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Five reasons to improve students’ self-awareness
Reason 1. It’s a big gap
Just 39% of graduate intakes have self-awareness. This is low for such a fundamental skill, especially since over 70% of graduates have other core workplace skills like team-work and problem-solving. Self-awareness may grow with time, but we could be doing much better at helping students to develop this.
Reason 2. It affects other skills gaps
Overall, just half of ISE employers think that graduates have the soft skills which they expect. This is a major challenge too, with three-quarters of organisations acting to resolve the issue. Improving students’ self-awareness could help these hires to be more work-ready in general.
Reason 3. It influences their ability to perform
Helping graduates to perform is a top priority for employers. 66% changed an aspect of their development programmes last year to achieve this. Most graduates also have regular performance reviews, so improving their self-awareness could help them to demonstrate their success.
Reason 4. It should help in managing their expectations
Managing the expectations of graduates is the biggest challenge for graduate development teams this year. What’s more, it is also the third biggest challenge for student recruiters. Improving the self-awareness of students, especially around what they are capable of, could help them to have more realistic expectations of their work.
Reason 5. It should help them cope with strengths-based recruitment
Graduate recruitment will keep evolving in future. One key trend is the rise of strengths-based recruitment, which relies on candidates understanding what energises and drains them as well as the past results they’ve achieved. 41% of employers used this approach in 2017, up from 36% the year before.
The fact that graduates lack self-awareness is important for employers. Closing this skills gap could also bring many benefits. We recommend that all stakeholders explore their role in achieving this.