SA Students Vote NHLS An Ideal Employer 2010

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The annual Magnet IDEAL Employer award ceremony, which took place on Thursday, 2 December 2010 at the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton, saw rank outsider National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) voted into third position by South Africa’s science students. 

“This is an extraordinary achievement in anybody’s book,” says Peter Johannson, MD of Magnet Communications, the company that undertakes the annual student survey of IDEAL employers. “This year students demonstrated a great degree of independence in making their choices. They chose three organisations that were not on the research questionnaire’s basic list of 130 employers.”

Kaamini Reddy, Executive for Communications, Marketing and PR, received the award and mentioned that the NHLS was delighted to have won this award and can only attribute this recognition to the amazing work the NHLS does in terms of being the only trainer of all pathologists in South Africa. The NHLS is at the forefront of research and disease surveillance and provides a dynamic public health service to the people of South Africa. 

As the largest diagnostic pathology service in South Africa, the NHLS offers unrivalled career opportunities for competent, qualified individuals who are passionate about delivering an unequalled service to the public sector. The NHLS offers high-quality training, diverse exposure as well as sought-after research and publishing opportunities.

The basic list of 130 employer organisations is compiled every year by Magnet’s research team on the basis of its broad understanding of the current employer branding environment, emerging trends and past rankings. This year science students voted the NHLS into the number three position by choosing to add it to the basic list of 130. Science students and humanities students also voted two other organisations onto the list: the Department of Health and the Department of Education. Both these organisations were voted into the top position from nowhere on the list.

The winners were identified during Magnet’s three-month research programme, which elicited the responses of over 38,700 students at South Africa’s 23 universities. The research questionnaires also ask students to share their thoughts on a wide range of topics such as: where they would prefer to work; what their career goals are; what makes an employer attractive and what communication channels they prefer. In addition, students provide information about what companies can do to increase their appeal and employer attractiveness.

The research identifies employers in four areas of study: business/commerce; engineering/technology; health care/health sciences/sciences; and humanities/liberal arts/law. This year commerce students voted KPMG their number one IDEAL Employer, which pushed ABSA into second place — after having been in the number one spot since 2006. Engineering students once again voted Eskom into the number one spot — a position it has maintained since 2008. 

The South African Government has always been high on the list of preferred employers among South Africa students. It has been the number one preferred industry in South Africa for the overall student sample since 2006. In 2010, Government is 3rd among SA Indian/Asian students overall, 14th among white students overall, 4th amongst commerce students overall, 12th among engineering students overall, 2nd among science students, and 1st among humanities.