Predictors of Employer Satisfaction: Technical and Non-Technical Skills

J Vet Med Educ. Spring 2012;39(1):62-70. doi: 10.3138/jvme.0711.072R.


Employers of 2007-2009 graduates from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine were asked to respond to a survey regarding their overall satisfaction with their new employees as well as their new employees' preparation in several technical and non-technical skill areas. Seventy-five responses contained complete data and were used in the analysis. Four technical skill areas (data collection, data interpretation, planning, and taking action) and five non-technical skill areas (interpersonal skills, ability to deal with legal issues, business skills, making referrals, and problem solving) were identified. All of the skill area subscales listed above had appropriate reliability (Cronbach's alpha>0.70) and were positively and significantly correlated with overall employer satisfaction. Results of two simultaneous regression analyses indicated that of the four technical skill areas, taking action is the most salient predictor of employer satisfaction. Of the five non-technical skill areas, interpersonal skills, business skills, making referrals, and problem solving were the most important skills in predicting employer satisfaction. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that all technical skills explained 25% of the variation in employer satisfaction; non-technical skills explained an additional 42% of the variation in employer satisfaction.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Educational Measurement / methods
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Animal
  • Humans
  • Iowa
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Regression Analysis
  • Schools, Veterinary
  • Students, Health Occupations*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Veterinarians / psychology*
  • Veterinarians / standards