Hiring Procedures in the Firm: Their Economic Determinants and Outcomes

Harry J. Holzer

NBER Working Paper No. 2185
Issued in March 1987
NBER Program(s):   LS

This paper presents an economic analysis of recruitment and screening procedures chosen by firms as they hire new workers. After reviewing the relevant literature within the labor economics and human resources fields, I outline an employer search model in which firms choose hiring procedures as well as reservation productivity levels. The outcomes determined by these choices (e-g., expected vacancy durations, expected worker productivity and characteristics, and total resources devoted to hiring) are considered as well. I then present some empirical evidence on the determinants and outcomes of hiring procedures from a survey of firms. Among other things, the results show some evidence of higher productivity and lower turnover among those hired through referrals from current employees. Total time spent on hiring when using these referrals is also shown to be lower than when other methods are used. However, those hired through these referrals are less likely to be young or female than are those hired through other methods. The implications of these findings for "efficiency" and "equity" considerations are then discussed.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w2185

Published: Holzer, Harry J. "Hiring Procedures in the Firm: Their Economic Determinants and Outcomes," Human Resources and Firm Performance, ed. by Richard Block, et. al. Industrial Relations Research Association, 1987.

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