Private Employers and TANF Recipients. 5.5  Supplementary Interviews with Employers

05/25/2004

The comprehensive and basic telephone surveys described in the preceding two sections would not be long enough to collect detailed information on employer practices. As a result, we recommend an additional round of interviews with employers. These follow-up interviews would be conducted with employers who respond to the core survey and whose responses indicate experience hiring TANF recipients. As noted earlier, it is likely that many employers will have little or no such experience.

Among businesses and public agencies with TANF hiring experience, the follow-up interviewing could be targeted to several alternative employer groups, including those with interesting or innovative practices and those indicating they have partnerships with labor market intermediaries. Further data collection for employers with noteworthy practices would focus on the details of those practices. For interviews with establishments having relationships with intermediaries, the focus would be on the employment activities involved and the extent to which company employment functions have been outsourced to these labor market organizations.

The respondent for the core employer survey would probably be a person familiar with the establishment's recruitment and hiring process. The second interview should probably be conducted with a person who is familiar with post-hiring practices. This may or may not be the same person who responds to the core survey.

5.5.1 Comprehensive Interviews

For the comprehensive version of these interviews, a substantial fraction of the sample would be interviewed in person at the establishment site. This approach, which would entail semi-structured discussions with multiple respondents at each firm or organization, would provide in-depth information comparable to site visits done for case study research. Unlike most case studies, however, objective employer survey results could be used to identify the establishments with practices warranting study. In addition, geographic considerations could be used in the subsample selection process to contain costs (e.g., several establishments from each of several metropolitan areas could be chosen).

These in-depth interviews would permit a rich qualitative assessment of employer practices based on discussions with multiple respondents at each establishment. Based on the interviews, detailed descriptions of the practices would be provided in the project's final report.

The remaining follow-up interviews would be done by telephone, in most cases with a single respondent. Like the in-person interviewing, however, these telephone interviews could involve a substantial number of open-ended questions.

5.5.2 Basic Interviews

Conducting these follow-up interviews entirely by telephone would reduce costs substantially. The interviews would be done in the same manner as for the telephone interviews included in the comprehensive option. Most interviews would involve a single respondent.

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