NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Discretion in Hiring

Mitchell Hoffman, Lisa B. Kahn, Danielle Li

NBER Working Paper No. 21709
Issued in November 2015
NBER Program(s):   LS

Who should make hiring decisions? We propose an empirical test for assessing whether firms should rely on hard metrics such as job test scores or grant managers discretion in making hiring decisions. We implement our test in the context of the introduction of a valuable job test across 15 firms employing low-skill service sector workers. Our results suggest that firms can improve worker quality by limiting managerial discretion. This is because, when faced with similar applicant pools, managers who exercise more discretion (as measured by their likelihood of overruling job test recommendations) systematically end up with worse hires.

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This paper was revised on April 14, 2016

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21709

 
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