The Influence of Soft Skills on Employability: A Case Study on Technology Industry Sector in Malaysia

Sally Saad Fadhil, Ramlee Ismail, Alhamzah Alnoor
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 16  •  2021  •  pp. 255-283

This research investigates the influence of soft skills on graduates’ employability in the technology industry, using the technology industry sector in Malaysia as a case.

Organizations are looking for appropriate mechanisms to hire qualified employees with strong soft skills and hard skills. This requires that job candidates possess a set of qualifications and skills which impact their employability.

Fuzzy Delphi analysis was conducted as preliminary study to identify the critical soft skills required by technology industry sector. The preliminary study produced ten critical soft skills to form a conceptual model of their influence on employability. Then, an online questionnaire survey was distributed in two industry companies in Malaysia to collect research data, and regression analysis was conducted to validate the conceptual model.

This research focuses on the influence of soft skills on graduate employability in the technology industry sector, since the selection of the best candidate in the industry will improve employee performance and lead to business success.

The results of regression analysis confirmed that Communication skills, Attitude, Integrity, Learnability, Motivation, and Teamwork are significantly correlated with employability, which means that these soft skills are the critical factors for employability in Malaysian technology companies.

The model proposed in this article can be used by employers to give better assessment of candidates’ compatibility with the jobs available.

This research highlights the critical soft skills required by technology industry sector, which will reduce the unemployment percentages among graduates.

More studies are required to examine the soft skills found in the literature and to define the most important skills from a general perspective of the industry. Future research should assess the moderating role of other variables, such as skills gap, employee performance, and employee knowledge. Furthermore, it is recommended to conduct similar studies of soft skills for employability in other countries.

soft skills, human development, unemployment, industry, employability, human resource
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