Needs analysis is the formal process focusing on the elements of human/ company’s requirements. The objective of this needs analysis was to evaluate the requirements of companies toward graduates skills and competencies, particularly language graduates. The findings help practitioners, educators among others to understand the needs of the job market and thus, provide tailored support to the graduates.
Key findings of the needs analysis found:
- CV and face to face interview still the most common method to identify graduates skills, followed by competence assessment and online application
- Recruiters are satisfied with graduate’s entrepreneurial skills and effective and independent work as well as written and verbal communication. Space for improvement is identified regarding computer, technical and digital skills.
- Effective communication in everyday office tasks (phone calls, e-mails, arranging meetings, etc.), communication at near-native level within the sector-specific topics and communication at near-native level in social situations are skills that recruiters require when looking for language graduates in particular
- Recruiters seem to be satisfied with the set of soft skills that graduates are equipped with upon entering the working environment, however, with variation in the individual countries
- Completing an internship, industrial placement, part-time or summer work and gaining international experience (study or working abroad) are seen by recruiters as the most effective methods to help graduates improve their soft skills
- English, German, French and Spanish are the most required foreign languages when interviewing recruiters across Europe (listed by importance)
- Language certificates from officially recognized examining authorities (Cambridge, TOEIC, TOEFL, Goethe Institute, etc.) are still the most common for examining those specific language skills; furthermore, many companies have developed their own specific tests for linguistic
- On average, recruiters forecast a rise in job positions suited for language graduates due to globalization and international projects as well as expansion into other markets