Dissertation Abstracts

Show me what you’ve got! A comparison of recruiting behavior in times of technological change

Author: Magdalena Polloczek, magdalena.polloczek@uni-paderborn.de
Department: Sociology
University: Paderborn University, Germany
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Bettina Kohlrausch
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: School-to-Work-Transitions , European Labour Markets , Employer , Comparative Approach
Areas of Research: Education , Stratification , Political Sociology


Technical innovations and digitization shape tremendously future work environments and business collaborations. Markets, including labor markets, continue to perform mainly globally. Employees, when asked about their tasks and necessary skill requirements to perform their tasks at the workplace report a differentiated composition of tasks and skills (Cedefop 2018). They seem to rise in complexity and density (Lenhardt et al. 2010) and often involve new elements (usage of ICT, new software) (EWCS 2005-2015; Arnold, Butschek et al. 2016). Thus, tasks are more and more shaped by changes in its structure which effects work organization in terms of flexibility and mobility (Breisig et al. 2017). The changing structure of labour demand puts also new demands on employees, e.g. on their decision-making behavior during work, on intensified learning demands, or on new demands reflecting an internalized pressure to define higher goals (Korunka and Kubicek 2017). When there is a misfit of work requirement and workforce, the widening labor market mismatch literature comes into play and emphasizes reasons, structure and consequences of mismatched workers (e.g. McGuinness et al. 2017). In addition to investigations on employees, Protsch (2014) confirms the impression of differentiated requirements of new working environments also for the subgroup of vocational education and training (VET) students when descriptions and learning objectives of subjects taught within VET were analyzed. In terms of labour market mismatches, survey results clearly point out, that if youth are among the mismatched, they are the most at risk. Keeping these reflections on changing labour demand in mind raises the question weather also employers adapt to such new conditions when hiring new personnel. Situations of open employment vacancies bear good opportunities to adjust work requirements. Employers’ recruiting behavior is put to the center of interest: Do enterprises adapt their recruiting practices when hiring graduates? In terms of adjusting to new task requirements, do some specific skills attach increasing importance during the recruiting process (recruiting criteria)? This project is specifically interested in the relationship of education and employment outcomes, and what role employers play. Especially for school graduates it is of great importance to successfully navigate the first hurdle on their way to become an active member of the world of work, which is to manage the transition from school to their first employment satisfactory and at best, not mismatched. The methodological approach used here includes comparative and multilevel analyses on skill formation systems and HR recruiting behaviors in Germany and Estonia.