Reducing Hiring Frictions in Small Firms: Evidence from an Internet Platform-based Experiment

Grants to Support Faculty Fellows' Research
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This is research project investigates the role of technology in addressing challenges faced by small firms recruiting blue-collar workers in Bangalore, India. Pilot surveys conducted by the research team suggest firms wish to expand their operations but face difficulties in finding credible candidates beyond their personal networks. In partnership with QuikrJobs, a leading online job portal for blue-collar recruitment in India, we propose to cross-randomize two interventions—subsidized premium recruitment and screening services—to understand whether they can ease these ‘hiring frictions’ faced by firms. Using a combination of administrative data and detailed firm and job seeker surveys, we intend to assess the impact of these interventions over a 18-month period on firm and worker outcomes. Our results will show whether small firms can leverage technological innovations to overcome issues that directly influence structural unemployment and urban poverty that characterizes many growing cities across the developing world.