Book Review: Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs

Pedigree BookLauren A. Rivera : Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015. 375 pp. $35.00, hardcover.

Jennifer Merluzzi recently reviewed this book in Administrative Science QuarterlyFrom the review:

The book is a very detailed read on hiring and elite firms and is thus best suited for individuals interested in these topics, such as scholars studying early professional careers, elite labor markets, inequality, or hiring specifically. With this said, many insights in the book could be beneficial to scholars interested in these topics more broadly. For instance, Rivera makes a strong case for rethinking core assumptions underlying empirical studies by management and sociology scholars, such as the importance of human resources personnel (who are often cordoned into roles providing administrative rather than strategic support that offer little oversight to assure meritocratic hiring) or the importance of résumés or grades in getting hired (because extracurricular activities that can serve as fodder for interview conversation trump any hard data presented on a résumé). So although the book is clearly situated as a study of class and elites, it does have broader insights into hiring that a wider set of scholars could benefit from reading.

The book’s strength is its rich qualitative descriptions of what goes on behind the curtain of hiring within a firm, particularly the ethnographic portions in which Rivera uses her keen skills as an observer to carefully document, often with sharp wit, what is occurring around her. As Rivera contends, this area has been a black box for empirical research in sociology and management, as information is known about the candidate and then ASQ Coverabout the hiring outcome for that candidate, but less is known about what happens in between. The book’s limitation is in offering concrete conclusions around solutions to the problems identified (more on this below). Nonetheless, it is an interesting read, and readers will be impressed with Rivera’s complete immersion in this elite world.

You can read the full review from Administrative Science Quarterly by clicking here. Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts to receive research and reviews like this directly in your inbox!

Is There A Skill Shortage in the US?


5832437491_a8d1b4512d_z[We’re pleased to welcome Peter Cappelli
of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Peter recently published an article in ILR Review entitled “Skill Gaps, Skill Shortages, and Skill Mismatches: Evidence and Arguments for the United States” ]

Concerns over the supply of skills in the labor force, especially education-related skills, continue in the United States as well as in some other countries where employers complain about difficulty finding the talent they want. In the United States, there is little evidence consistent with the complaints about a skills shortage, and a wide range of evidence suggests the complaints are not warranted. Indeed, a reasonable conclusion is that over-education remains the persistent and even growing condition of the U.S. labor force with respect to skills. The best explanation for persistent employer complaints begins with a reminder that there is a market for labor regulated at least in part by supply and demand. Employers appear to be demanding more from applicants, most important, that they be able to perform jobs without any employer-provided training, and wages have not increased to match that greater demand. Employers and ILR_72ppiRGB_powerpointespecially their associations and consultants suggest some public policy response is in order to address employer complaints, but what that response should be is far from obvious.

The abstract:

Concerns over the supply of skills in the U.S. labor force, especially education-related skills, have exploded in recent years with a series of reports not only from employer-associated organizations but also from independent and even government sources making similar claims. These complaints about skills are driving much of the debate around labor force and education policy, yet they have not been examined carefully. In this article, the author assesses the range of these charges as well as other evidence about skills in the labor force. Very little evidence is consistent with the complaints about a skills shortage, and a wide range of evidence suggests the complaints are not warranted. Indeed, a reasonable conclusion is that overeducation remains the persistent and even growing condition of the U.S. labor force with respect to skills. The author considers three possible explanations for the employer complaints and the associated policy implications.

You can read “Skill Gaps, Skill Shortages, and Skill Mismatches: Evidence and Arguments for the United States”  from ILR Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from ILR ReviewClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Desk image credited to Nick Keppol (CC)

Peter CappelliPeter Cappelli is the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources.  He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA, served as Senior Advisor to the Kingdom of Bahrain for Employment Policy from 2003-2005, and since 2007 is a Distinguished Scholar of the Ministry of Manpower for Singapore.  He has degrees in industrial relations from Cornell University and in labor economics from Oxford where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He was recently named by HR Magazine as one of the top 5 most influential thinkers in management and was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.  He received the 2009 PRO award from the International Association of Corporate and Professional Recruiters for contributions to human resources.  He serves on Global Agenda Council on Employment for the World Economic Forum and a number of advisory boards.

 

 

 

Apprenticeship Returns: What’s Gender Got to Do with It?

8098077876_60f54b45ae_z[We are pleased to welcome Harry Krashinsky of University of Toronto. Harry published an article in the October 2015 issue of ILR Review entitled “Returns to Apprenticeship Based on the 2006 Canadian Census” with co-author Morley Gunderson of University of Toronto.]

Until the 2006 Canadian Census, there had been no large cross-sectional data sets that separately identified Canadians who completed apprenticeship programs.  That changed with the 2006 Census, and this paper examines the relative pay of these types of individuals along a number of dimensions.  We find that males who have completed apprenticeship programs exhibit earnings that are generally equivalent to males who completed college degrees, and much higher than males who completed trade certificates or completed a high school degree.  But the opposite was true to females: those who completed apprenticeships exhibited earnings that were much lower than women who completed college degrees, and somewhat lower than women who completed trade certificates or high school degrees.  In the cases where there were earnings gaps, we found that other characteristics couldn’t account for these wage differences.

The abstract:ILR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint

To study the effect of apprenticeships in Canada, the authors use the 2006 Census, the first large-scale, representative Canadian data set to include information on apprenticeship certification. They find large returns for males with an apprenticeship certification when compared with no degree, a high school degree, or a trade certificate; these returns are almost as high as those to a community college diploma. By contrast, the returns for females who hold an apprenticeship certification are generally less than the returns to any other educational certification, except for no degree. For both genders, differences in observable characteristics account for little of the overall pay differences between apprentices and the alternative educational pathways, and the patterns tend to prevail across the quantiles of the pay distributions and for instrumental variable (IV) estimates.

You can read “Returns to Apprenticeship Based on the 2006 Canadian Census” from ILR Review by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from ILR ReviewClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Construction image credited to Rob Swystun (CC)

 

Morleygunderson_cirwebsite

Morley Gunderson holds the CIBC Chair in Youth Employment and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and the International Institute for Labour Research in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2002, he was awarded the Industrial Relations Research Association Excellence in Education Award in Labour Economics, in 2003 the Gérard Dion Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Industrial Relations and in 2011 he was the first Canadian to be elected as a Fellow of the Labor and Employment Relations Association.

Harry Krashinsky is Associate Professor of Economics in the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough. He holds a cross-appointment to the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources. Prof. Krashinsky’s research currently focuses on labour economics, including wage inequality and differentials, the impact of training and accreditation on earnings, self-employment and job loss. He also pursues topics that apply econometric methods to wide-ranging policy issues, including the determinants of teen pregnancy and causes of variation in voting participation rates. He teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in labour economics and research methods.

Does Employer Branding Influence a Candidate’s Job Application Decisions?

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Employer branding is mainly concerned with creating and improving the image of an organization as an employer or as a great place to work. The employer brand influences how current and potential employees interact with a company’s brand, and more specifically, the company’s brand image as an employer.

Both firm-level and job-related variables significantly influence a candidate’s job application decisions, such as intention to apply and consideration of the best companies to work for. Firms hoping to attract top candidates should carefully examine the factors that motivate top candidates to apply for positions with a company, and make an effort to improve on those variables.

Interlinked with the concept of employer branding for prospective employees is employment branding, employer knowledge, employment image and employer attractiveness. All of these factors can impact a candidate’s job choices, but improving upon these factors alone may not be adequate to attract top candidates.

Top candidates are also attracted to positions by MLS Covercompetitive salary and a firm’s media presence. Within the means of the company, HR professionals can decide how these two features can be leveraged to increase an organization’s image as an employer. HR professionals should also consider whether adjustments need to be made to recruitment strategies in response to shifts in demographic patterns, shortages of skilled workers in knowledge-based organizations, and rising costs of recruitment, selection, and training due to attrition.

Overall, employer branding is likely to generate several benefits, such as, low employee attrition, high job satisfaction, employee engagement and customer loyalty. Moreover, firms with better employer brand can afford to pay lower wage rates than the industry average. As a result, employer branding proves to be as a useful strategy for companies to maintain a positive reputation and appeal to top talent.

One example of how positive employer branding benefits companies would be a Best Employer Surveys (BES) list like the Great Place to Work Survey, which positively influences candidates’ job-related decisions. Hence, firms should attempt to increase and retain their positions in the BES ranks which will ultimately improve the organization’s image as a brand.

The abstract:

Communication of employer brand to external stakeholders has, in the recent past, seen new developments in the form of best employer surveys (BESs) and a potent form of employer branding lies in the BESs. In this article, we examine the impact of firm-related and job-related attributes on a candidate’s job application decisions by selecting firms from the BES lists. The study is based on the secondary and primary data of 139 companies which have appeared in four major BES lists from 2001 to 2012 (the longest time period for which data is available in an emerging economy—India) and primary data collected from 2,854 respondents.

Click here to read Employer Brand and Job Application Decisions: Insights from the Best Employers for free from the Management and Labour Studies.

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*Featured Career Fair image is credited to University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment (CC).

Advances in Developing Human Resources Seeks Editor-in-Chief!

pencil-1269186-mAdvances in Developing Human Resources is currently welcoming applications for the position of Editor-in-Chief!

Published quarterly, each issue of Advances in Developing Human Resources is devoted to a different topic central to the development of human resources. The journal has covered subjects as wide-ranging and vital as performance improvement, action learning, on-the-job training, informal learning, work-life balance, career development and human resource development, leadership, and the philosophical foundations of HRD practice.

The term of office is three years, beginning in July 2015. A stipend is provided.

Desired qualifications for the position include:

  • A strong record of scholarly contribution to human resource development, reflected ADHR_72ppiRGB_powerpointin publication in scholarly journals and presentations at professional conferences
  • Experience as an editor, associate or assistant editor, or editorial review board member
  • Familiarity with Advances in Developing Human Resources – its mission and the audience it serves
  • A demonstrated ability to lead an editorial team, editorial board, and authors and reviewers
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills to ensure publication deadlines are met and quality is maintained
  • Evidence of support and commitment from the applicant’s institution – particularly in terms of release time and administrative support

Applications should include the following:

  • A letter of application that addresses how the candidate meets the desired qualifications
  • A current curriculum vita
  • A letter of institutional support (e.g., dean and/or provost)

The successful applicant will have an advanced degree in HRD or related field and be currently working in an HRD role in education, business, government, and/or community sectors. Demonstrated experience with the editorial process (as editor, associate editor or editorial board member) is preferred.

Please send completed applications to Kim McDonald by December 15, 2014.

All application materials and questions can be directed to:

Kimberly McDonald, Ed.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Advances in Developing Human Resources
Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, IN 46805 click here.
Phone: 260-481-6418
mcdonalk@ipfw.edu

More information about the journal can be found by clicking here. To view the Table of Contents of the most current issue of Advances in Developing Human Resources click here.

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Top Five: Advances in Developing Human Resources

ADHR_72ppiRGB_powerpointWant to know all about the latest research in human resource development? Take a look at the top five most read articles from Advances in Developing Human Resources! This journal explores problems and solutions in an organizational setting and discusses concepts for the future allowing scholars and practitioners to work more effectively in human resource development. These articles are free for you to read for the next 30 days.

Brad Shuck and Kevin Rose
Reframing Employee Engagement Within the Context of Meaning and Purpose: Implications for HRD
November 2013 15: 341-355

Sehoon Kim and Gary N. McLean
Global Talent Management: Necessity, Challenges, and the Roles of HRD
November 2012 14: 566-585

Sunny L. Munn
Unveiling the Work–Life System: The Influence of Work–Life Balance on Meaningful Work
November 2013 15: 401-417

Kristopher J. Thomas
Workplace Technology and the Creation of Boundaries: The Role of VHRD in a 24/7 Work Environment
August 2014 16: 281-295

Judy O’Neil and Victoria J. Marsick
Action Learning Coaching
May 2014 16: 202-221

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Can Undocumented Immigrants Be Protected From Wage Theft?

take-the-buck-2-1096838-mA study done by Pew Hispanic Center found that undocumented immigrants living in the United States earned a median household income of $36,000, $14,000 less than their legal and native-born counterparts, despite the fact that many households had more working members. These workers are also more susceptible to situations where employment laws aren’t followed, as the fear of retaliation keeps many from reporting misconduct committed by their employer. Wage stealing is one such infraction that has gained national attention in the last few years. Just why and how does this happen? How can it be stopped? Author Jed DeVaro discusses this in his article “Stealing Wages From Immigrants” from Compensation and Benefits Review.

The abstract:

In California, ongoing concerns about employers stealing wages from undocumented immigrant workers (who areCBR_42_1_72ppiRGB_powerpoint reluctant to report employer violations because they want to minimize contact with legal authorities) have led to two “antiretaliation” laws passed in 2013 (Assembly Bill 263 and Senate Bill 666) designed to protect workers. This article describes wage stealing (when, how, why and to whom it happens) and its consequences and evaluates various solutions to the problem, including the recent California legislation.

Click here to read “Stealing Wages From Immigrants” from Compensation and Benefits Review for free! Want the latest research like this sent directly to your inbox? Click here to sign up for e-alerts from Compensation and Benefits Review!