How to Measure Employability
In this section we review how to measure employability. We offer a list of employability skills for Training Providers and a method for assessing learners.
In the previous section What is Employability? we reviewed an employability definition for Training Providers and highlighted the following:
- Education and qualifications
- Skills and experience
- Personality and demeanour
We refer to that employability definition in this section as we learn how to measure employability.
Education and Qualifications
Minimum levels of academic and vocational achievement can be specified as requirements by many employers. Learner qualification are simple to measure as part of any employability assessment.
Method for assessment: Presentation of certificates of qualification by the learner.
Note for Training Providers: Some employers value other employability skills more highly than education and qualifications. Care examples a sector in which personality and demeanour is considered more highly than education for some vacancies.
Skills and Experience
Skills covers everything from leadership to specific trades. Learners cannot claim to have a skill without some evidence and it is important to differentiate between
- an experience and
By way of example:
- A skill
The ability to light a fire using only wood and string is a skill.
- An experience
Attending a survival course is an experience.
Attending numerous survival courses and being in survival situations develops experience in survival.
Employers are generally drawn to skills and experience.
Method for assessment: All relevant skills and experience should be highlighted and evidenced on a learner’s Curriculum Vitae (CV).
Personality and Demeanour
Personality and demeanour are employability attributes and they can influence the outcome of any interview. In some cases, psychometric tests might be used by employers to give them a more objective assessment. Training Providers should understand a learner’s strengths and weaknesses so that they can offer suitable guidance.
Method for assessment: Mock interviews with authoritative figures such as friendly employers.
XperiSoft produced a list of employability attributes for self-assessment of learners. With support from the Kent County Council (KCC) Employability Team, Schools and Training Providers we created the shortest, most simple, most relevant list of employability skills.
Our list of Employability Skills combines education, personal attributes, skills and demeanour. This is because they are interlinked. For example, difficulty with verbal communication can adversely affect a learner’s self-confidence and their demeanour.
The following table offers the 16 employability attributes we use to measure any learner.
|Writing / Reading||Competency in written communication is key|
|Communication||Clear, confident verbal communication|
|Numeracy||24% of employers experience difficulty finding applicants with basic numerical skills (Skills Survey 2015)|
|Technology||Phones, PC's, SatNav and other technologies are pervasive.|
|Timekeeping||Essential for most employers, including turning up on time|
|Attendance||Duvet days are not an option for most employees|
|Initiative||Solving business problems and doing good deeds without instruction|
|Appearance||Cleanliness, grooming, attire, visible tattoos are considerations|
|Teamwork||Cooperation is a requirement for many jobs|
|Instructions||Ability to follow instructions is critical to most roles|
|Enthusiasm||Desirable attribute, particularly in customer-facing roles|
|Practical Skills||From changing a printer cartridge, to opening a pop-up banner and more|
|Health & Safety||Keeping oneself and one's colleagues safe and secure|
|Customer Service||39% of employers find it difficult to acquire applicants with customer handling skills (Employer Skills Survey 2015)|
|Resilience||32% of employers find it difficult to acquire employees who can manage their own feelings and handle others (Employer Skills Survey 2015)|
|Goals||Ambition, goals and personal development help employers and employees|
If these are the employability attributes, how do we measure them?
Our solution, CVMinder HUB, helps each student or learner to self-assess their skills. Discovering levels of confidence for each person across each employability attribute is useful. Identifying group patterns delivers a powerful insight. Self-assessments helps the Training Provider to target specific areas of improvement that aid levels of confidence and overall demeanour.
In the next section we explore the journey to work and the framework required to give consistent feedback to students.