Article Title

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


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 work places. 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.

As of August 31, 2014, the ILR Review is published by SAGE. Please visit the journal site to read this article.