About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 2112 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1476

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain


A. Fitó, M.J. Martínez-Argüelles

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (SPAIN)
The process of adaptation to the EHEA has been a boost to the professional orientation of university education. Given the present high unemployment among young people in the EU, and especially in countries like Spain, bachelors have to be designed to facilitate employability of graduates. In this context, current and numerous studies show that generic skills are the key to success in the recruitment process.

With this aim, in this study we analyze, firstly, which are the most demanded generic competences by the labour market for graduates in Business Administration and Management (ADE) are and, secondly, if the employers’ characteristics determine the graduate’s profile sought in relation to generic competence.

To answer these research questions, first, a questionnaire has been designed. The selection of generic competences that make up the questionnaire has been made departing from those included in the Project Tuning and White Book of the Degree in Economics and Business (ANECA, 2005). Secondly, in-depth interviews were made to four general directors of companies responsible for the selection of employees belonging to area of Business Administration. Their comments and suggestions have allowed us to modify and complete the picture of initial competences until getting a final list of 20 generic competences.

Later on this questionnaire has been sent online to a group of companies associated with the Catalan Association of Accounting and Management (ACCID). This association comprehends entrepreneurs of the whole Catalan business sector and is representative for different sized companies and activity sector. 242 responses were received, of which 212 were considered valid. The sample was composed of 58% men and 42% women.

The responses of employers showed, firstly, that when hiring a graduate in Business Administration, they considered relevant that they have attained the generic competences. Of the 20 competencies, the interviewed entrepreneurs considered the following as the most important: The ability to work in teams, the ability to organize and plan the work properly and an ethically and socially responsible attitude.

Further, we have analyzed whether the profile of the respondent or potential recruiter significantly condition the emphasis on these skills. The variables considered were: age, sex, education and type of position held within the company. The most significant differences are concentrated in relation to the gender variable. It is found that women attribute a different significance and significantly superior to men in more than half the generic skills evaluated.

In short, generic skills are really important for all potential employers of graduates in Business Administration. Moreover, they are even more if the person who has to hire this graduate is a woman. They attribute to a large majority of these competencies a significantly higher importance than men. To the extent that the presence of women in the business is growing, it is expected that generic skills will still acquiring more importance than they have today in the recruitment processes.
author = {Fit{\'{o}}, A. and Mart{\'{i}}nez-Arg{\"{u}}elles, M.J.},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.1476},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.1476},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {2112}}
AU - A. Fitó AU - M.J. Martínez-Argüelles
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.1476
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 2112
EP - 2112
ER -
A. Fitó, M.J. Martínez-Argüelles (2016) THE IMPORTANCE OF GENERIC SKILLS: A GENDER ISSUE?, ICERI2016 Proceedings, p. 2112.