Employability is becoming a growing concern for educational institutions around the world. As the labor market is becoming intensely competitive, employers seek to differentiate talent, not only on academic degrees but also on specific competencies and related practical experiences. Students and parents are increasingly looking into their return on education. Educational institutions use the term to create competitive advantages between them.
The growth in the importance of employability has set the scene for many initiatives and strategies within universities and colleges. However, many of these strategies fail to achieve their objectives which are student first job satisfaction and placement rates, employer satisfaction from the candidates they have hired and strong long-term alumni relationships.
5 commonly found reasons why employability initiatives at educational institutions around the world don’t achieve their objectives:
- Lack of investment in IT and staff enablement to embrace the new digital realities - This Leads to inefficient and time-consuming processes that require manual work for standardized services.
- Lack of an institution-wide approach to employability – Departments work in silos without a unified strategy on the institutional mission and objectives. Career readiness practices can begin to take place at the pre-admission phase. They align with faculty, offer customized career services according to preferences and experiences, and establish win-win relationships with alumni networks that can become a valuable resource for current students.
- Low employer engagement - Market research and constant communication with target industries is key to understanding the hiring needs of recruiters and helping students better prepare for their recruitment processes.
- Lack of student experiential learning – It’s crucial to get exposure and practical experience in the field. Apart from gaining skills and abilities, internships are also a great opportunity to grow and develop a professional network while setting the path to a full-time position at an organization.
- Lack of a data and analytics strategy – Often this practice is what differentiates facts from opinions. Without regular access to this data in some structured format, institutions are unable to evaluate the success of initiatives such as career fairs, advising sessions and employer outreach.
At Symplicity we have a powerful combination of strategic services with a robust platform that can help institutions design, implement and evaluate employability initiatives. Schedule a conversation to find out more about your institution could benefit from our expertise.