Skills and the graduate recruitment process: Evidence from two discrete experiments

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Abstract

In this study we elicit employers’ preferences for a variety of CV attributes and types of skills when recruiting university graduates. Using two discrete choice experiments, we simulate the two common steps of the graduate recruitment process: 1) the selection of suitable candidates for job interviews based on CVs, and 2) the hiring of graduates based on observed skills. We show that in the first step, employers attach most value to CV attributes which signal a high stock of occupation-specific human capital indicating low training costs and short adjustment periods; attributes such as relevant work experience and a good match between the field of study and the job tasks. In line with the preferences in the first step, employers’ actual hiring decision is mostly influenced by graduates’ level of professional expertise and interpersonal skills. Other types of skills also play a role in the hiring decision but are less important, and can therefore not easily compensate for a lack of occupation-specific human capital and interpersonal skills.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
PublisherMaastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Publication series

SeriesGSBE Research Memoranda
Number003

Cite this

Humburg, M., & van der Velden, R. K. W. (2014). Skills and the graduate recruitment process: Evidence from two discrete experiments. Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics. GSBE Research Memoranda, No. 003