Employability Skills in Health Services Management: perceptions of recent graduates

Main Article Content

Diana Glen Messum
Lesley Marie Wilkes
Debra Jackson
Kath Peters


Background: Employer skill requirements of graduates are monitored by Graduate Careers Australia, but health services management (HSM) specific employability skills (ES) perceived by graduates to be important on the job and their perceptions of skills they need to improve are not well reported. Academics need this feedback to improve course employment outcomes by helping current students identify and articulate appropriate
competencies to potential employers. Also teaching of industry requirements can help improve job matching for employers.

Method: Recent graduates working in HSM in New South Wales, Australia were surveyed to rate ES for importance and rate their own skill levels on the same items. The gap between these two ratings was identified for 44 ES. Results: ES important to recent graduates in rank order were: verbal communication skills, integrity and ethical conduct, time management, teamwork, priority setting, ability to work independently, organisational skills, written communication, being flexible and open minded and networking. Highest self-ratings were found for integrity and ethical conduct, ability to work independently, being flexible and open minded, tertiary qualifications, interpersonal skills, written communication skills, time management, life-long learning, priority setting and administration skills. Generally graduates rated their skills lower than their ratings of importance.

Conclusions: Recent graduates can provide valuable feedback to universities about ES required for HSM positions and identify their own skill gaps for development at work or through study. Generic skills rather than job-specific skills are what they rate as most important. Closer engagement of universities and employers is recommended especially through placements.

Abbreviations: ES – employability skills; GCA – Graduate Careers Australia; HEI – higher education institutions; HRM – human resource management; HSM – health services management; IPC – interpersonal and communication skills.

Article Details

How to Cite
Messum, D. G., Wilkes, L. M., Jackson, D., & Peters, K. (2016). Employability Skills in Health Services Management: perceptions of recent graduates. Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management, 11(1), 25-34. https://doi.org/10.24083/apjhm.v11i1.235
Research Articles
Author Biographies

Diana Glen Messum, University of Western Sydney

Science and Health, University of Western Sydney
Penrith, New South Wales, Australia.

Lesley Marie Wilkes, University of Western Sydney

Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney
Penrith, New South Wales, Australia.

Debra Jackson, Oxford Brookes University

Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Kath Peters, University of Western Sydney

School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney
Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia.