Scars of early job insecurity across Europe: Insights from a multi-country employer study
Hvinden, Bjorn; Hyggen, Christer; Schøyen, Mi Ah; Sirovátka, Thomas
Youth Unemployment and Job Insecurity in Europe: Problems, Risk Factors and Policies
Edward Elgar Publishing
Place of publication
978-3-78811-888-0 ; 978-1-78811-889-7
To investigate the scarring effect of early job insecurity on future employment chances, we carried out a factorial survey experiment with recruiters in relation to real vacancies in Bulgaria, Greece, Norway and Switzerland. The chapter contributes to recruitment research in three ways: First, the multi-national design allows comparative analysis across countries, covering the national dimensions of youth unemployment rate, employment protection regulation and type of educational system. Second, the design enables us to differentiate between two forms of early job insecurity - unemployment and work experience in deskilling jobs. We demonstrate that a sole focus on unemployment, as often the case in labour market research, is not sufficient to understand the labour market outcomes caused by different forms of job insecurity. Third, since the sample consists of real recruiters who were hiring for current jobs at the time of the study, we achieved a unique cross-country data set of high external validity. The findings suggest that scarring effects of early job insecurity vary across countries and across occupational fields. While strong employment protection regulation strengthens the scarring associated with work experience in deskilling jobs, unemployment scarring seems stronger where national unemployment is low. Further, the differences in recruiters' evaluation across occupational fields indicate that signalling value of education may vary depending on specific sectors. Our results contribute to debates about active labour market policies as they suggest that measures aiming at quick labour market reintegration without consideration of job quality may not be the most sustainable solution, as work experience in a deskilling job affects recruiters' evaluation negatively.