Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Regional Research Institute

Document Number



Regional Research Institute


In this paper we examine employer recruiting in the external labor market as an intervening mechanism in the process of job gender segregation. We use data from the Metropolitan EmployerWorker Survey to examine the effects of informal and formal recruiting techniques on the gender composition of jobs, and how the characteristics of jobs, organizations, occupations and industries affect the use of formal and informal recruiting. Jobs more frequently recruited through formal techniques, such as advertisements, employ more women. In contrast, jobs more frequently recruited through informal techniques, such as business colleagues, employ fewer women. The effects of recruiting, however, are not always straightforward. Smaller establishments more frequently use current employees to recruit than do larger establishments. When smaller establishments use current employees to recruit this has a negative effect on the representation of women in jobs, while in larger establishments the use of current employees increases the representation of women.