Conducting Research To Show The Awareness Of Different Job Opportunities For Graduates Business Essay

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Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to conduct research to show the awareness of different job opportunities for graduates upon completion of this programme. The area of choice is Customer Service in the Service Sector. Evidence will be provided of how the investigation was conducted using several available resources and marketing tools to show the main findings of the project. Furthermore, the role of self-awareness will be demonstrated using different marketing tools.

Occupational research

Graduate Research Area: Customer Service

terms of Reference

The graduate area examined is the area of Customer service in the local Service sector of Trinidad and Tobago. The research was conducted on six Health Institutions, three of which are private institutions and three Public Health Institutions. The following organizations are :-

Port of Spain General Hospital

San Fernando General Hospital

Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex

Augustus Long Hospital

Medical Associates

James Medical Centre

Methodology

Research Tools

Key Primary and secondary research tools were undertaken to complete this investigation. The research methods used in this project were done via the use of the questionnaires, my personal knowledge and observations, and interviews, those are the primary sources. The secondary sources used were the internet, industry statistics and previous research information.

Research validity and reliability

To ensure reliability and viability in this study, the researcher used triangulation. Information was valid and accessible as the researcher is already employed in the area of Customer Service in the Service sector, to be precise in the Health Sector Setting. Therefore, there was ease of access to conduct interviews with key personalities and view vital statistics. Triangulation is the application and combination of more than one research perspective in the study of the same phenomenon (Bailey-Beckett &Turner, 2009). Hence, triangulation is important to ensure validity and reliability in conducting research. The key elements involved in this research are:-

Health Institutions

Stakeholder interviews

The researcher (myself)

Human Resource Managers

Interviews (face-to-face or phone as needs be)

Current Graduates in the field of Customer Service

Qualitative surveys ( remote surveillance via the internet)

Secondary research (including an examination of market research data)

Quantitative surveys (to help validate findings with a larger sample size)

Research Ethics

Ethical principles are important to uphold. Research ethics is specifically interested in the analysis of ethical issues that are raised when people are involved as participants in research (Walton, 2010).

Ethics is important because it is a reflection of respect for those who 'take part' in research. It also ensures no unreasonable, unsafe or thoughtless demands made by researchers and ensures all concerned share sufficient knowledge. Most importantly, it imposes a common standard in all the above respects (Green, 2005). To ensure ethics was incorporated into the investigation the researcher ensured the following was executed.

All names of people and places that were not negotiated by the researcher were fictionalized. This was to ensure confidentiality.

All parties involved in the investigation were given a chance to be informed about what was taking place and they engaged in any decision making directly affecting them.

No form of deception or informal persuasion was executed.

Formal and direct approach my undertaken whenever the researcher encountered any participants.

Proper care and management was undertaken when loaned any piece of literature from any organization

Limitations

In all research investigations that are do be done, there will have arise the issue of limitations. Limitations are the greatest amount of something that is possible or allowed. The researcher encountered limitations such as.

Access to resources - Although the researcher had ease of access to most resources there still could have been more that could have been acquired.

Time management - the researcher felt as though this investigation needed more time to acquire more information to for an excellent literature

review.

Access to experts for editing, proofreading, and guidance

Main findings

Industry Trends

The industry tend for the customer service sector is high. Based on figure one we can see that the industry isn't growing but it has a strong factor. It is necessarily needed in the health sector. From the graph shown which is derived from each of the health institutions we can see that there is not much graduates entering the field of customer service. Market trends in the service industry are being impacted primarily by the use of technology to streamline operations, provide resources to staff, and, in some cases, to replace the need for staff. According to the Us bearau of Standards there is a strong trend for the customer service sector. According to Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Employment of customer service representatives are expected to grow by about 18 percent over the 2008-18 period, faster than the average for all occupations. This very large occupation is projected to provide about 400,000 new jobs over the next decade.

Recruitment Trends

The objective of the recruitment process is to obtain the number and quality of employees that can be selected in order to help the organisation to achieve its goals and objectives.

It's an increasingly common job, according to a January 2011 report from Forrester Research Inc., whose independent analysts found that more and more companies are hiring top executives solely to manage customer interactions. About 82 percent of 155 "chief customer officers," as the report describes them, have been on the job for two years or fewer. Moreover, 55 percent have been on the job less than a year.

Figure 1

Findings revealed that companies observer the importance of customer service. The researcher asked to rate the importance of have a customer service representative in the organisation. The findings revealed that almost 100% of the companies investigated valued the importance of customer relation in their organisation. This shows that there is a great chance for potential graduates to be gainfully employed in that area.

Figure 2

Findings revealed from the six institutions examined that about roughly 50% of preferred external recruitment and the other half preferred internal recruitment. The 50% which are namely the Port of Spain General Hospital, The Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex and The san Fernando General Hospital, preferred internal recruitment. They collectively believed that as they are huge public institutions with different smaller brands it will be wiser for them to hire employees that are already employed within the health sector and employees are actively aware of the needs of health care customers. The other half that valued external recruitment said so because the employees will be more experienced in different areas of customer service hen ace have more experience.

The industries that most frequently hire customer service executives are financial services, professional services and computer software and hardware. But others are also hopping on the bandwagon, including health care, insurance and food service. The recruitment trend of customer service is thriving and customer service is here to stay.

At some companies, the customer service division has an operational role, managing hundreds of employees and working large budgets. Conversely, at other companies, its role is advisory and it responsibilities are smaller.

Customer service executives can have a wide range of duties, depending on the business that employs them. Some set corporate strategy, making key decisions about how you will relate to the company. Whether they're top brass or middle management, customer service executives are typically called upon to hire, train, set customer policies and show a keen grasp of relevant technologies. But a less quantifiable skill--a sense of how to make people happy--is also important. The customer service representative can be said to be a situational leader according to Hersey and Blanchard's theory. Among the companies surveyed three quarters of customer service executives sit on top management teams. But other customer service leaders exist throughout the corporate structures of numerous businesses and organizations. You've likely talked to one or two of the managers who are in charge of fielding questions too tough for their call centre employees.

According to Labour Bureau of the United States, the Employment of customer service representatives is expected to grow by about 18 percent over the 2008-18 periods, faster than the average for all occupations. Providing quality customer service is important to nearly every company in the economy; in addition, companies are expected to place increasing emphasis on customer relationships, resulting in increased demand for customer service representatives. This huge occupation is projected to provide about 400,000 new jobs over the next decade. Customer service representatives are especially prevalent in the finance and insurance industry, as many customer interactions do not require physical contact. Employment of customer service representatives in this industry is expected to increase 9 percent over the 2008-18 period.

Graduate Opportunities

In order to be a successful and viable firm in the twenty-first century, a company must have a customer-centric capability. The new foundation of profitability and success is the customer relationship. Galbraith, (2005) Based on the findings revealed, it was noticed that customer service is a key factor that is important to each of the six health Institutions examined. Furthermore not just in Health institutions alone is the need for the Customer Service factor but today it is quite prevalent in the tertiary sector of the economy such as the manufacturing sector and banking and finance.

Prospects for obtaining a job in this field are expected to be good, with more job openings than jobseekers. Rapid job growth, coupled with a large number of workers who leave the occupation each year, should make finding a job as a customer service representative relatively easy.

While jobs in some industries may be affected by economic downturns, customer service representatives are not as vulnerable to layoffs as some other workers. This is, in part, because many customer service representatives work in industries where customers have accounts. While customers may have less money to spend, and as a result may choose to purchase fewer goods or services, they continue to have customer service needs. For instance, during an economic downturn, individuals may have less money in their bank accounts, but they continue to need banking services and customer service from their banks. Nevertheless, companies do attempt to cut costs during such times, so downsizing is still a possibility.

These were the following customer oriented jobs noted that were noticed in each of the companies examined. The following are the roles that a recent graduate will be doing:-

Help Desk Representative

Customer Service Representative

Quality Control Assistant

Quality Monitor Assistant

Sales Representative

Customer Relations Officer

Skills And Knowledge Required

Based on investigations done, a common culmination was made about the job requirements of a Customer Service Representative in each of the six institutions examined.

Central concept of education is that greater emphasis should be placed on the broadening of intellect and development of problem solving and critical thinking skills, rather than simply on the memorisation of knowledge (University of Hertfordshire, Lecture 2, slide 7Alongside being educated, candidates to possess some sort of interpersonal skills and intellect.

The skills and knowledge required by a graduate to be a professional Customer Service Representative are as follows:-

Required Skills:

Strong communication skills

People oriented - ability to work with others in close proximity

Impressive telephone Etiquette

Ability to deliver professional customer service internally and externally

Ability to work under stress

Quick Learner

Sound technological Skills

Prior experience in the field of customer service (preferably in a Health Facility setting)

Required Knowledge and Qualifications

2- 3 years experience

High School certificate

Advanced degree or certification

How Graduates Are Selected

Recruitment is the process of identifying that the organisation needs to employ someone up to the point at which application forms for the post have arrived at the organisation (The times, 2011).

1. PRESS ADVERTISEMENTS

Advertisements of the vacancy in newspapers and journals are a widely used source of recruitment. The main advantage of this method is that it has a wide reach.

2. EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTES

Various management institutes, engineering colleges, medical Colleges etc. are a good source of recruiting well qualified executives, engineers, medical staff etc. They provide facilities for campus interviews and placements. This source is known as Campus Recruitment.

3. PLACEMENT AGENCIES

Several private consultancy firms perform recruitment functions on behalf of client companies by charging a fee. These

agencies are particularly suitable for recruitment of executives and specialists. It is also known as RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing)

EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGES

Government establishes public employment exchanges throughout the country. These exchanges provide job information to job seekers and help employers in identifying suitable candidates.

LABOUR CONTRACTORS

Manual workers can be recruited through contractors who maintain close contacts with the sources of such workers. This source is used to recruit labour for construction jobs.

UNSOLICITED APPLICANTS

Many job seekers visit the office of well-known companies on their own. Such callers are considered nuisance to the daily work routine of the enterprise. But can help in creating the talent pool or the database of the probable candidates for the organisation.

EMPLOYEE REFERRALS / RECOMMENDATIONS

Many organisations have structured system where the current employees of the organisation can refer their friends and relatives for some position in their organisation. Also, the office bearers of trade unions are often aware of the suitability of candidates. Recruitment Management can inquire these leaders for suitable jobs. In some organizations these are formal agreements to give priority in recruitment to the candidates recommended by the trade union.

RECRUITMENT AT FACTORY GATE

Unskilled workers may be recruited at the factory gate these may be employed whenever a permanent worker is absent. More efficient among these may be recruited to fill permanent vacancies.

Institution

Port of Spain general Hospital

San Fernando General Hospital

Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex

Augustus Long Hospital

Medical Associates

St. James Medical Centre

Recruitment and Selection process

Internal selections

News paper

advertisements

Word of mouth

Recruitment agencies

Internal selections

News paper

advertisements

Word of mouth

Recruitment agencies

Internal selections

News paper

advertisements

Word of mouth

Recruitment agencies

Internal selections

News paper

advertisements

Word of mouth

Recruitment agencies

Internal selections

News paper

advertisements

Word of mouth

Recruitment agencies

Internal selections

News paper

advertisements

Word of mouth

Recruitment agencies

Graduate Employment Resources checklist

1. Write down the sector you are researching here

Customer Service in the Health care service sector

2. Write down your keywords here

Customer Service, Employment trends, recruitment, graduate, service sector

3. Under Teaching Resources from your module page.

Click Graduate Employment materials: online tutorial

Work through the online tutorial.

Perform your search on the following sources, using your keywords:

4. Note down the full text Journal databases

Full text journal database used

Why I chose this database

Keywords used

No of relevant hits

retrieved

How useful was this? √

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Use websites to research your sector (for example Prospects, AGCAS Guides)

Website used

Why I chose this website

Keywords used

No of relevant hits

retrieved

How useful was this? √

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Use databases / websites to research your company / industry (for example Business Source Complete, NexisUK)

for further sources of information see the Business Information pages - Specialist databases and Skills Development

Database / website used

Why I chose this database /website

Keywords used (if applicable)

No of relevant hits

retrieved

How useful was this? √

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Employment Websites

9. For all IH Business information see the Learning Resources area on StudyNet and the Business Information Toolkit pages.

Tip! These pages give you links to business journals, databases and websites, with plenty of help on finding journal articles, specialist databases and skills materials.

8. Use the CV Guide in the Jobs & Careers section on StudyNet, search Voyager for books on careers, CV writing

10. Use i-Spy information skills tutorials:

Evaluating and Verifying Information Sources

Essay and Report Writing

11. Compile your References

Use Harvard Referencing Guide Tip! This is available from the Business InformationToolkit pages.

9. Compile your References

Use Harvard tutorial at http://www.studynet2.herts.ac.uk/ptl/common/LIS.nsf/lis/busharvard

Website used

Why I chose this site

Keywords used (if applicable)

No of relevant hits

retrieved

How useful was this? √

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section 2

2.1 Personal Analysis

In comparison to the research findings, I can now compare myself to the investigating outcomes. In an essence, I do posses the necessary skills and qualifications needed. I strongly believe that I am marketable in the customer service area and I can be gainfully employed upon completion of my current degree programme. Self-efficacy for different career search activities appears to diversify career search behaviours (Gysbers & Yang, 2007).

Most of the companies examined envisaged the same attributes that I hold dear, such as customer satisfaction, excellence, professionalism and diligence.

What came up most in the research is that employers are looking for employees that have good people skills and the ability to remain pleasant amidst negative activities that may surround them. I am currently in a customer-oriented job and employed as a medical records clerk at a Health Facility. I always put the clients' needs first no matter what and I strive to get a desired outcome to ease conflict.

This assignment showed me that I am on the right track and I can still further develop myself to further become customer-oriented employee. Each of the six companies researched all wanted someone who is educated and posses a first degree and furthermore an individual that goes the extra mile to achieve a desired outcome. Hence the reason personally I think I line-up well enough to be gainfully employed at another level in customer service.

2.2 Gap Analysis

According to the Business Dictionary (2011), a gap analysis is a Technique for determining the steps to be taken in moving from a current state to a desired future-state. It begins with (1) listing of characteristic factors (such as attributes, competencies, performance levels) of the present situation ("what is"), (2) cross-lists factors required to achieve the future objectives ("what should be"), and then (3) highlights the 'gaps' that exist and need to be 'filled.' Also called need-gap analysis, needs analysis, and needs assessment.

To carry out my gap analysis I will conduct a personal SWOT analysis on myself. A SWOT analysis focuses on the internal and external environments, examining strengths and weaknesses in the internal environment and opportunities and threats in the external environment. Hansen (2011)

Strengths

Weaknesses

I communicate well with my clients.

Committed

Compulsive

reliable

Articulate

Ambitious

Professional

Quick Worker

compassionate

Enthusiastic

Industrious

Interpersonal Skills

I have a strong, compulsive need to do things quickly and remove them from my "to do" list, and sometimes the quality of my work suffers as a result.

Impatient

Last minute worker

Opportuinities

Threats

I am currently attending training seminars and I have more work related conferences to attend in the near future.

To engage others in providing feedback about their experience of me

• To receive coaching in service of improving my leadership skills

• To learn from others in similar roles to mine

• To enhance my ability to manage the need to complete task quickly in order to be able to deliberate more carefully

• To enhance my equanimity about work-related tasks

Due to recent staff shortages, I'm often overworked, and this negatively impacts my creativity.

Members, and our company is considering further cutbacks.

Time pressure, which can derail my plan for self-improvement because it catapults me back to my "usual" habits

• The multitude of everyday demands, which conspires against self-reflection

2.3 career Action Plan

SELF-ASSESSMENT

I am yet to learn more about the area of customer service. I have knowledge based on my personal experiences but I tend attend customer service programmes to further my knowledge and probably engage in some further short courses to increase my knowledge base and my professionalism so I can also be more academically qualified What I have noticed is that customer service representative are more extroverts than introvert. I consider myself more of an introvert however, I probably require more experience. My experience is limited, as I have currently worked in the field of customer service for roughly 2 years now. Holland's vocational choice theory argues it is possible to measure both individual talents and the attributes required in particular jobs, which can then be matched to achieve a `good fit'. (lecture 12 slide 4)

career goals

However if I feel dissatisfied I can see myself going into a field of medicine as I can make medicine my career. I can also incorporate some of my customer service sector skills into part of my future. I am a person that likes to help an see if I can find a solution so I chose the customer service field based on my personality type. Therefore, with the next five years I plan to become a professional in the field of customer service. My plan to achieve my desired career is the time limit of 10 years. This is realistic. I do not want to jut limit myself into the area of business and customer service. I will like to work at the top levels of the organization structure or work in a self-managed team.

market analysis

At current, the job market seems to be very bright for me until I have finished my studies. Although gainfully employed, I think I can improve. I suppose that customer service has longevity but I don't believe in having it as a career. Therefore, I will explore another alternative such medicine.

compensation plan

In future, I will like to receive a monthly income of $20,000 monthly in ordered to maintain a sustainable living. Therefore, my compensation plan in relation to the field and my capabilities is good. Benefits such as training opportunities, health insurance, and retirement benefits, and paid time off is quite important to me as well. At minimum, that is my value.

marketing tools

The resources I need to achieve my goals are mainly my intelligence but on a further note, I need to further develop my CV and acquire additional recommendations and references. I also plan to enhance my personal portfolio an use it is a market tool for future career opportunities. The research project at hand is in-depth and extensive. I can now access these skills properly with this assignment and use it in my advancement in the near future.

2.4 Conclusion

In an essence, with my clearly designed career management plan, I will have the precision, courage, and confidence to take my career and furthermore my life onto a higher level. I never have to worry about what if something goes wrong because as I have clearly stated in my career action plan that I am preparing myself to be an all rounded individual. I am in a less worrying position because I have implemented a plan to address nearly any possible challenge that can be presented to me. One of the most interesting things I gathered from this research is that customer service is extremely important in most institutions today.

The market for it is wide because it is not a narrow selection. It is very varied and has many avenues to explore. I enjoyed doing the project, as I was able to find out more about the customer service field. I have also furthered noticed that companies today has included customer service as parts of is key elements in running their companies. Information on customer service is easily accessible and easy to understand. The area is quite interesting and I felt fulfilled doing the project. I understand now how theory aligns with customer service and how customer service is relevant to work related learning. Furthermore, I can say that I have gained more knowledge and understanding for me to better equip myself upon graduation. I am thankful for all the individuals who have helped me gained access to information to their organisation to assist in my project.. I have also learnt that the job market in the field of customer service isn't as competitive as i thought, however, companies see the roles of customer service relation very important and especially in the health sector. The ever changing market of business and service industries influences the employer demands from employee and furthermore, the recruitment process.

Section 3

Bibliography

Corfield, R. (2006) Preparing the Perfect CV: How to Make a Great Impression and Get the Job You Want Kogan Page

Moon, J. A. (2007) Learning journals: A handbook for reflective practice and professional development. 2nd Ed. Routledge.

Orton, D. et al (2003) Building professionals: creating a successful portfolio Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Norman C. Gysbers Career Transitions of College Seniors

Eunjoo Yang

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