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Avoiding Labor Shortages by Employer Signaling: On the Importance of Good Work Climate and Labor Relations

Author

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  • Uschi Backes-Gellner
  • Simone N. Tuor

Abstract

Reversing the original signaling model, this study explains how employers signal the non-observable quality of their workplace and thereby reduce labor shortages. Based on a company data set of 204 German firms, the authors find, as predicted by their theory, that the existence of a works council, an apprenticeship training program, and a high-quality incumbent workforce significantly improves recruitment success because they all reliably signal appealing workplaces. At the same time, frequent hiring of workers with non-matching qualifications reduces recruitment success because it signals low-quality workplaces. The authors' research reveals that certain aspects of labor relations and workplace characteristics exert a significant impact on recruitment success, which cannot be explained by conventional theoretical arguments.

Suggested Citation

  • Uschi Backes-Gellner & Simone N. Tuor, 2010. "Avoiding Labor Shortages by Employer Signaling: On the Importance of Good Work Climate and Labor Relations," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 271-286, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:63:y:2010:i:2:p:271-286
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M53 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Training

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