A Phenomenological Study of Career Preparedness Experiences as Described by Recruiters and Hiring Managers Within a Financial Industry Network
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Employers have expressed the need to hire candidates who possess basic career skills that include Microsoft Office applications, professional etiquette, basic applied math skills, basic written business communication skills, verbal business communication skills, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving. However, recent research has identified the existence of a skills gap that is impinging the ability to hire qualified recent graduates. This gap is expected to lead to negative economic impacts within the United States. To date, current literature has focused on identifying the desired skills required to minimize the perceived skills gap. This hermeneutic phenomenological study used the workforce readiness framework to explore the lived experiences of financial industry recruiters/hiring managers with recent graduates. The exploration of these lived experiences provided context of career readiness to address potential basic skills gaps that may exist. The data collected resulted in four theoretical constructs of recruiting and hiring recent graduates included: (1) personal judgement of employability skills, (2) exercise in emotional intelligence, (3) a costly complex system, and (4) an educational role. From the findings, it was apparent that an improved feedback loop was needed. The Emotional and Cultural Intelligence Program encompasses a development program for recruiters/hiring managers along with an improved communications strategy. The improved emotional and cultural skills will help to identify recent graduates that meet the mental attitudes and behavioral skills required of the roles and the culture of the organization while the coalition will help repair the feedback loop within the workforce readiness network.
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