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Performance Pay and Applicant Screening

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  • Uwe Jirjahn
  • Jens Mohrenweiser

Abstract

Using German establishment data, we show that the relationship between intensity of individual‐based performance pay and intensity of applicant screening depends on the nature of production. In establishments with increased multitasking, performance pay is positively associated with applicant screening. By contrast, in establishments without increased multitasking, performance pay is negatively associated with applicant screening. We do not find a similar pattern of results for group‐based performance pay or profit‐sharing. Our findings fit the hypothesis that individual‐based performance pay induces a positive self‐sorting of employees if jobs are less multifaceted. In this case, employers with a high intensity of performance pay do not need intensive applicant screening to ensure a high quality of matches between workers and jobs. However, if jobs are more multifaceted, individual‐based performance pay can entail problems of adverse self‐sorting. In order to mitigate or overcome these problems, employers making intensive use of performance pay also screen applicants more intensively.

Suggested Citation

  • Uwe Jirjahn & Jens Mohrenweiser, 2019. "Performance Pay and Applicant Screening," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 57(3), pages 540-575, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:brjirl:v:57:y:2019:i:3:p:540-575
    DOI: 10.1111/bjir.12443
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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