Graduate Attributes & Talent Perceptions: Reflections on the First Year of Graduate Employment

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    The effective management of talent in today’s global workplace is an organisational necessity (Barlow, 2006). Global skills shortage, particularly in high-end jobs is rife, with 50% of employers having difficulties filling positions in the last year (CIPD, 2013a). As the gulf between high and low skilled positions continues to widen, the term talent becomes more than the ability to work in high demand/low supply positions. Talent underlines personal qualities which boost organisational performance, over and above skills, knowledge and pervious experience (Sector Skills Development Agency, 2008: 3). Linkage between graduate qualities (attributes) and organisational talent is well documented (Connor and Shaw, 2008), with many global organisations seeking graduate talent to supply talent pipelines to ensure strategic succession for continued success. This paper considers the role of graduate talent in this provision, with particular emphasis on graduate perceptions on their transitional first year of employment post-graduation. Primary findings are based on the experiences of thirty members of the LinkedIn Alumni society of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). Adoption of an interpretavist approach facilitated the achievement of empathetic understanding of graduate talent across a wide range of social contexts, with an action research strategy engaging the researcher in both research outcomes and practical interventions simultaneously. Empirical data was collected via an on-line survey method to a graduate LinkedIn sample of thirty respondents, with emergent themes providing the basis of recommendations for all stakeholders in the employability debate.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-59
    Number of pages21
    JournalInternational Journal of Employment Studies
    VolumeVol 22
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


    • graduate skills
    • employability
    • talent management


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