The gap in soft skills perceptions: A dyadic analysis
Previous studies have shown that soft skills play a significant role in applicants’ employability and in the job search, recruitment, selection and hiring process. However, past research indicates a gap in perceptions of soft skills, between employees and employers. The present empirical research aims to explore this gap in perceptions and to suggest effective ways to resolve any mismatch. Demographical factors affecting these perceptions are also taken into consideration for the analysis. A quantitative research design has been applied. The survey undertaken, covers all three main sectors of employment (manufacturing, retail and services), with 151 employee–employer dyads around Greece participating in the survey. Paired sample t-test, independent t-test and One-way ANOVA were used to analyze the data. The results show a gap between employees’ and their subsequent employers’ perceptions of employees’ soft skills. Employees seem to regard their skills more highly than do their employers, whereas employers seem to consider employees as not properly equipped with the necessary soft skills. These findings are a worrying sign for business operations and suggest that difficulties in manager–employee co-operation can arise. This study has both theoretical and practical implications. It adds to the literature in human resources appraisal process by identifying soft skills perceived differently by employees and employers. It also highlights the reasons for that gap and makes suggestions for the enhancement of required skills. The majority of previous studies in the field focus either on employees’ or employers’ perceptions, without comparing them. In addition, the few former studies attempt a comparison focused on students as employees or trainees, with no previous work experience. The current study focuses on employees whose work experience has already shaped perceptions of their skills and employability.
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Citation : Tsirkas, K., Chytiri, A.P. and Bouranta, N. (2020), The gap in soft skills perceptions: A dyadic relationship. Education & Training, 62 (4). pp. 357-377
ISSN : 0040-0912
Research Institute : People, Organisations and Work Institute (POWI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes