When the first interaction matters: Recruitment in the French retailing
In France, one of ten recently-hired workers works in retailing. The literature provides evidence about the screening criteria used to fill low-wage vacancies in stores. However, neither the stage when criteria matter nor the forefront role of information channels (direct applications, word-of-mouth, employment agency and job ads) has been well explored. Drawing on 35 interviews conducted in 2010-2011, with actors involved in recruitment activites and with recently-hired workers in large stores in Greater Paris. This article explores the initial interaction between job seekers and recruiters. It is argued that the screening criteria vary according to the way employers received information about applicants and first interact with them (by mail, phone or face-to-face). This contribution highlights the importance of walk-in applications, which prioritize selection based on residence, appearances and availability. Changes in the first interaction impact the whole selection process and may change the profile of the workers hired
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