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What managers say college grads lack in entering the job market

Posted September 25

A recent survey from PayScale has found a disconnect between how prepared for a job college graduates think they are and how prepared hiring managers see them as especially in communication skills. (Deseret Photo)

There’s a disconnect between how prepared recent college graduates feel they are for a job versus how prepared hiring managers think they are, data provider PayScale discovered. And it is especially evident in graduates' communication skills.

While 87 percent of graduates feel “they’re ready for the big time,” only 50 percent of managers see them as ready for a full-time job, PayScale noted.

FastCompany reported that the manager’s age could be a factor. Fifty-five percent of millennial managers thought graduates were prepared, while just 47 percent of Generation X managers and 48 percent of baby boomer managers thought the same thing.

The top skills a percentage of hiring managers felt graduates lacked:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills (60 percent)
  • Attention to detail (56 percent)
  • Communication (46 percent)
  • Writing proficiency (44 percent)
  • Ownership (44 percent)
  • Leadership (44 percent)
  • Public speaking (39 percent)

“Overall, hiring managers found soft skills such as communication, leadership, ownership and teamwork were missing in this new crop of workers,” Lydia Dishman wrote for FastCompany. And the hard skills of writing proficiency and public speaking tie into the soft skill of communication, highlighting it as a skill deficiency that especially stands out, Business Insider noted.

It’s not a new concern. CNBC reported in September 2013 that a telephone survey of 500 top executives felt that the skills gap in the job force was in soft skills such as “communication, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration.” Half of these respondents also said they did not feel colleges in the U.S. were properly preparing students for the workplace.

MindTools has a quiz to determine communication expertise, along with the 7 Cs of communication:

  1. Clear: Know the purpose of your communication and keep the number of ideas in a sentence to a minimum.
  2. Concise: Don’t use six sentences where three would suffice.
  3. Concrete: Details are provided but not an overabundance of them, along with vibrant facts and a laser focus.
  4. Correct: The technical terms used match with the audience’s expected education, you have proofread any writing and all names and titles are spelled correctly.
  5. Coherent: All points are logical and connected to the main topic.
  6. Complete: The audience has everything necessary to be informed and take action.
  7. Courteous: It’s “friendly, open and honest,” empathetic to the reader’s viewpoint and needs and is free of insults or passive-aggression.

Email: smanderson@deseretnews.com, Twitter: @Sarahsonofander.

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