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See detailUsing Hypothetical Vacancies in Factorial Surveys to Study Employers' Hiring Decisions – A Valid Approach?
Gutfleisch, Tamara Rebecca UL; Samuel, Robin UL

Presentation (2019, July 18)

Factorial survey experiments are increasingly employed by scholars interested in understanding the general mechanisms underlying employers' hiring decisions in relation to specific applicant ... [more ▼]

Factorial survey experiments are increasingly employed by scholars interested in understanding the general mechanisms underlying employers' hiring decisions in relation to specific applicant characteristics. Usually, a sample of human resource professionals is asked to rate the hiring chances of hypothetical applicants for a hypothetical job. However, using hypothetical job descriptions for the evaluation of applicants in factorial surveys may reduce the internal and external validity of the results. For example, employers might apply different evaluation standards when assessing the quality of applicant profiles for a hypothetical job (put less/more weight on certain characteristics) because it is difficult to put themselves in the actual hiring situation – affecting the internal validity. In this paper, we contextualize prior factorial survey experiments by examining whether there is a difference in employers' hiring intentions when confronted with real versus hypothetical hiring problems. Despite the growing number of factorial surveys and the potential implications for the validity of these data, this question has been widely neglected so far. We employ a factorial survey experiment among recruiters in different occupational sectors in Luxembourg. Recruiters evaluate the hiring chances of several profiles of hypothetical applicants with varying characteristics either referring to a real vacancy in their company or to a hypothetical (but similar) job type. Preliminary findings suggest no differences in employers hiring decisions based on the type of evaluation used in the factorial survey. The results partly contradict previous findings from pretest data which showed significant differences between the average hiring chances in the two groups. By examining the internal validity of presenting hypothetical vacancies, this study contributes to methodological research on factorial surveys as well as to the literature studying employers' hiring decisions. [less ▲]

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See detailUnemployment Scarring and Gendered Occupations: Evidence from a Cross-Country Factorial Survey
Gutfleisch, Tamara Rebecca UL; Samuel, Robin UL

Presentation (2019, January 18)

The experience of early unemployment has been linked to a wide range of subsequent outcomes such as lower levels of well-being, lower wages and a host of other disadvantages in the labor market ... [more ▼]

The experience of early unemployment has been linked to a wide range of subsequent outcomes such as lower levels of well-being, lower wages and a host of other disadvantages in the labor market ("unemployment scarring"). As youth unemployment continues to be one of the main challenges of our time, it is important to anlayse the determinants affecting transitions to employment for young individuals. Empirical evidence from recent experimental studies emphasizes the long-neglected role of recruiters in the reintegration of individuals into the labor market. However, these studies rarely address potential gender differences in unemployment scarring by employing experimental designs that do not allow for extensive gender comparisons - potentially leaving important mechanisms behind recruiters' role in the reproduction of gender inequalities widely unexplored. Moreover, these studies differ in the context in which they were conducted making it difficult to draw conclusions regarding the extent to which unemployment might have different consequences for men and women. We extend the previous literature by examining how unemployment and gender interactively shape recruiters' evaluation of young applicants' hiring chances. Speci fically, we aim at addressing the shortcomings of previous research by comparing the hiring chances for young male and female jobseekers between different occupations and national contexts. Drawing on established labor market theories and social psychological theories about gendered role expectations and their impact on the evaluation of behavior ("role congruity theory"), we expect to find differences in unemployment scarring across gender. In particular, we expect that the gendered stereotypes associated with certain occupations affect recruiters' evaluation of unemployment for men and women. Recruiters might use unemployment as justifi cation to discriminate against workers when applying for gender-atypical jobs (e.g. women applying for traditionally and culturally male-typed jobs). On the other hand, recruiters might apply a more lenient standard towards the opposite-sex unemployed worker in order to overcompensate for the low share of e.g. women in male-typed jobs. To test our hypotheses, we use data from a large-scale factorial survey experiment among recruiters in four European countries and different occupational sectors. We focus on a male-typed and a female-typed occupational sector (mechanics and nursing, respectively) to explore the workings of gendered stereotypes. The multifactorial experimental design of the factorial survey allows us to compare different types of unemployment (timing and duration) and to hold unemployment orthogonal to other factors (e.g. education). Employing linear multilevel regression models, we fi nd, overall, heterogeneous scarring effects of unemployment across gender. Especially current unemployment spells seem to negatively affect the hiring chances for men applying for nursing jobs. Our preliminary findings constitute new evidence on gender differences in scarring due to unemployment. Moreover, they demonstrate that ignoring contextual factors in studying heterogeneous scarring effects across gender potentially leaves important mechanisms in recruiters' hiring decisions undetected. This study further contributes to the literature on transitions to employment as well as on gender inequalities in the labor market more generally by studying the demand-side mechanisms leading recruiters to discriminate against men and women in gendered-occupations. [less ▲]

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See detailScarring Due to Unemployment: Employers' Hiring Decisions in Relation to Young People
Gutfleisch, Tamara Rebecca UL; Samuel, Robin UL

Presentation (2018, November 07)

The long-term consequences of experiencing early unemployment for future labor market outcomes and individual well-being have been widely documented in the literature. As youth unemployment remains one of ... [more ▼]

The long-term consequences of experiencing early unemployment for future labor market outcomes and individual well-being have been widely documented in the literature. As youth unemployment remains one of the main challenges of our time, it is important to understand the mechanisms on both sides of the job matching process. However, the majority of previous research only highlights issues on the supply side of this process by analyzing observational or administrative data. Empirical evidence on the demand side of youth unemployment is still scarce. Against this background, we examine how employers evaluate hiring chances of young job applicants with special emphasis on scarring due to unemployment. Specifically, we aim at addressing the shortcomings of previous research in two ways: (1) We conduct a large-scale factorial survey experiment among recruiters in five occupational sectors in Luxembourg. Recruiters evaluate several hypothetical descriptions of applicants which randomly vary in their combination of attributes. (2) We test whether using hypothetical vs. real vacancies affects employers' evaluation of applicants - a question that has received little attention so far despite the potential implications for research studying employers' hiring decisions by means of factorial surveys. Preliminary findings from our pilot study show some hints for differences in recruiters' hiring decisions when confronted with real vs. hypothetical hiring problems. With our approach, we contribute to the literature on youth employment as well as to the methodological research on factorial surveys. [less ▲]

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See detailScarring Due to Unemployment by Gender: Evidence from a Cross-Country Factorial Survey
Gutfleisch, Tamara Rebecca UL; Samuel, Robin UL

Presentation (2018, September 07)

The allocation of individuals to occupations is a main mechanism of social reproduction and social stratification. Many studies elucidated the individual antecedents and consequences of this process. An ... [more ▼]

The allocation of individuals to occupations is a main mechanism of social reproduction and social stratification. Many studies elucidated the individual antecedents and consequences of this process. An interest has often been in how social origin moderates the transition from education to employment. However, empirical evidence on the role of recruiters in this fundamental social process is scarce. Against this backdrop, we examine how these gatekeepers evaluate hiring chances of young job applicants. In our contribution, we specifically focus on scarring due to unemployment in the health sector. Drawing on human capital theory and signalling theory, we expect variation in the hiring chances of male vs. female job seekers with respect to the length of previous and current unemployment spells. Using data from a recent large-scale factorial survey of recruiters in four European countries (N ≈ 2,000) and employing multilevel linear regression models, we find, overall, evidence for heterogeneous scarring effects. Young male job applicants who were unemployed received less favourable assessments compared to their female counterparts. Having been unemployed or being currently unemployed was not associated with hiring chances in young females. Our preliminary findings constitute new evidence on gender differences in scarring due to unemployment. They further contribute to the literature on transitions to employment. [less ▲]

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