Firm Recruitment Behaviour: Sequential or Non‐Sequential Search?

24 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2014

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2014


In the extensive job search literature, studies assume either sequential or non‐sequential search. This article introduces a novel method to test the hypothesis that firms search sequentially based on the relationship between the number of rejected job applicants and the number of filled vacancies. We distinguish between ten different search methods. For most search methods, including methods that rely on social networks and temporary help agencies, we find that sequential search cannot be rejected. However, when firms use advertising or public/private employment agencies, sequential search is rejected. Hence, we find that both forms of search are relevant for our understanding of the labour market. Further, the form of search is closely related to the search method used.

Suggested Citation

van Ommeren, Jos and Russo, Giovanni, Firm Recruitment Behaviour: Sequential or Non‐Sequential Search? (June 2014). Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 76, Issue 3, pp. 432-455, 2014, Available at SSRN: or

Jos Van Ommeren (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) ( email )

Pleinlaan 2
Brussels, 1050

Giovanni Russo

Cedefop ( email )

PO Box 22427
Finikas (Thessaloniki), 55102

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