skip to main content

Title: Self-regulation and Autonomy in the Job Search: Key Factors to Support Job Search Among Swiss Job Seekers
Abstract Technology integration in the workplace context has led to substantial growth in high- versus low-skilled jobs, and thus, further disparities between workers and those who were already unemployed. Technology use is also being used more frequently in the job search process, which could further lead to disparities, especially for job seekers experiencing marginalization. Thus, we conducted a controlled longitudinal field deployment of two employment-based tools—RevueCV and InterviewApp—among 46 Switzerland-based unemployed job seekers. Using the theory of planned behavior (TPB), we sought to understand how the tools affected job search self-efficacy, subjective norms and job search attitudes—the three factors that influence a job seekers’ job search intention. Although participants appreciated the support the two tools provided, and the inherent study benefits, our interview and survey results showed no substantial changes in their TPB values, primarily because the tools provided overlapping services with the local job placement offices. However, results of our interviews found autonomy, or the lack thereof, to be a key factor contributing to job seeker dissatisfaction. We introduce the concept of self-regulation to the TPB as an explanatory construct and contribute design and theoretical implications to support autonomy among job seekers with less control of their job search.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Interacting with Computers
Page Range / eLocation ID:
537 to 563
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Technologies play a key role in finding employment in today's job market. However, the majority of those who are unemployed, e.g., individuals who have limited education or who are racial and ethnic minorities, are not well supported by existing digital employment tools. Therefore, we conducted an 8-month randomized field experiment to evaluate two tools-Review-Me and Interview4-designed to address these job seekers' key employment needs. We used the Theory of Planned Behavior to examine the tools' effects on three factors influencing job seekers' job search intention: job search self-efficacy, subjective norms, and job search attitudes. Our interview data suggested that the tools positively affected all factors, but our survey results were mixed. Interview results suggest that these trends were caused by positive feedback and self-reflection. We contribute ways to integrate these two features into future tools for, and techniques to increase study retention among, underrepresented job seekers. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract We propose a model of job search with reference-dependent preferences, with loss aversion relative to recent income (the reference point). In this model, newly unemployed individuals search hard since consumption is below their reference point. Over time, though, they get used to lower income and thus reduce their search effort. In anticipation of a benefit cut, their search effort rises again, then declines once they get accustomed to the lower postcut benefit level. The model fits the typical pattern of exit from unemployment, even with no unobserved heterogeneity. To distinguish between this and other models, we use a unique reform in the unemployment insurance (UI) benefit path. In 2005, Hungary switched from a single-step UI system to a two-step system, with overall generosity unchanged. The system generated increased hazard rates in anticipation of, and especially following, benefit cuts in ways the standard model has a hard time explaining. We estimate a model with optimal consumption, endogenous search effort, and unobserved heterogeneity. The reference-dependent model fits the hazard rates substantially better than plausible versions of the standard model, including habit formation. Our estimates indicate a slow-adjusting reference point and substantial impatience, likely reflecting present-bias. 
    more » « less
  3. Rapid changes in technology are expected to limit the availability of decent work for millions of people worldwide. This particularly disadvantages socially and economically marginalized job seekers who are already being pushed into lower-wage precarious work with increasing levels of job insecurity. While the number of employment support tools that match job seekers to employers has been growing, marginalized job seekers still significantly rely on physical employment centers that have a track record of supporting the specific needs associated with marginalization and economic constraints. We drew from prior HCI and CSCW literature uncovering the employment and technology-related challenges that marginalized job seekers face and from the Psychology of Working Theory to frame our research questions and results. To complement this prior work, we investigated how employment center staff work with marginalized job seekers and moderate factors to securing decent work. We found in an interview of 21 employment center staff--career advisors and business services coordinators--that they performed significant work to prepare and encourage marginalized job seekers in applying to positions, while also training employers to be more inclusive and open-minded. Career advisors worked directly with job seekers to connect them with external resources, provide encouragement, strategize long-term goals, and mitigate feelings of stigma. Business services coordinators worked directly with employers to prepare job positions and employee support programs. Drawing from the expertise of employment centers, we contribute a framework for designing employment support tools that better serve the needs of marginalized job seekers, and outline tangible design implications that complement the support these organizations provide. 
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    Online employment resources are now as important as offline personal and professional networks, which have been pivotal in finding employment. However, it is unclear, which specific online resources are key to employment and how job seekers take advantage of them. Therefore, in an online survey of 768 job seekers, we investigated which online platforms, specific job search phases, behaviors, and job search strategies job seekers used in their job search, and which of these were associated with positive outcomes. We examined whether these results correlated with demographic factors and found differences in online platform use among income, gender, years of education, and race. Our results suggest that higher-income job seekers were more likely to use different strategies and more likely to get callbacks than lower-income job seekers. We raise new questions around demographics and technology and discuss the need for practitioners to design for a wider variety of job seekers. 
    more » « less
  5. Modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) support job searches, resume creation, career development, and professional self-presentation. However, these technological tools are often tailored to high-income, highly educated users and white-collar professionals. It is unclear what interventions address the needs of job seekers who have limited resources or education, or who may be underserved in other ways. We gathered insights from the literature and generated ten tangible design concepts to address the needs of underserved job seekers. We then conducted a needs validation and speed dating study to understand which concepts were most viable among our population. We found that the three most preferred concepts immediately addressed job seekers' social and personal needs, where addressing social needs meant mediating job seekers' connections to others and supporting our job seekers' limited access to strong ties. 
    more » « less