The Impacts of Preference Signaling on Job Matching: Experimental Evidence from a Job Fair

Last registered on February 24, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Impacts of Preference Signaling on Job Matching: Experimental Evidence from a Job Fair
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009003
Initial registration date
February 20, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
February 24, 2022, 1:06 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Florida International University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Asian Development Bank

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-09-15
End date
2022-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Job applicants’ preference---i.e., how interested they are in the jobs they apply for---may be hard for employers to observe and for jobseekers to signal. This information asymmetry may lead to the loss of productivity by creating job mismatches. In an online job fair organized by a large Bangladeshi job portal, we experimentally introduce a preference signaling mechanism that allows jobseekers to express their interest to employers. Each jobseeker is endowed with so few signals that the mechanism may be credible. We estimate the effects on both employers and jobseekers.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Hayashi, Ryotaro and Norihiko Matsuda. 2022. "The Impacts of Preference Signaling on Job Matching: Experimental Evidence from a Job Fair." AEA RCT Registry. February 24. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9003
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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Our intervention is a job preference signaling mechanism that allows job applicants to express their interest to few employers. This mechanism is essentially identical to the one that has been implemented by the American Economic Association in the Job Openings for Economists. Below are specifics about our intervention:
- Each jobseeker who participates in the job fair is endowed with two signals, which we call “High Priority Signals (HPSs).”
- Timing: Jobseekers can send HPSs when and after they apply for jobs. HPSs sent by jobseekers will be delivered to employers immediately.
- HPSs submitted cannot be withdrawn once employers log into their user account pages.
- A jobseeker can send at most one HPS to an employer. That is, s/he cannot send two HPSs to the same employer.

The setting in which the signaling mechanism is implemented is an online job fair. The fair is organized by a large online job portal in Bangladesh. We conduct another RCT that estimates the impacts of an online job fair. This RCT is registered as another study in AEA registry.
Intervention Start Date
2021-11-09
Intervention End Date
2021-11-11

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
[Employer-level outcomes]
- Whether a position is filled; the number of hires
- Job match quality: (i) monthly salary; (ii) employer’s subjective assessments on hired workers’ skills and motivation; (iii) employer’s overall satisfaction on hired workers; (iv) worker retention
- Employer’s satisfactions on recruitment experience and outcomes

[Jobseeker-level outcomes]
- Being employed
- Job match quality: (i) monthly earnings; (ii) hourly wage; (iii) how often worker’s skills are used; (iv) how well worker’s skills fits his/her job; (v) whether a worker is under- or over-qualified; (vi) how interesting the current job is; (vii) how satisfied a worker is with his/her current job; (viii) job tenure

[Job application-level outcomes]
- Whether an applicant is hired
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We will create an index of job match quality.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
[Employer-level outcomes]
- The number of offers declined

[Jobseeker-level outcomes]
- The number of job applications viewed; the number of job applications shortlisted; the number of job offers received
- Reservation wage and aspired wage in 5 years
- Life satisfaction
- Whether looking for a job in last 4 weeks
- Self-perceived job search prospects: the percent chance of finding a full-time job within 6 months

[Job application-level outcomes]
- Whether an application is viewed
- Whether an applicant is shortlisted
- Whether an applicant is offered the job
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Our study subjects are all jobseekers who are invited to and sign up to the job fair and apply for at least one job and all employers who participate in the job fair. All study subjects are users of the online job portal that organizes the job fair.

To make jobseekers understand the signaling mechanism, the organizer of the job fair holds online sessions and explain what it is and how to use it. The sessions are held multiple times prior to and during the job fair. The organizer explains the mechanism to employers individually.

Jobseekers can send HPSs to the maximum of two employers. They can send HPSs either when or after they submit job applications. Specifically, when they are about to submit job applications on the job fair website, they are asked whether they attach HPSs unless two HPSs are already exhausted. After they submit job applications, they can also send HPSs from their account page on the job fair website.

On employers’ account page, employers can view whether job applicants send HPSs to their jobs. (Note that since each employer advertises exactly one job in the fair, sending HPSs to employers is equivalent to sending HPSs to jobs.) More specifically, on the employer account page, employers can first view the list of all applicants. This list shows summary information about each applicant including whether s/he sent a HPS. Then, if employers click an applicant from the list, employers can open his/her application package and view his/her detailed information.

The data are the following:
1. Administrative data of the job fair: It includes the information about jobs, employers, jobseekers, applications, and HPSs.
2. Administrative data of the online job portal: The data includes the information about jobs posted by our study subject employers, the applicants to the jobs, and jobs that are applied by our study subject jobseekers.
3. Baseline survey data: The baseline jobseeker data is based on the online forms submitted by jobseekers to apply for the job fair. The baseline employer data is collected by the online survey too.
4. Endline survey data: We conduct endline surveys of jobseekers and employers twice, approximately 2 months and 9 months after the job fair. The modes of surveys are phone for jobseekers and in-person for employers. If in-person interviews are infeasible, interviews will be on zoom or phone.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in Stata
Randomization Unit
Firms
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
110 firms
1280 jobseekers
Sample size: planned number of observations
110 firms 1280 jobseekers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
55 treatment firms; 55 control firms; 1280 jobseekers
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Office of Research Integrity, Florida International University
IRB Approval Date
2021-08-12
IRB Approval Number
IRB-21-0353