Hiring frictions and growth among small firms in India

This project asks whether frictions in the labour recruitment process constrain the growth of small, urban firms in India. In partnership with QuikrJobs, a leading online job portal for entry-level skilled and semi-skilled recruitment in India, we conduct an experiment cross-randomizing access to two interventions for small firms in Bangalore, India, looking to hire on the portal.

First, we provide employers with an expanded pool of applicants, which may also potentially include higher quality candidates. Second, we conduct background verification of candidates, mimicking in part the screening function of traditional networks, and vary employer access to this information.

These interventions are motivated by qualitative fieldwork and surveys with employers, where firms report limited recruitment pools, in both size and quality, within the traditional referral networks through which the majority recruit, and an inability to screen for reliable candidates outside of such networks as major constraints to growth. We hope that findings can inform methods for leveraging the emerging potential of new technologies to alleviate hiring frictions that inhibit firm growth in developing countries.


  • Research in progress.

    Project last updated on: 19 Apr 2021.