Graduate recruitment and graduate attributes in European labour markets: a comparative study of four countries

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The aim of this paper is to provide a comparative analysis of higher education and the graduate labour market in selected European countries in order to establish the extent to which a European wide model of graduate recruitment can be developed. It starts with the assumption that there is a gap between the demand for and the supply of graduates in the European labour market. Expectations and experiences of graduating and graduated students from a number of European (collaborating) universities are sought and analysed in order to find out if European universities are producing graduates with the knowledge and skills needed by European employers. The main research question is that: ‘since more and more students are graduating from universities of other countries and are likely to be employed in their home or third countries within the European Union (EU), will it be possible to have a common qualifications structure and similar graduate recruitment procedures?’. To answer this question, secondary data, which have been collected through an extensive review of relevant literature, and primary data, which have been gathered through the use of questionnaires, have been used. The analysis of data collected has revealed the use of a wide diversity of approach among the countries studied. Despite being part of an ever-closer union, there are still many differences in education systems and in the graduate recruitment policies and practices used by graduate employers. There is a lack of awareness from both employers and graduates in one country of employment choices and education systems available in other countries. It is concluded, however, that in light of the increasing economic, political and legal integration among the EU member states, the high level of collaboration among many institutions of higher education, the willingness of member states to meet the objectives of the Bologna declaration, and the expanding presence of many multinational companies in Europe, it would be possible to develop a European model of good practice in graduate recruitment and selection, despite the current differences in education systems and labour market trends.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2011
EventInternational Conference on Employability of Graduates & Higher Education Management Systems - WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 22 Sep 201123 Sep 2011


ConferenceInternational Conference on Employability of Graduates & Higher Education Management Systems
Abbreviated titleDEHEMS International Conference
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