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Business Graduates in Small Firms: Recruitment Possibilities and the Skills Gap
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The trend that more and more recently graduated (business) students are having trouble entering the Swedish labor market, and the fact that many of Sweden’s small firms are perfect absorbers of labor − putting aside the larger firms − how well do these two supply and demand sides match. The recurring theme of this thesis was to analyze the perceptions that small firm managers in Jönköping area, in the business-related sectors, had of business graduates and business graduate skills and competences. It was the skills approach that was the main focus of this thesis. Here we restrict ourselves to the small firms that employ less than fifty people and more than ten.

To supplement the reflections of small firm managers on graduates, soon-to-become business graduates in Jönköping area (undergraduates or postgraduates) were asked for their own opinion on small firm recruitment possibilities, and which ‘basket of skills’ they acquired and thus found to be important for small business firms. It is because of these two complementing perceptions that the authors had a chance to underline interesting graduate recruitment results, and perception on skills gaps.

The research design was of mostly qualitative nature coupled with additional integrated quantitative data serving as a supplement to the former. The empirical work was conducted through four interviews with small businesses and three focus groups with graduates.

Two of the companies had a basic aversion towards employing graduates, while one was indifferent and another welcomed graduates into the company. Graduates were seen as a ‘fresh applicant’, with new ideas and good social competence. However, lack of work experience and practicality, risks of hiring and over qualification brings the employability down.

The authors cannot identify a clear indication of a skills gap or skills match, but when taking into account the categorization of skills between practical and non-practical ones, there is a very positive skills match between graduates and small firms. In this way recommendation for designing educational business programs on the basis of practical skills seems to be appropriate for having business students well equipped for the small business labor market. In addition to that, other interesting results point out to that the skills preferences/demand by small firms varies when taking into account whether they recruit graduates to specific job posts or just for general work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. , 52 p.
Keyword [en]
Human Resource Management, Recruitment Practices, Skills Approach
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-935OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-935DiVA: diva2:4688
Uppsok
samhälle/juridik
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Examiners
Available from: 2007-08-29 Created: 2007-08-29

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf