Employability: review and research prospects

  • Laure GuilbertEmail author
  • Jean-Luc Bernaud
  • Brice Gouvernet
  • Jérôme Rossier


Professional transition, employment, and reemployment are major concerns for nations facing adverse economic situations. The employability construct represents a scientific challenge in order to better understand the relationship between the job seekers’ issues and the expectations of the world of work. This paper presents a review of the concept of employability. Three main perspectives (educational and governmental, organizational, and individual) that are not exclusive can be identified. This review highlights the importance of adopting a systemic integrative approach and a wider interpretation of employability. A research agenda to develop the theory and applications of the concept of employability is proposed.


Employability Career Professional integration 


Employabilité: Revue et perspectives de recherche. Les transitions professionnelles, l’emploi et le retour en emploi sont des préoccupations majeures pour les pays qui font face à des situations économiques difficiles. Le concept d’employabilité représente un challenge scientifique pour mieux comprendre la relation entre les problématiques des demandeurs d’emploi et les attentes du monde du travail. Cet article présente une revue du concept d’employabilité. Trois perspectives principales (éducative et gouvernementale, organisationnelle, et individuelle) non exclusives peuvent être identifiées. Cette revue souligne l’importance d’adopter une approche systémique intégrative et une interprétation plus large de l’employabilité. Un agenda de recherche est proposé pour développer la théorie et les applications du concept d’employabilité.


Beschäftigungsfähigkeit: Rückblick und Forschungsperspektiven. Berufsübergang, Beschäftigung und Wiederbeschäftigung sind für Nationen in negativen wirtschaftlichen Situationen wichtige Anliegen. Das Konstrukt der Beschäftigungsfähigkeit stellt eine wissenschaftliche Herausforderung dar, um die Beziehung zwischen Angelegenheiten der Arbeitsuchenden und den Erwartungen der Arbeitswelt besser zu verstehen. Dieser Beitrag präsentiert eine Übersicht der Konzepte der Beschäftigungsfähigkeit. Es können drei Hauptperspektiven identifiziert werden (Bildung-und Regierung, organisatorisch und individuell), die nicht exklusiv sind. Diese Übersicht unterstreicht die Bedeutung der Anwendung eines systemisch integrativen Ansatzes und einer breiteren Interpretation der Beschäftigungsfähigkeit. Eine Forschungsagenda um die Theorie und Anwendungen des Konzepts der Beschäftigungsfähigkeit zu entwickelt wird vorgeschlagen.


Empleabilidad: Revisión y perspectivas de investigación. Las transiciones profesionales, el empleo y la reocupación son objeto de preocupación para cualquier país que afronte situaciones económicas adversas. El constructo de la empleabilidad presenta un desafío científico para entender mejor la relación de las cuestiones relacionadas con los demandantes de ocupación y las expectativas del mundo laboral. Este artículo presenta una revisión de los conceptos de empleabilidad. Se identifican tres grandes perspectivas (educativa y gubernamental, organizacional e individual) no exclusivas. Esta revisión destaca la importancia de adoptar un enfoque sistémico e integrador y una interpretación más amplia de la empleabilidad. Se propone también una agenda de investigación para desarrollar la teoría y las aplicaciones del concepto de empleabilidad.



The contribution of Jérôme Rossier benefited from the support of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES–Overcoming vulnerability: Life course perspectives, which is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laure Guilbert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jean-Luc Bernaud
    • 2
  • Brice Gouvernet
    • 3
  • Jérôme Rossier
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratoire EpsylonUniversité de MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Institut National d’Etude du Travail et d’Orientation Professionnelle du Conservatoire National des Arts et MétiersParisFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Psychologie des Neurosciences de la Cognition et de l’AffectivitéUniversité de RouenRouenFrance
  4. 4.LabDCI, Institute of PsychologyUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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