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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200


STEURER, Marida; VAN DER VAART, Leoni  and  ROTHMANN, Sebastiaan. Managerial expectations of graduate employability attributes: An empirical study. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2023, vol.49, n.1, pp.1-12. ISSN 2071-0763.

ORIENTATION: A lack of employability attributes is often suggested as one of the main reasons for the existing new graduate supply-demand gap. RESEARCH PURPOSE: The study aimed to empirically explore managerial expectations of new graduate employability attributes and what managers are prepared to do to enable new graduates in this regard. MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: Not being able to find qualified candidates hampers productivity. In addition, it also limits new graduates' prospects of finding sustainable employment. RESEARCH APPROACH/DESIGN AND METHOD: This study is based on responses of 17 respondents from the North West, Gauteng and Northern Free State provinces of South Africa. Responses were obtained through a qualitative online survey. The researchers analysed the data using qualitative content analysis. MAIN FINDINGS: Six main attributes were extracted from the data: Being self-determined (making choices and managing their own lives); harnessing knowledge and learning (using and developing knowledge and skills); having a positive attitude (solving problems and dealing with challenges and setbacks); believing in oneself (having humility and self-confidence); having good relationships with others (being sensitive towards the organisational culture and relating well to others) and managerial capacity building (managers' coaching and mentor roles that are critical to enable new graduates. PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: Understanding managerial expectations should guide industry, higher education institutions and government in developing evidence-based interventions focussing on the relevant aspects of new graduate employability attributes. CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: The findings of this study provides an empirically grounded description of six broad new graduate attributes that managers value.

Keywords : employability; new graduate; managerial expectations; attributes; capability; qualitative descriptive design Introduction.

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