Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Finding out what employers value in a candidate, without deception, by Kessler, Low and Sullivan

Many experiments designed to detect how employers evaluate applications employ deception: artificial applications are sent to employers in response to advertisements of job openings, and the responses are recorded. This involves deception (to get employers to devote resources to fake applications).  Here's a design that seeks the same information without deception.

Incentivized Resume Rating: Eliciting Employer Preferences without Deception

Judd B. KesslerCorinne LowColin Sullivan

NBER Working Paper No. 25800
Issued in May 2019 
"We introduce a new experimental paradigm to evaluate employer preferences, called Incentivized Resume Rating (IRR). Employers evaluate resumes they know to be hypothetical in order to be matched with real job seekers, preserving incentives while avoiding the deception necessary in audit studies. We deploy IRR with employers recruiting college seniors from a prestigious school, randomizing human capital characteristics and demographics of hypothetical candidates. We measure both employer preferences for candidates and employer beliefs about the likelihood candidates will accept job offers, avoiding a typical confound in audit studies. We discuss the costs, benefits, and future applications of this new methodology."

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