RECRUITMENT METHODS AND VACANCY DURATION*

DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9485.1988.tb01029.x
Publication Date01 Feb 1988
AuthorStephen Roper
Sconish
Journal
of
Political
Economy,
Vol.
35.
No.
1,
February
1988
0
1988
Scottish
Economic
Society
RECRUITMENT METHODS AND VACANCY
DURATION*
STEPHEN
ROPER
Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre, Belfast
I
INTRODUCTION
Firms recruit for two main reasons. First, they may have lost an employee
through his quitting, retiring
or
being fired, or they may simply wish to
expand their workforce. About
80
per cent
of
hires represent a replacement
demand for labour (Department
of
Employment
(1974))
and
in
these cases
the range of the firm’s discretion will be limited. The characteristics
of
the
job, including the wage, may well be fixed as will be the labour market
environment in which the firm has to recruit. This paper aims to examine the
impact on vacancy duration
of
the firm’s largest remaining area of
discretion-its choice of recruitment method.
Of
course, in those hires that
represent a new demand
for
labour, not only the recruitment methods used
but also the wage and the characteristics of the job will be set by the firm.
Knowing the relative importance of the parameters firms set in their
recruitment ought to enable more efficient hiring thus reducing unemploy-
ment and the productive loss that many vacancies involve. Some idea
of
the
impact of this sort of effect can be gained by noting that
if
the duration of
each of the vacancies involved
in
the 55m engagements in
1981-2
could
have been reduced by a day unemployment would have fallen by about
People have been aware
of
the importance of the interactions
of
labour
market stocks and
flows,
and hence durations, since Holt and David
(1966).
Their paper led to the realization that “changes in duration will be an im-
portant determinant
of
the way in which changes in the stock
of
unfilled
vacancies reflect changes in the pressure
of
labour demand” (Beaumont
(1978),
p.
75).
In the same way Cripps and Tarling
(1974)
stressed the
importance
of
changes in unemployment duration as a reflection
of
the
interactions
of
labour supply and changes in the pressure
of
labour demand.
More recently Jackman, Layard and Pissarides
(1984)
have suggested that
20,000.
*
The data used in this paper was originally collected by Social and Community Planning
Research
for
the MSC.
I
am grateful to the
MSC
for
permission to use the data,
to
Barry
Hedges at SCPR
for
his preparatory work, and
to
the ESRC data archive for undertaking
the transformations necessary
to
preserve confidentiality. The original idea for the paper
was suggested by Richard Layard and the majority
of
the work was conducted while
I
was
working at the Centre for Labour Economics at LSE. The paper was improved by
comments from the editors
of
this journal. Any remaining errors are my own.
Date
of
receipt
of
final manuscript:
11
August
1987.
51

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