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Economic Brief

Sept. 2, 2021

Richmond Fed Research Examines How Employers Recruit Candidates for Job Openings

While data on the number of job openings and hires are readily available, data on how hires happen are less so. The latest Economic Brief from the Richmond Fed examines how employers recruit new workers, using results from its Survey of Employer Recruiting Behavior.

Economist Steven Davis of the University of Chicago and Richmond Fed economists Claudia Macaluso and Sonya Waddell found that recruiting for many jobs starts well before the window defined by the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (30 days) for active vacancies, meaning those job openings may not be counted by JOLTS. They also noted that referrals and recommendations are among the most popular methods for finding job candidates and explore why this method is favored.

The Richmond Fed’s Economic Brief series provides essays on economic issues and trends. Sign up to receive an email notification when a new essay is posted.


As part of our nation’s central bank, the Richmond Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks working together with the Board of Governors to support a healthy economy and deliver on our mission to foster economic stability and strength. We connect with community and business leaders across the Fifth Federal Reserve District — including the Carolinas, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and most of West Virginia — to monitor economic conditions, address issues facing our communities, and share this information with monetary and financial policymakers. We also work with banks to ensure they are operating safely and soundly, supply financial institutions with currency that’s fit for distribution, and provide a safe and efficient way to transfer funds through our nation’s payments system.

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