Who Does Referral-Based Hiring Help Most, and How?

9323706832_efbf0759ba_zReferral-based hiring is a commonplace practice for modern organizations, which holds considerable benefits for employees hired based upon a referral, including greater chances for upward mobility within the company. A recent paper published in ILR Review entitled “Lasting Effects? Referrals and Career Mobility of Demographic Groups in Organizations,” further studies the benefits of referral based hiring, and finds that the positive impact does not effect different demographic groups equally. Rather, authors Jennifer Merluzzi and Adina Sterling find that referral-based hiring provides the biggest increase in promotional opportunities for racial minorities. The abstract for the paper:

While prior research has suggested that network-based hiring in the form of referrals can lead to better career outcomes, few studies have tested whether such career advantages differ across demographic groups. Using archival data from a single organization for nearly 16,000 employees over an 11-year period, the authors examine the effect of hiring by referrals on the number of promotions employees receive and Current Issue Coverthe differences in this effect across demographic groups. Drawing on theories of referral-based hiring, inequality, and career mobility, they argue that referral-based hiring provides unique promotion advantages for minorities compared to those hired without a referral. Consistent with this argument, they find that referrals are positively associated with promotions for one minority group, blacks, even after controlling for individual and regional labor market differences. The authors explore the possible mechanism for this finding, with initial evidence pointing to referrals providing a signal of quality for black employees. These results suggest refinement to prior research that attests that referral-based hiring disadvantages racial minorities.

You can read “Lasting Effects? Referrals and Career Mobility of Demographic Groups in Organizations” from ILR Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research from ILR Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Image attributed to Cydcor (CC)

Read the Latest Issue of Administrative Science Quarterly!

Current Issue CoverThe September 2016 issue of Administrative Science Quarterly is now published online and can be accessed free for the next 30 days! The September issue includes a 60th anniversary essay from Karl E. Weick of the University of Michigan, addressing the experience of organizational inquiry. The abstract for the essay:

Jerry Davis’s (2015) question “What is organizational research for?” is ill-served by the narrow answer “settled science.” Constraints of comprehension may give the illusion that organizational research represents settled science. But the experience of inquiring actually comprises a greater variety of actions that increase the meaning of present research experience and the contributions it makes. I discuss acts of conjecture, differentiation, attachment, affirmation, complication, discernment, interruption, and representation to illustrate that meaningful contributions are generated by actions associated with connecting perceptions to concepts. ASQ’s 60th anniversary is an opportune time to make these interim contributions more explicit.

In addition, the articles in the September issue address topics like whitened resumes, forecasting the success of new ideas, and combining the logics of industry and culture can lead to new possibilities for organizations. You can read the latest issue free for the next 30 days by clicking here.

Want to keep up with all of the latest Administrative Science Quarterly publications? Click here to sign up for e-alerts! You can also find more Administrative Science Quarterly content on the ASQ Blog here, as well as the Organizational Musings blog from Editor Henrich Greve here.

How Does Difficulty of Recruitment Impact Discrimination Against Applicants?

16459686135_28e21592cd_z[We’re pleased to welcome Stijn Baert of Ghent University. Stijn published an article in ILR Review entitled “Is There Less Discrimination in Occupations Where Recruitment Is Difficult?,” with co-authors Bart Cockx, Niels Gheyle, and Cora Vandamme.]

Do employers discriminate less when vacancies are difficult to fill? Theory says yes. Lower arrival rates of employees at vacancies increase the cost of discriminating because the foregone output when a minority worker is turned away is higher in that case. In this study, we are the first to test this theoretical relationship between hiring discrimination and labor ILR_72ppiRGB_powerpointmarket tightness in an empirical way. To this end, we sent out fictitious job applications of school-leavers, randomly assigned to individuals with a native- and a Turkish-sounding name, to vacancies for jobs requiring no work experience in Belgium. We found indeed that, compared to natives, candidates with a Turkish-sounding name are equally often invited to a job interview if they apply for occupations for which vacancies are difficult to fill; but, they have to send twice as many applications for occupations for which labor market tightness is low.

The abstract for the paper:

The authors empirically test the cross-sectional relationship between hiring discrimination and labor market tightness at the level of the occupation. To this end, they conduct a correspondence test in the youth labor market. In line with theoretical expectations, results show that, compared to natives, candidates with a foreign-sounding name are equally often invited to a job interview if they apply for occupations for which vacancies are difficult to fill; but, they have to send out twice as many applications for occupations for which labor market tightness is low. Findings are robust to various sensitivity checks.

You can read “Is There Less Discrimination in Occupations Where Recruitment Is Difficult?” 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!

*Career fair image attributed to Global Health Fellows Program II (CC)

Race, Gender, and Communication in the Workplace

Whether a manager is black or white, male or female, the stereotypes that persist in today’s workplace can affect perceptions of managerial communication and undermine a leader’s effectiveness, according to an article recently published in SAGE Open:

Previous research has documented that gender and racial stereotypes affect beliefs about communication style. This study sought to investigate whether these stereotypes would be replicated in a sample of White working adults and whether participants thought that a social skills training program that is usually targeted at women would have an impact on SGO_72ppiRGB_150pixWmanagerial targets’ speech. Results indicated that racial stereotypes were more salient than gender stereotypes, with participants viewing White managers’ speech as more socially appropriate and less emotional, but also as more dominant and articulate than Black managers’ speech. Participants also perceived female managers’ speech as more emotional than male managers’. After training, participants thought that men’s and White managers’ speech would become more emotional, despite the fact that this training has been targeted specifically at female managers. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of examining race and gender in evaluating managerial communication.

Read the article, “Communication Stereotypes and Perceptions of Managers,” published in the SAGE Open October-December 2012 issue by Jessica H. Carlson of Western New England University and Mary Crawford of the University of Connecticut. To learn more about SAGE’s open access outlet for academic research, and to receive e-alerts about newly published articles, please click here.

Toxic Pollution and School Performance Scores

Cristina Lucier, Boston College, Anna Rosofsky, Bruce London, both of Clark University, Helen Scharber, Hampshire College, and John M. Shandra, SUNY Stony Brook, published “Toxic Pollution and School Performance Scores: Environmental Ascription in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana” on December 20th, 2011 in Organization & Environment. To view other OnlineFirst articles, please click here.

The abstract:

The current study adds to the literature linking environmental pollution and disparities in educational outcomes among vulnerable populations by measuring variations in school performance scores in East Baton Rouge (EBR) Parish, Louisiana. The authors ask whether the unique, placespecific, results of a study such as the 2004 study by Pastor, Sadd, and Morello-Frosch, specifically the finding that schools’ academic performance scores are negatively related to proximity to major polluters, can be made somewhat more “general” by examining a similar relationship in another location. The authors closely approximate the model and methodology used by Pastor et al. and then respecify that model by including new independent variables with a particular focus on alternative and more nuanced measures of proximity to polluters as indicators of potential human exposure. Furthermore, they analyze the relationship between proximity and achievement in terms of disproportionate effects on human capital experienced by vulnerable populations. The findings provide evidence of “environmental ascription,” the idea that “place” (especially, attending school in polluted places) has ascriptive properties. The authors find that, all else equal, their several measures of proximity (to Toxics Release Inventory facilities in general, to high concentrations of toxic emissions, and to high-volume polluters of developmental neurotoxins) are significantly related to school performance scores throughout EBR Parish.

To learn more about Organization & Environment, please follow this link.

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