For Love or Money? Gender Differences in How One Approaches Getting a Job
56 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 22, 2015
Extant supply-side labor market theories conclude that women and men apply to different jobs but are unable to explain differences in how they may behave when applying to the same job. We correct this discrepancy by considering gendered approaches to the hiring process. We propose that applicants can emphasize either the relational or the transactional aspects of the job and that this affects getting hired. Relational job seekers focus on developing a social connection with their employer. Transactional job seekers focus on quantitative and pecuniary aspects of the job. We expect women to be more relational and men to be more transactional and that this contributes to differences in hiring outcomes. Being relational suggests that one is more committed to the job and therefore should increases the chances of being hired. We examine behaviors in an online contract labor market for graphic designers, Elance.com where we find that women are more likely to be hired than men by about 5.2%. Quantitative linguistic analysis on the unstructured text of job proposals reveals that women (men) adopt more relational (transactional) language in their applications. These different approaches affect a job seeker’s likelihood of being hired and attenuate the gender gap we identified.
Keywords: Gender, labor markets, hiring, text analysis, freelancing
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