SA professionals unhappy with their jobs - survey

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South African professionals are unhappy in their jobs, with respondents to a survey scoring job satisfaction levels at six out of 10, a survey revealed.

Universum SA on Friday released its annual rankings of the most attractive employers for 2019. Over 70 000 respondents – comprised of students and professionals – were surveyed over a period of seven months, according to Universum SA country manager Keshia Serage. The annual survey is meant to gain a better understanding of the talent market, she told Fin24 in an interview on Friday.

Among the key findings of the survey is that job seekers want work security. Public institutions and parastatals have scored high in the rankings of attractive employees because of perceptions of job security in these institutions, Serage said. South African employers must consider the importance of stability as a key factor of attractiveness of job seekers, to avoid talent opting for employers in other countries who are perceived as more stable, according to the report. 

"It goes without saying that employers need to manage their relevance and attractiveness to talent," Serage said.

Employers have their work cut out for them as over half of professionals surveyed in the fields of business and commerce, engineering and technology and natural sciences are planning to change employers in the next year. On average, 47% of professionals are applying for new jobs, externally to a different employer and an average of 17% of professionals are seeking new jobs internally with the same employer.

"From the nearly 20 000 professionals that responded to our survey, we see satisfaction levels are sitting at an average of 6 out of 10," Serage said. The research shows that on average, employees change jobs within the first two years of employment.

"The implications of this are that the employer carries the training and development costs to the benefit of other organisations," Serage said.

Universum SA advises employers be strategic in attracting talent, engaging them and retaining them. Job seekers are looking beyond the role of the job and to other aspects such as the work environment, advancement potential and job characteristics. Being unable to address these issues will have an impact as talent moves from job to job, possibly to other countries, the report indicated.

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