SGB Evidence Fund Series > Hiring Frictions and the Promise of Online Job Portals
Author(s): S. Kim
Published by: The SGB Evidence Fund


“Firms in developing countries struggle to recruit effective employees, due in part to their reliance on traditional recruitment networks such as family, friends, and referrals. This can limit the quantity and quality of potential hires and constrain the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These hiring constraints can also limit employment opportunities for job seekers, especially in countries where SMEs employ a large share of the labor force. This research examines the impact of online job portals on reducing hiring frictions in the Indian labor market, using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) methodology. The study finds that firms in developing countries are more likely to fill a job vacancy when they receive both, larger pools of applicants (Scale), and identity verification of applicants (Verification) online job portal interventions, compared to receiving only one of them. The study suggests that online job portals can provide a source for suitable employees outside of traditional networks, especially for smaller employers who may have less capacity to screen applicants. The authors highlight the importance of addressing multiple recruitment challenges in tandem for online job portals to alleviate constraints on recruitment in emerging markets.”