Disclosing Work-From-Home Flexibility to Compete for Talent? Evidence from Job Postings

58 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2022 Last revised: 2 Jun 2023

See all articles by Charles (Chad) Ham

Charles (Chad) Ham

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business

Rebecca N. Hann

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Wenfeng Wang

Southern University of Science and Technology

Jingwen Yang

University of Maryland - College Park

Date Written: May 30, 2023

Abstract

This study examines what drives employers to disclose work-from-home (WFH) flexibility in their job postings (hereafter, WFH disclosure), and whether such disclosure serves as an effective tool to attract talent. Using a comprehensive sample of job postings for a set of public firms, we first document a gradual upward trend in WFH postings from 2016 to 2019, followed by a sharp increase in 2020 and 2021, precipitated by the pandemic. We find that employers are more likely to disclose WFH flexibility when facing greater labor market competition, with this effect more pronounced in tight labor markets and when employee demand for workplace flexibility is higher. We further find that WFH disclosure is associated with greater hiring efficiency, suggesting that such disclosure is effective in attracting new employees. Finally, we provide evidence that while WFH disclosure is associated with higher employee satisfaction, it is negatively associated with future labor productivity and firm performance. These results represent the first large-sample archival evidence on employers’ disclosure of workplace flexibility to attract employees and highlight its potential implications for employee productivity.

Keywords: disclosure, labor markets, working-from-home, job postings, competition, workplace flexibility

JEL Classification: D83; J23; J32

Suggested Citation

Ham, Charles and Hann, Rebecca N. and Wang, Wenfeng and Yang, Jingwen, Disclosing Work-From-Home Flexibility to Compete for Talent? Evidence from Job Postings (May 30, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4201819 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4201819

Charles Ham

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business ( email )

1309 East Tenth Street
Indianapolis, IN 47405-1701
United States

Rebecca N. Hann (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States

Wenfeng Wang

Southern University of Science and Technology ( email )

Shenzhen, Guangdong
China

Jingwen Yang

University of Maryland - College Park ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

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