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What Workers Want: Determinants and Implications of Job Search Strategies on an Online Job Platform

English title What Workers Want: Determinants and Implications of Job Search Strategies on an Online Job Platform
Applicant Siegenthaler Michael
Number 187229
Funding scheme NRP 77 Digital Transformation
Research institution KOF - Konjunkturforschungsstelle ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Economics
Start/End 01.06.2020 - 31.05.2024
Approved amount 581'926.00
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Keywords (7)

Digitalization; Unemployment; Displaced workers; Machine learning; Big data; Job platforms; Job search

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Das Projekt verwendet neuartige Daten einer öffentlichen Jobplattform um zu untersuchen, wie arbeitslose Stellensuchende online Jobs suchen. Ziel ist es, die Erfolgsfaktoren der Jobsuche und Trends auf dem Schweizer Arbeitsmarkt besser zu verstehen und die Stellenvermittlung zu optimieren.
Lay summary
Digitale Technologien verändern die Art und Weise, wie sich Arbeitnehmer und Unternehmen finden. Ein zentraler Aspekt dieses Matchingprozesses sind Online-Job-Plattformen. Dank der Fülle an Informationen, die sie über verfügbare Jobs liefern, und dank den Vereinfachungen, die sich für Arbeitgeber und -nehmer auf der Jobsuche ergeben, können diese Plattformen die Effizienz der Jobsuche erhöhen. JobPlattformen können jedoch negative soziale Folgen haben, die noch nicht gut verstanden werden. So könnten sie beispielsweise zum Nachteil jener sein, welche die Plattform nicht nutzen.

Vor diesem Hintergrund untersucht das Projekt, wie Arbeitslose online nach Jobs suchen. Kernstück des Vorhabens sind neuartige Klickdaten, die zeigen, wie sich arbeitslose Stellensuchende auf der Online-Jobplattform der öffentlichen Arbeitsmarktvermittlung der Schweiz durch die offenen Stellen navigieren. Kombiniert mit Informationen zu den Stellen und Registerdaten der Sozialversicherungen, bieten die neuartigen Daten einzigartige Möglichkeiten zur Analyse von Jobsuchstrategien. Wir untersuchen, wer Online-Jobplattformen nutzt, welche Faktoren den Erfolg der Jobsuche bestimmen, wie nichtmonetäre Aspekte des Jobs die Stellensuche beeinflussen, welche Geschlechterunterschiede existieren, und welche Hindernisse es für Stellensuchende gibt, deren Profil wegen des technologischen Wandels gefährdet ist.

Das Projekt zielt darauf, die Nutzung von Online-Jobplattformen, die Stellensuche von Frauen und Männern, und von jenen, deren Profil wegen des technologischen Wandels gefährdet ist, besser zu verstehen. Die Erkenntnisse sollen dazu verwendet werden um die Stellenplattform der öffentlichen Arbeitsvermittlung zu optimieren. Wir entwickeln zudem eine interaktive Toolbox, die eine kontinuierliche Beobachtung des «Mismatch» und der Arbeitsmarktspannungen auf dem Schweizer Arbeitsmarkt ermöglicht. Insgesamt lotet das Projekt damit aus, wie Onlinedaten von Jobplattformen für Praktiker – zur Beobachtung des Arbeitsmarktes – und für Forscher genutzt werden können. Wir zeigen auf, wie die öffentlichen Arbeitsverwaltungen die "großen Daten" von Online-Jobplattformen nutzen kann, um eine effektive Arbeitssuche zu ermöglichen.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.01.2020

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
HR Tech Holding AG, Thalwil Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Immigration Policy Lab, ETH Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
kununu GmbH, Vienna Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Faculty of Business and Economics of University of Lausanne Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events



Self-organised

Title Date Place

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
183215 How online labor markets transform job search, hiring and labor market research 01.12.2018 Digital Lives
162620 Hiring and wage discrimination in the Swiss labour market 01.01.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
204575 Helpline Calls, Job Finding, and Interview Training in the Covid-19 Crisis 01.04.2022 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Digital technologies are irreversibly transforming how workers meet firms. One central aspect of this matching process are online job platforms. Thanks to the plethora of information that they provide about the number and nature of available jobs, these platforms may enhance the efficiency of how workers find jobs and thus reduce unemployment. But platforms may have negative social consequences which are not yet well understood: they may affect job seekers behavior and success by setting defaults, ranking entries, or by managing the salience of information. Moreover, platforms may benefit workers who use the platform at the cost of workers who do not. Understanding benefits and potential societal risks of job platforms is indispensable for public employment agencies, who use the new technologies and, yet, need to deliver on their mandate to help all unemployed job seekers in finding good and stable jobs.This project demonstrates how to harness data from a public online job platform in order to study how unemployed job seekers search for jobs online, provide knowledge on trends in the labor market, and assist unemployed job seekers to find good and stable jobs. The key ingredient of the project will be “big data” that is novel to scientific research in the social sciences: we will track how job seekers navigate through vacancies on the job platform of the Swiss public employment service. We combine this online search data with vacancy and administrative data from social security registers. The vacancy information will also allow us to study how workers value non-wage job characteristics typically unobserved in job search data. The administrative data provides important background characteristics on job seekers, reveal workers’ labor market history before, during, and after unemployment, and will show whether workers’ search strategies were successful. Using this uniquely rich data, the project analyzes who uses the job platform and who does not, what jobs users search for, and the determinants of their application behavior. We will pay particular attention to gender differences in search strategies. Another central focus will be the circumstances under which job seekers displaced by new technologies manage to find new employment. The aim is to uncover the factors that help displaced workers adapt to technological change. In close collaboration with the Swiss public employment service, we plan to use the insights from our research project to optimize the job platform, to support workers “left behind” and displaced by technology in benefiting from the opportunities created by the digitalization of job search, and to reduce undesired gender inequalities in search outcomes. These analyses will provide important insights how the design of job platform affects job seekers’ search outcomes.The project demonstrates the opportunities that data from job platforms offer for practitioners, to monitor and manage the labor market, and for researchers, to understand the factors that shape job search outcomes of men and women, and unemployed displaced by new technology. We showcase how public employment services can tap into the “big data” from online job platforms and leverage new methodological tools from data and computer science in order to provide effective job search. In the course of the project, the research team will develop a reliable, timely, and easy-to-use interactive toolbox that allows a continuous monitoring of mismatch and labor market tightness in detailed segments of the Swiss labor market. The project is a spin-off from our “Digital Lives” project funded by the SNSF (grant 183215).
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