Strategies for job hunting on online job platforms

This project makes use of novel data from a public employment platform to investigate how unemployed job seekers search for work online. The aim is to better understand trends on the Swiss labour market and the success factors of job searches, and to optimise work placement.

  • Project description

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    We will investigate how unemployed people search for jobs online. The centrepiece of our project is novel click data that reveals how unemployed people navigate through job vacancies on the online work platform of the Swiss public employment service. In combination with information concerning the jobs and the register data from the social security sector, this novel data offers unique opportunities for the analysis of job-hunting strategies. We will address the following questions: who uses online job platforms? What factors determine the success of job searches? How do non-monetary aspects of the work influence job searches? What gender differences are there? And what are the obstacles for job seekers whose profile is threatened by technological change?

  • Background

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    Digital technologies are changing the way job seekers and companies find each other. Online employment platforms are an important element of this matching process. Thanks to the wealth of information they provide regarding available jobs, these platforms can increase the efficiency of the job search. But they can also trigger negative social consequences that are not yet well understood. They may for instance disadvantage those who do not use the platform.

  • Aim

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    Our goal is to better understand how men and women go about looking for a job, especially those whose profile is threatened by technological change. Our findings should serve to optimise public employment services’ job platforms. We will also develop an interactive toolbox that allows continuous monitoring of the dynamics of the labour market. This will reveal the regions and professions in which supply matches demand and where it does not.

  • Relevance

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    The project shows how online data from job platforms can be used by practitioners, to observe the labour market, and by researchers. It demonstrates how public employment services can use the large amounts of data from online platforms to enable effective job searches. The results of this project will be used to optimise the platform.

  • Original title

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    What Workers Want: Determinants and Implications of Job Search Strategies on an Online Job Platform