Recruiter and recruit match: the effect of gender and race match or mismatch on the quality of recruits
Oh, Jason Gay Taur
Cunha, Jesse M.
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This study explores how the match or mismatch between recruiters and recruits in terms of gender and race/ethnicity is associated with various measures of the quality of recruits. Specifically, amongst recruits of a similar race/ethnicity and/or gender, we compare across recruiters, by race/ethnicity and by gender, AFQT scores, and the likelihood of Delayed Entry Program attrition and attrition at various points in the career. Personnel data on the universe of Navy recruiters and recruits over the past 15 years is used. The findings suggest that while there is a statistically significant effect of the gender match on the quality of recruits, it is very small in economic terms. On the other hand, there is an economically (and statistically) large effect of the racial/ethnic match or mismatch on the quality of recruits. In particular, Hispanic and Black recruits recruited by recruiters of the same race/ethnicity have lower AFQT scores as well as lower probability of being a Category A recruit. Furthermore, the recruits signed by Hispanic recruiters (within each racial/ethnic group) are less likely to attrite in the first year of service. As recruiters may not be randomly assigned to recruiting populations, it is impossible to determine whether these associations are reflecting a causal or correlational relationship, a fact which must be known in order to use these findings for policy purposes.
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