Hiring Difficulties and Firms' Growth
Speaker(s)Maddalena Ronchi (Bocconi University, Italy)
LocationErasmus University Rotterdam, Campus Woudestein, room LAN 1.14
Date and time
January 27, 2023
15:30 - 16:45
This paper studies the role of recruitment difficulties on firms' growth by combining unique vacancy-level data from France with an identification strategy based on a shift-share design. Specifically, we exploit cross-firm variation in exposure to recruiting difficulties stemming from initial differences in firms’ occupational mix and we leverage recruiting difficulties shifts using market-level changes in the time it takes to fill a vacancy in a given occupation, with a leave-one-out correction at the industry-level. We find that higher hiring difficulties translate into fewer vacancies posted by firms employing workers in hard-to-recruit occupations. This hampers their employment, with a one-standard deviation increase in predicted recruiting time decreasing firms' employment by 5 to 9%. These effects are especially large when firms are labor-intensive and when they employ a higher share of workers in highly specialized occupations. Complementing the results on employment, we find evidence of negative effects also on firms’ investment, profits, and sales. Finally, we show that firms partially adjust to hiring difficulties by increasing wages, retaining incumbent workers, and promoting them higher up into high-pay occupations. Joint paper with Thomas Le Barbanchon and Julien Sauvagnat.