To What Extent Are Employers Looking for Communication Skills in University Graduates?

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This essay will discuss and detail what potential employers look for in graduates when they leave their respect universities and to what extent are communication skills important to them. In order to completely understand the question key terms need to be explained. Communication is usually described as the exchange of information from one person to another through written or spoken words, symbols and or actions to reach a common understanding (Boddy, 2008). The term graduate relates to a person would has completed and passed a course of study e.g. been awarded a degree in sociology. Graduates study in a learning institute to work towards the aim of a successful completion in order to be more desirable to potential employers. Communication can be seen as one of if not the number one key skills that employers look for in a potential graduate hire. Furthermore, competencies in this area will only become more valuable as technology makes it easier for us to communicate in different ways. Employees need to understand how to communication quickly and effectively to be productive in ways such as emails, instant messaging, letters and reports. Importance of Communication to Employers

Workplaces demand good communication skills and successful careers require you to communicate not only in writing but by presentation also (Stevens, B, 2005). A join study (Austin knight, People Management, 1997) has found that 2/3 of graduates that are recruited are not trained on essential interpersonal skills. Training professionals are said to have wanted communication skills built into the standard academic curriculum as employers have no real way to define and measure these types of skills. Oral communication within this study was found to be the most important, but was lacking in newly recruited persons coming straight from higher education. Another 2 studies (Mases, Jeanne D et al, 1997) revealed a similar result that oral communication was the most important for college graduates voted for and averaged out by 354 independent managers. They marked their top 3 competencies and characteristics when considering hiring college graduates, these include, 1. Oral communications, 2. Problem-solving and 3. Self-motivation. These results were not specific to any one industry, management level or the number of employees within the organisation. However, comparing the two studies we find that graduates in smaller organisations, less than 200 employees, had to handle customer complaints more frequently while in the larger organisations, 200 plus, they reportedly used meetings a lot more as their main form of communication. Furthermore a study by Betsy Stevens (Stevens, B, 2005) found that overall the Silicon Valley (located south of San Francisco) employers were unsatisfied with the amount of communication skills graduates left university with. In addition, it was noted that graduates should have a more broad knowledge in using electronic media, such as PowerPoint and email along with promoting a positive self-image. The study continued to detail "What additional business communication skills would you like to see in your recent college graduate new hires?" which produced interesting results; Employers much rather that their potential employees possess better oral presentation skills more frequently than they did written communication skills. Research shows that people employed in business and technology do require strong speaking and writing skills in order to keep up with the rapidly changing environments, such as the Silicon Valley with its technology (North & Worth, 1998). Employers noted that poor communication skills in relation to languages skills were a barrier to being hired as one employer put “Many students come to me with poor English skills. I could not hire them because of our clients' perceptions.” (Stevens, B, 2005). Now that technology has allowed for instant email communication between organisations that is non-returnable...
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