WHAT is the ESS about?

The Employer Satisfaction Survey (ESS) provides the only national measure of the extent to which higher education institutions in Australia are meeting employer needs. Specifically, this survey gathers employer feedback on the extent to which students are being taught the right mix of generic and technical skills to be prepared for the workforce. The research aims to ensure that institutions are responsive to labour market and industry needs.

If you would like to see the types of questions that are asked, please click here.

WHY is the ESS important?

The ESS is an Australian Government Department of Education and Training initiative which is carried out by The Social Research Centre as part of Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) suite of surveys. The ESS provides employers and industry with an opportunity to provide feedback and input into the ongoing improvement of higher education.

All information provided will remain completely confidential and will not identify you in any way. While the Social Research Centre will collect personal information, your supervisors’ responses are not linked to your name. Please be assured that their responses are completely confidential. If you would like to see how the results may be presented please click here.

HOW can my supervisor take part?

Once we collect your supervisors details, the Social Research Centre will contact your supervisor to ask them to go online and complete the survey. The survey will take approximately 7 minutes to complete. It can be completed at a time convenient to your supervisor, they log back in at a later date if they are unable to finish the survey in one sitting.

If you have any further questions about your participation in this survey, please contact the Social Research Centre on 1800 055 818 (a free call) or via email at



Please note that this data is from the Pilot Employer Satisfaction Survey conducted in 2013-14 and is being used to provide an example of how the Employer Satisfaction Survey 2016 results may look. For a copy of the Pilot Employer Satisfaction Survey 2013-14 report please click here.

Return to top


Confirming occupation details

  • How would you describe ’s occupation?
  • What are the main tasks that they usually perform in their job?
  • How would you describe your main PAID occupation?
  • What are the main tasks that you usually perform in this job?

Overall preparation for work

  • Is a <Graduate’s qualification> or similar qualification a formal requirement for to do their job?
  • To what extent is it important for to have a <Graduate’s qualification> or similar qualification to being able to do the job well? Is it…
  • Overall, how well did ’s <Graduate’s qualification> prepare him/her for their job?
  • What are the MAIN ways that <Graduate’s institution> prepared for employment?
  • And what are the MAIN ways that <Graduate’s institution> could have better prepared for employment?
  • Based on your experience with , how likely are you to consider hiring another <Graduate’s qualification> graduate from , if you had a relevant vacancy?

Graduate attributes

For each skill or attribute below, to what extent do you agree or disagree that ’s <Graduate’s qualification> from <Graduate’s institution> prepared them for their job?

If the skill is not required by in their role, you can answer “Not applicable”.

Foundation skills

  • Oral communication skills
  • Written communication skills
  • Working with numbers
  • Ability to develop relevant knowledge
  • Ability to develop relevant skills
  • Ability to solve problems
  • Ability to integrate knowledge
  • Ability to think independently about problems

Adaptive skills and attributes

  • Broad background knowledge
  • Ability to develop innovative ideas
  • Ability to identify new opportunities
  • Ability to adapt knowledge to different contexts
  • Ability to apply skills in different contexts
  • Capacity to work independently

Teamwork and interpersonal skills

  • Working well in a team
  • Getting on well with others in the workplace
  • Working collaboratively with colleagues to complete tasks
  • Understanding different points of view
  • Ability to interact with co-workers from different or multi-cultural backgrounds

Technical and professional skills

  • Applying professional knowledge to job tasks
  • Using technology effectively
  • Applying technical skills in the workplace
  • Maintaining professional standards
  • Observing ethical standards
  • Using research skills to gather evidence

Employability and enterprise skills

  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Capacity to be flexible in the workplace
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Understanding the nature of your business or organisation
  • Demonstrating leadership skills
  • Demonstrating management skills
  • Taking responsibility for personal professional development
  • Demonstrating initiative in the workplace
Return to top