Applications and Interviews: Firms’ Recruiting Decisions in a Frictional Labor Market

I develop a directed search model to study the recruitment decisions of firms competing for workers who ex post differ in two dimensions:
i) their match productivity, and ii) their probability of accepting a job offer, endogenously determined by their choice of application
portfolio. To attract these workers, firms post a recruiting intensity and a hiring standard, in addition to terms of trade. A higher recruiting intensity is costly, but allows the firm to select more applicants for an interview, which reveals their productivity. The hiring standard solves the tradeoff between immediate hiring and waiting for a potentially better match in the future. I characterize equilibrium and find that various outcomes, including uniqueness of equilibrium and the cyclicality of recruiting intensity, crucially depend on firms’ recruiting cost and workers’ search cost. Calibration of the model to the US labor market indicates a continuum of equilibria. Given selection of a particular equilibrium, hiring standards are countercyclical while recruiting intensity is procyclical. The calibrated model creates more amplification than a standard model without intensive margins and gives rise to procyclical match efficiency when viewed through the lens of a Cobb-Douglas matching function.

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