Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

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Zertifikat "audit berufundfamilie"

Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Are Certificates or Job Experience more important? Determinants of the Applicant Selection - Application of a Factorial Survey Design

Project Number


Head of Project

Project Start

May 2013

End of Project

December 2021


A company’s decision to fill a vacancy with a suitable applicant depends on various aspects. On the one hand, the matching process is influenced by characteristics of the applicant like his educational level, the fit of his training credentials with the qualification required for the vacant position, his overall and occupational-specific job experience and his wage expectations. On the other hand, the relevance of these determinants depends on the type of the vacant position and differs between various occupations. For instance, holding training credentials could be more important than job experience or wage expectations depending on whether a profession is dominated by women or men, or whether the access to the occupation is strongly regulated or not.
Up to now, little is known about how those structural characteristics of occupations impact the decision-making processes in recruitment. In this project we apply a quasi-experimental survey (Factorial Survey Design) to evaluate determinants of particular importance for the hiring decisions and compare their relevance between different occupations. For that purpose, establishments are provided with fictional application documents which vary in values of the determinants described above (vignettes). For the sample establishments are selected, which have already participated in the IAB Job Vacancy Survey and cover at least one of the occupations chosen for analysis. By using a quasi-experimental survey design, the strength of each effect can be interpreted in the analysis. This allows giving statements on the importance of each determinant in the hiring decision process for different occupational types. Additionally, further control variables for the establishments are taken into account in the analysis.