Men, but not women, have significant advantages in finding work through their social contacts, according to a new study.
"The study finds that work experience is important, in large part because it helps us develop social connections that can help people learn about future job opportunities," says Dr. Steve McDonald, an assistant professor of sociology at NC State and author of a paper describing the study.
"However, while men reap the social benefits of work experience, women do not."
Using a national dataset of more than 12,000 people, McDonald examined the role work experience plays when people find new jobs through their social connections.
McDonald found that men who had lots of specialized work experience were often recruited into a new job through their social contacts without having to look for a job. In fact, men with this kind of experience were 12 percent more likely to find a new job through informal recruitment than they were through a formal job search.
Women, however, did not see this benefit. They were no more likely to find a job through informal recruitment than they were through a formal job search.
The study will be published in Social Science Research.