Which one to choose?

New evidence on the choice and success of job search methods

  • Stephan L. Thomsen
  • Mick Wittich
Schlagworte: job search, unemployment, job placement, Germany, SOEP, JEL: J64, J62, J20


This paper provides new evidence on the choice and success of six different job search channels comprising the public employment agency, advertisements in newspapers and journals, internet job search, recruitment agencies, direct applications, and the social network. In addition, job search intensity and its effects are regarded. Relying on panel data for Germany, we are able to consider observed and unobserved heterogeneity in the estimation. In line with findings for other countries, the results show that consideration of various channels in individual job search increases the employment chances. With regard to the determinants, the estimates exhibit clear differences between the job search channels and with respect to search intensity. The results for success of the job search channels reveal that the public employment agency is ineffective and even harms the employment chances of the unemployed job seekers. In contrast, direct application for jobs and internet job search provide successful channels and increase the employment chances.