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Mapping managerial expectations of graduate employability attributes: A scoping review

Marida Steurer, Leoni van der Vaart,

Abstract:Orientation: Graduate employability remains high on researchers’ and practitioners’ agendas. Consequently, many studies have been conducted on the topic (also from a managerial perspective). A synthesis of these studies is however lacking, complicating decision-making for stakeholders with a vested interest in the topic. Research purpose: This study aimed to give a scientific overview of managerial expectations of new graduate employability attributes through a scoping review of the available literature. Motivation for the study: A synthesis of these studies is required to facilitate stakeholders’ (researchers and practitioners) decision-making. Research approach/design and method: This study included 63 peer-reviewed articles as part of the review. The researcher analysed the data using conventional content analysis. Main findings: Four main categories of graduate employability attributes were identified: personal, interpersonal, workplace and applied knowledge attributes. The term personal attributes refers to an individual’s unique make-up that enables them to be successful in all aspects of life and lays the foundation for the way all other attributes are applied. Interpersonal attributes dictate new graduates’ ability to communicate or interact well with other individuals. The way in which new graduates adapt and function at work will be determined by their workplace attributes whilst their applied knowledge attributes build on the first three categories and enable new graduates to apply their theoretical and empirical learning in practice. Practical/managerial implications: Not only could the results inform further studies but the additional insight into the complexity of graduate employability could also guide future developmental interventions. Contribution/value-add: The present study aimed to make a scientifically founded contribution towards literature by identifying the most important expectations managers have regarding new graduate employability.
Keywords: decision making / attributes / expectations / new graduate employability / scientific / function / adapt / build

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