Employer Demands from Business Graduates



McMurray S, Dutton M, McQuaid R & Richard A (2016) Employer Demands from Business Graduates. Education and Training, 15 (1), pp. 112-132.

Purpose: This paper reports on research carried out with employers to determine demand for graduate business and management skills in the Scottish workforce. Design/methodology/approach: The research used an employer questionnaire distributed through various methods (either telephone or face-to-face interviews, self-completion and returned by e-mail, or completion of an online survey). 71 employers took part in the study. Findings: The research found that the factors which were most important to employers when recruiting graduates, with a business school first degree, were: personal attitude, employability skills, relevant work experience, and degree result. The most important transferable skills to employers when recruiting graduates were: trustworthiness, reliability, motivation, communication skills and a willingness to learn. Research limitations/implications: The article shows the importance of: graduates developing excellent job searching skills; high quality work experience; and developing business courses that enhance students’ employability and better reflect employers’ requirements but also reflect important wider educational values. Originality/value: The article is timely given the introduction by Higher Education Institutions of Key Information Sets. The provision of such information may drive HEIs to further develop students’ employability so as to support them in obtaining graduate level jobs.

Graduates; management; business; employers; HEI Key Information Sets;

Education and Training: Volume 15, Issue 1

Publication date31/01/2016
Publication date online11/01/2016
Date accepted by journal14/11/2012

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Professor Ronald McQuaid
Professor Ronald McQuaid

Professor of Work and Employment, Management, Work and Organisation