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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2020

Konstantinos Tsirkas, Alexandra-Paraskevi Chytiri and Nancy Bouranta

Previous studies have shown that soft skills play a significant role in applicants' employability and in the job search, recruitment, selection and hiring process…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous studies have shown that soft skills play a significant role in applicants' employability and in the job search, recruitment, selection and hiring process. However, past research indicates a gap in perceptions of soft skills, between employees and employers. The present empirical research aims to explore this gap in perceptions and to suggest effective ways to resolve any mismatch. Demographical factors affecting these perceptions are also taken into consideration for the analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative research design has been applied. The survey undertaken, covers all three main sectors of employment (manufacturing, retail and services), with 151 employee–employer dyads around Greece participating in the survey. Paired sample t-test, independent t-test and One-way ANOVA were used to analyze the data.

Findings

The results show a gap between employees' and their subsequent employers' perceptions of employees' soft skills. Employees seem to regard their skills more highly than do their employers, whereas employers seem to consider employees as not properly equipped with the necessary soft skills. These findings are a worrying sign for business operations and suggest that difficulties in manager–employee co-operation can arise.

Practical implications

This study has both theoretical and practical implications. It adds to the literature in human resources appraisal process by identifying soft skills perceived differently by employees and employers. It also highlights the reasons for that gap and makes suggestions for the enhancement of required skills.

Originality/value

The majority of previous studies in the field focus either on employees' or employers' perceptions, without comparing them. In addition, the few former studies attempt a comparison focused on students as employees or trainees, with no previous work experience. The current study focuses on employees whose work experience has already shaped perceptions of their skills and employability.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 62 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 11 December 2019

Saitab Sinha, I.M. Jawahar, Piyali Ghosh and Ashutosh Mishra

Casting employers as customers, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the association between expectations, perceptions and disconfirmation beliefs with the…

Abstract

Purpose

Casting employers as customers, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the association between expectations, perceptions and disconfirmation beliefs with the satisfaction of employers regarding the competencies possessed by fresh engineering graduates hired by such employers in the Indian context.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data collected from 284 employers, the authors have hypothesized and examined a partial mediation model in which disconfirmation beliefs mediate the relationships between expectations and perceptions, and employer satisfaction. Furthermore, the authors have tested if this mediated relationship is moderated by the age and sex of respondents representing employers.

Findings

Results indicate that employers’ satisfaction can be explained from the framework of the expectancy-disconfirmation theory. Employers’ expectations and perceptions are established to be associated with employers’ satisfaction with new hires, and positive disconfirmation mediates these relationships. Results also indicate that age moderates the effect of predictor variables employers’ expectations and employersperception on the mediator disconfirmation. Sex, however, did not moderate any relationship.

Practical implications

The results demonstrate the usefulness of the expectancy-disconfirmation theory for studying employer satisfaction with competencies of recent engineering graduates in India. Findings are relevant to multiple stakeholders including employers hiring engineering graduates, engineers and technical institutions.

Originality/value

Expectancy-disconfirmation theory has been successfully applied to measure customer satisfaction in consumer behaviour research, while satisfaction of employers has been studied in the field of organizational behaviour. The paper stands out in the literature as one of its major implications is to extend the expectancy-disconfirmation theory to predict employers’ satisfaction.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 41 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 17 December 2019

Saitab Sinha, Piyali Ghosh and Ashutosh Mishra

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether satisfaction of employers with skill competencies of fresh engineering graduates (EGs) in India is impacted by their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether satisfaction of employers with skill competencies of fresh engineering graduates (EGs) in India is impacted by their expectations and perceptions. Applying Expectation Confirmation Theory (ECT), the authors have also proposed and tested whether such effects on employers’ satisfaction are mediated by (dis)confirmation.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through a survey of employers’ representatives using a structured questionnaire. The proposed mediation model has been tested on a sample of 284 with Confirmatory Factor Analysis by applying structural equation modelling in AMOS.

Findings

The structural model has been constructed with six latent constructs in accordance with extant literature. Excluding some observed variables, the structural model was found to have a good model fit. The measurement model is in accordance with ECT. Three of the four independent variables (two related to employers’ expectations and one to employersperception) exert significant influence on employers’ satisfaction, with (dis)confirmation as a mediator.

Practical implications

Industry–academia partnerships need to be an integral feature of any curriculum to bridge the gap between course curricula on one hand and employers’ expectations and perceptions on the other.

Originality/value

Past research on employability of EGs has mostly explored a direct association between employersperception and satisfaction. The authors study contributes to literature by examining the role of employers’ expectations in addition to their perception as precursors of their satisfaction, using the framework of ECT. Outcomes reported are of relevance to multiple stakeholders in technical education.

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2020

Dalton Hebert Kisanga

This paper aims to explore the employersperceptions of graduates with on-line degrees.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the employersperceptions of graduates with on-line degrees.

Design/methodology/approach

The Ajzen and Fishbein’s (1980) theory of attitude formation and change informed the study. This Web-based study used self-administered open-ended questionnaires to collect data. It used purposive sampling to select 15 employers from nine employment sectors in Tanzania and used thematic analysis to analyse the data.

Findings

Findings indicate that employers prefer graduates with traditional to those with on-line degrees. However, the increasing number of organisations transforming from analogue to digital operations has opened the door for blended learning graduates to compete in the job market as factors associated with practical skills, relevant post-graduation job experience, reputation of the virtual university, course content and duration can work in their favour. These are factors on-line students need to consider when choosing an on-line degree programme. Similarly, institutions offering on-line degrees should strengthen their programmes by making these features an integral part of their education to boost the acceptability of their graduates in the job market and undermine negative perceptions associated with such degrees.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings have implication to higher education institutions which need to structure their on-line programmes as recommended by employers who emphasised on increasing physical learners–instructor and learner–learner interactions as well as reducing on-line programme cost to increase students’ enrolment.

Practical implications

The research findings have practical implication to prospective on-line students that they should focus on reputable virtual university that integrates its on-line programme with hands-on skills.

Social implications

To eliminate the negative perceptions and enhance integrity of on-line education, institutions providing on-line education need to be accredited by relevant bodies to offer on-line courses. Consequently, this will improve quality and strengthen students as well as societal satisfaction and confidence on on-line education.

Originality/value

The present study explored employersperceptions of graduates with on-line degrees versus those with traditional degrees in Tanzania. This study has yet to be conducted in Tanzania and thus produces a significant contribution to the literature, as it will help to inform prospective on-line programme students on relevant factors looked upon by employers in favour of or against graduates with on-line degrees.

Details

Information and Learning Sciences, vol. 121 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2020

Elena Urquía-Grande and Raquel Pérez Estébanez

The purpose of this research paper is to analyse the internship expectations gap amongst the three main internship stakeholders: employers (company supervisors), academic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research paper is to analyse the internship expectations gap amongst the three main internship stakeholders: employers (company supervisors), academic supervisors and students, in an effort to detect the variables which could assist closing the gap between students' perceptions and the labour market employers and then, between the academic supervisors in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and the students. This paper analyses firstly, the variables that determine students' perceptions and overall satisfaction with the internships. After, it examines the differences with the employers' expectations of the interns' performance. Finally, this paper analyses the variables that determine the academic supervisors in HEIs grading of the interns with the overall satisfaction about the students' internship performance. This research serves as a guide for the improvement, refinement and expansion of university internship programme design together with internship best practices definition to close the expectation gaps between the HEIs and the Business World.

Design/methodology/approach

Two quantitative surveys were designed to measure students' and employers' perceptions of the internships. Additionally, one semi-structured qualitative interview is performed to deepen understanding of each student's perception of the internship. The authors perform a triangular analysis of students' perceptions and employers' (company supervisors) and academic supervisors' expectations. A T-test analyses the differences between cognitive, transversal and social skills developed in an internship as perceived by students and employers (company supervisors). Finally, linear regressions are run both to identify the variables that determine the students' internship overall satisfaction and also detect the variables that determine the final internship grade assigned by the academic supervisor from the university.

Findings

The authors highlight the following interesting findings. While the students feel that the internships are highly useful and perceive that they were fully integrated into the company's culture, they also state that they learn how to develop their transversal skills much more than the cognitive skills learnt in the whole study programme in their degrees. In parallel, employers (company supervisors), for their part, perceive that students have strong social skills and adjust perfectly to the company's culture, but expected the students to have more creativity and cognitive skills. Finally, the academic supervisor's value the students' written skills together with the company's supervisor valuation more than the students' transversal skills. These main expectation gaps detected must be solved to improve internship outcomes and closing the gaps between the Higher Education and Business World. These findings consolidate existing research and add more quantitative results contextualised to Spanish Higher Education Institutions.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this research are that it only embeds a HEIs in Spain and the sample should be enlarged with more universities not only from Spain but also from around the world. Thus, the findings in this research can be used to improve the internship programme in this HEIs and its best practices, however they cannot be extrapolated to other HEIs still. Nevertheless, other HEIs can learn from this experience. Regarding the surveys these can be reviewed and homogenised for the student's perception items to be more aligned with the company supervisor's expectations and the academic supervisor's requirements of an internship. As implications, the authors have divided them into theoretical and practical. From the theoretical point of view, there needs to be more research about internships done in Economics, Law and Business Degrees field. From the practical point of view, the authors highlight several implications. First, HEIs must develop internship programmes further and promote the three stakeholders, employer–academic supervisor–student communication more fluid. This communication flow will maximize and align both employer and academic supervisor expectations about the students' performance in their internships. This way, student perceptions of their internship experience will improve and align further. Second, internships must be promoted in the Economics and Business Degrees as they are a unique opportunity for students to apply cognitive, transversal and social skills acquired in their study programmes, developing themselves as future professionals. Third, there is a growing need for HEIs to strengthen links with different companies, not only to teach students the skills employers' value but also to ensure that graduates are aware of what is happening in the labour market. Finally, through the internships developing further, academic supervisors must open their assessment to the students' professional skills (critical thinking, creativity, capacity to solve short term problems efficiently,) aligning with labour market needs.

Originality/value

This paper is significant because it shows the growing need for universities to strengthen links with a variety of companies (Business World). Internships are becoming compulsory, having assigned a high percentage of European Credits Transfer System (ECTS) credits to students' Grade Point Average (GPA) in Economics, Law and Business. This research work shows HEIs should improve internship design to close the gap between Higher Education's supply of graduates and the business world's demand for adequately prepared professionals. The results in this paper can help the academic actors start improving the internship design and best practices definition.

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Article
Publication date: 24 November 2017

Nita Chhinzer and Anna Maria Russo

The purpose of this paper is to explore employer perceptions of graduate student employability. This study is novel since existing research focused on employability is…

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5729

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore employer perceptions of graduate student employability. This study is novel since existing research focused on employability is largely theoretic, remains focused on defining employability of undergraduates and largely fails to determine employer perceptions of factors that increase or decrease employability of graduate students.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a two-phased approach, the authors analyzed 122 employer assessments of graduate students at a Canadian university who completed a work-term with the employer in either 2014 or 2015. The authors also collected individual data (e.g. academic achievement, work experience) from student files at the university. Phase 1 involved an exploratory factor analysis to derive factors influencing employer perceptions of employability. Phase 2 expand on factors identified in phase 1 through assessment of 153 written comments using a critical incident technique.

Findings

Phase 1 results demonstrate that professional maturity, soft skills + problem solving, continuous learning and academic achievement secure a positive relationship with employer perceptions of graduate employability. Phase 2 results indicate that employers consider generic skills (time management, working in a team, attention to detail), general mental ability, subject-specific knowledge, willingness to work, attitudes and behaviors, and responsiveness to feedback when assessing employability of graduate students.

Research limitations/implications

Collectively, the results of phase 1 and 2 provide a comprehensive awareness of the factors that employers consider when assessing employability of graduate students. Researcher, educational institution, and employer implications are presented.

Originality/value

The authors provide a holistic and empirically grounded understanding of employer perceptions of graduate student employability through reviewing quantitative and qualitative indicators of employability from the employer perspective.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 60 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 19 August 2021

Duarte Pimentel, Pedro Almeida, Pedro Marques-Quinteiro and Marta Sousa

The purpose of this paper is to assess differences between employees of family and non-family firms regarding their perceptions of employer branding and psychological…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess differences between employees of family and non-family firms regarding their perceptions of employer branding and psychological contract levels. Moreover, focusing on family firms, the authors assess the relation between the employees’ perceptions of employer branding and the psychological contract levels.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical evidence is provided by a sample of 165 Portuguese employees, 76 employees of family firms and 89 non-family firms’ employees, who responded to a questionnaire that included employer branding and psychological contract measures. All respondents study in small and medium-sized private companies.

Findings

The results confirmed the research hypotheses, suggesting that employees of family companies show higher perceptions of employer branding and psychological contract levels than employees of non-family companies. Results also reveal that the perceptions of employer branding are positively related to the psychological contract levels of the family firm’s employees.

Originality/value

This paper aims to contribute to the literature by addressing two contemporary organizational aspects yet under-addressed in the comparison between family and non-family firms while pursuing to offer insights on the relationship between the perceptions of employer branding and levels of the psychological contract of employees working in family firms.

Objetivo

O objetivo deste artigo é avaliar diferenças entre colaboradores de empresas familiares e não familiares no que respeita às suas perceções das práticas de employer branding e níveis de contrato psicológico. Além disso, com foco nas empresas familiares, foi avaliada a relação entre as perceções de employer branding dos colaboradores e os níveis de contrato psicológico.

Design/metodologia/abordagem

A evidência empírica é baseada numa amostra de 165 trabalhadores portugueses, 76 colaboradores de empresas familiares e 89 de empresas não familiares. Os participantes responderam a um questionário que avaliou as perceções sobre as práticas de employer branding e os níveis de contrato psicológico. Todos os respondentes trabalham em empresas privadas de pequena e média dimensão.

Resultados

Os resultados confirmaram as hipóteses de investigação, sugerindo que os colaboradores de empresas familiares apresentam perceções de employer branding e níveis de contrato psicológico mais elevados do que os colaboradores de empresas não familiares. Os resultados revelaram ainda que as perceções de employer branding estão positivamente relacionadas com os níveis de contrato psicológico dos colaboradores de empresas familiares.

Originalidade/valor

Este artigo tem como objetivo contribuir para a literatura ao abordar dois aspetos organizacionais contemporâneos ainda pouco estudados na comparação entre empresas familiares e não familiares. Procurando, ainda, que oferecer insights sobre a relação entre as perceções de employer branding e os níveis de contrato psicológico dos colaboradores de empresas familiares.

Propósito

El propósito de este artículo científico es evaluar las diferencias entre los empleados de empresas familiares y no familiares, con respecto a sus percepciones de las prácticas de employer branding y los niveles de contrato psicológico. Además, centrándonos en las empresas familiares, evaluamos la relación entre las percepciones de los empleados sobre las prácticas de employer branding y los niveles de contrato psicológico.

Diseño/metodología/enfoque

La muestra de esta pesquisa incluye 165 empleados portugueses, de los cuales 76 son empleados de empresas familiares y 89 son empleados de empresas no familiares. Los participantes respondieron a un cuestionario que evaluaba sus percepciones de las prácticas de employer branding y los niveles de contrato psicológico. Todos los encuestados trabajan en pequeñas y medianas empresas privadas.

Hallazgos

Los resultados confirmaron las hipótesis de la investigación. Los empleados de empresas familiares muestran una mayor percepción de las prácticas de employer branding y los niveles de contrato psicológico que los empleados de empresas no familiares. Los resultados también revelan que las percepciones de las prácticas de employer branding están relacionadas positivamente con los niveles de contrato psicológico de los empleados de las empresas familiares.

Originalidad/valor

Este artículo tiene como objetivo contribuir a la literatura abordando dos aspectos organizativos contemporáneos, aún poco abordados en la comparación entre empresas familiares y no familiares. Al mismo tiempo, este artículo busca ofrecer ideas sobre la relación entre las prácticas de employer branding y los niveles de contrato psicológico de los empleados que trabajan en empresas familiares.

Details

Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1536-5433

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Katrin Schwaiger, Anita Zehrer and Teresa Spiess

This study determines the influence of employer image on industry attractiveness in small and medium-sized hospitality firms by using the instrumental-symbolic framework…

Abstract

Purpose

This study determines the influence of employer image on industry attractiveness in small and medium-sized hospitality firms by using the instrumental-symbolic framework adapted from marketing literature.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 405 employees and 429 family firm owners in Bavaria were surveyed using a quantitative research design. The authors used linear and hierarchical multiple regression analyses for hypothesis testing using the variables included in the instrumental-symbolic employer image framework.

Findings

The study revealed differences in perception between employees and owners. Data showed that employees' ratings for instrumental attributes, such as job security and income options, and symbolic attributes, such as industry attractiveness, significantly differ from those of owners. Consistent with the instrumental-symbolic framework, owners' perceptions of symbolic attributes predicted their perceived industry attractiveness.

Practical implications

Owners may examine how their industry's image needs to be changed to gain positive perception by current and potential employees. Policymakers may benefit from the study’s results that may help them find the right focal points for strategies in promoting Bavaria's hospitality sector. As a result, an adequate and positive image is created that attracts workers for this sector.

Originality/value

The study addresses the rather under-researched stakeholder group of existing hospitality employees, particularly with respect to employer image. Furthermore, owners and employees are compared, regardless of their individually different relationships to the business. Employer image is connected with overall perceived industry attractiveness, stating that the industry comprises individual employing businesses and thus depends on employer image.

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9792

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2012

Wieteke S. Conen, Hendrik P. van Dalen and Kène Henkens

The purpose of this paper is to examine employersperceptions of changes in the labour cost‐productivity gap due to the ageing of the workforce, the effects of tenure…

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2233

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine employersperceptions of changes in the labour cost‐productivity gap due to the ageing of the workforce, the effects of tenure wages and employment protection on the perceived gap, and whether a perceived labour cost‐productivity gap affects employers’ recruitment and retention behaviour towards older workers.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyse surveys administered to employers in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.

Findings

Approximately half of employers associate the ageing of the personnel with a growing gap between labour costs and productivity. Both the presence of tenure wages and employment protection rules increase the probability of employers perceiving a widening labour cost‐productivity gap due to the ageing of their workforce. A counterfactual shows that even when employment protection and tenure wage systems are abolished, 40 percent of employers expect a net cost increase. The expected labour cost‐productivity gap negatively affects both recruitment and retention of older workers.

Originality/value

In this paper, the wage‐productivity gap is examined through the perceptions of employers using an international comparative survey.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 22 April 2001

Daniela Gabric and Kathleen L. McFadden

The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is a significant difference between employers and students on their perceptions of the importance of skills and…

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597

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is a significant difference between employers and students on their perceptions of the importance of skills and traits critical for securing entry‐level employment in operations management. Another major concern in this study is whether employers value general skills more than technical abilities. To address our research questions, a two‐page questionnaire was developed. We found significant differences in mean scores between employers and students in their perceptions of the importance of general skills, technical skills, and personality characteristics. In addition, our findings indicate that employers value general skills significantly higher than technical skills. The results of this study provide a foundation for operations management programs in curricula reengineering and ultimately provide the business community with more qualified applicants.

Details

American Journal of Business, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

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