The report focuses on résumé-based screening strategies for the recruitment of highly qualified research and development (R&D) workers (critical R&D workers) in high-tech firms. We investigate which kinds of professional background, job-related experience, motivations, specific skills, and previous inventive activity make a candidate attractive for firms specializing in clean technology or mechanical elements. The report is based on a combination of survey and experimental data collected from 194 HR decision makers in German high-tech firms and from 89 technology experts in the clean technology and mechanical elements fields. A mixed logit model is used to analyse hiring preferences because this model allows us to deal with repeated choices. We find that HR decision makers prefer candidates with technology-specific patenting experience, an engineering background, analytical thinking skills, and a strong desire to develop path-breaking technologies. Furthermore, no one-size-fits-all candidate exists that is equally preferred in both technology fields. HR decision makers in mechanical element firms prefer specialists to generalists, whereas those in clean technology attach special importance to a candidate’s orientation towards environmental concerns and sustainability.


Frosch, Katharina
Harhoff, Dietmar
Hoisl, Karin
, Christian Steinle,
Zwick, Thomas