for a graduate program with MyCareer having a rating of 1% and CareerOne having a rating of 3% as a primary source for finding a graduate job. Online Sources Vs Real World Vs Print: Out of the top 10 sources that graduates used for their primary research tool when finding a graduate job, 8 out of the top 10 were online with the remaining 2 being real world events, specifically careers fairs and University Careers Centres. Print performed extremely poorly in the survey with combined print channels only being used by 2% of the graduates as their primary job searching tool.

What's next for us?

The results in this survey are a definite validation of the way we think that graduates want to find out about graduate programs and the trend is definitely favouring online sources rather than print based advertising. We can see that out of the main niche graduate employment advertising channels in Australia, we are definitely running a very close second in being the most effective channel and the alternative channel that is in front of us by a very slim margin has double the employers as clients than we did this year. We're thinking that when we have a similar number of employers on our site next year, we'll improve the number of graduates that use our site as their primary job research source dramatically.


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