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Article
The Strength of Many Kinds of Ties: Unpacking the Role of Social Contacts across Stages of the Job Search Process
Organization Science (2015)
  • Roxana Barbulescu, McGill University
Abstract
Understanding job mobility has received increasing attention in recent years. Yet, surprising in the light of the wealth of research on social networks and job attainment, we do not have a unified model of the impact of different kinds of social contacts on job search success. In this paper I show that contacts are differently beneficial for job seekers depending on the stage of the job search process. Three stages of the job search process can be distinguished in which social contacts play different roles: deciding the types of jobs to apply for, submitting job applications, and conducting interviews. I propose that contacts who are spread across different occupations are conducive to applying to more types of jobs, yet it is contacts who are more focused across occupations that are beneficial for being invited to more interviews – relative to the number of job types applied for – and for converting the interviews into offers. In addition, contacts with lower relationship depth with the job seeker are more helpful for getting invited to interviews, whereas contacts who have more frequent interactions with the job seeker are more helpful for converting interviews into offers. Analyses using a unique longitudinal dataset on the job searches of 226 participants in an MBA program offer robust evidence in support of the hypotheses. The results suggest that external mobility is best enabled when job seekers engage with – and learn from – different kinds of contacts across stages of the job search process.
Publication Date
2015
DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2015.0978
Citation Information
Roxana Barbulescu. "The Strength of Many Kinds of Ties: Unpacking the Role of Social Contacts across Stages of the Job Search Process" Organization Science Vol. 26 Iss. 4 (2015) p. 1040 - 1058
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/roxana_barbulescu/4/