In the newly appeared working paper titled Explaining employers’ hiring decisions: A comparative study of employers risk assessment the researchers from the University of Basel, University of Luxembourg, HiOA-NOVA, Norway, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Panteion University, have looked into two types of early job insecurity: unemployment spells and work experience in jobs that do not match one’s previously acquired skills (deskilling jobs).
A survey experiment
The objective of the researchers was to investigate the scarring effects of early job insecurity on future employment chances, the researchers have conducted a factorial survey experiment where fictive CVs with experimentally varied employment paths and educational credentials were evaluated by real recruiters hiring for real jobs in regards to the applicant’s employability.
How do recruiters evaluate unemployment periods?
The findings of this study contribute to the understanding of employer-sided provoked scarring effects caused by insecure job experience with regard to country and occupational field specific settings.
When national unemployment rates are at a comparable level, scarring caused by work experience in deskilling jobs seems to be more likely in countries with strong employment protection regulations. Scarring caused by unemployment spells, however, seems to be stronger in countries where the national unemployment rate is relatively low.
In addition, there are also differences on how recruiters in different sector evaluate one’s CV and how one has spent his or her period of unemployment.
Finally, the paper gives grounds for caution when it comes to the debates around active labour market policies. It argues that short-term measures aiming for labour market reintegration may not be most suitable when it doesn’t take job quality into consideration.
The research shows that work experience in deskilling jobs does not lead to better recruiter’s evaluation and employability.
Here you can read the full version of working paper 7.3: Explaining employers’ hiring decisions: A comparative study of employers’ risk assessment.