Private Employers and TANF Recipients. 5.7  Resources and Schedule


5.7.1 Comprehensive Survey Project

We estimate that a comprehensive survey of both employers and intermediaries would cost several million dollars. In addition to the comprehensive version of the core survey of employers, this project would include comprehensive follow-up interviews with employers and a comprehensive survey of intermediary organizations identified by employers in the core survey.

This project would include the following components:

  • Design. The core employer and intermediary survey instruments and the guides for the subsequent in-depth interviewing would involve extensive preparation.
  • Screener. Approximately 5,500 enterprises from the sample list would be screened by telephone to determine that they are eligible for the survey.
  • Core Employer Survey. Eligible enterprises would be interviewed by telephone. The employer sample would be 3,000 and the completion rate would be at least 70 percent.
  • Supplementary Interviews with Employers. On-site, in-person interviews would be conducted with 50 employers and telephone interviews would be administered to an additional 250 employers.
  • Intermediary Survey. Fifty labor market intermediaries identified by respondents to the core employer survey would be interviewed in person. An additional 250 interviews would be conducted by telephone.
  • Analysis. The analysis of the core employer survey data would include a comparison of results in Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, and Milwaukee with the results, from approximately 3-5 years earlier, for Holzer's four-city survey. The analysis of the on-site, in-depth interviewing results would allow detailed descriptions of employer and intermediary practices.
  • Report. A thorough report would describe the survey and its implementation and discuss the results of the analysis of survey data in detail, and its relation to the existing literature.

The entire project would take approximately two and one-half years. This includes a 2-month period for survey design, 5-6 months for the OMB clearance process and preparation for telephone interviewing, 5 months for administration of the core employer survey (including the screener), 6-9 months for administering the core intermediary survey and completing the in-depth interviewing with employers and intermediaries, and 5-6 months for the analysis and report preparation.

5.7.2 Other Options

Several alternative formulations of the project are available. One option is to restrict the project to a core survey of employers. The basic survey of employers only could be completed, for several thousand dollars, in less than a year's time. The comprehensive version of this survey, and accompanying analysis, could be completed for slightly over one million dollars. The cost of a survey with a sample size between 1,000 and 3,000  which could permit a moderate amount of subgroup analysis  would fall between these two cost estimates.

An alternative approach involves modifying the comprehensive survey project outlined in the last section to include a smaller number of on-site interviews. For example, by reducing this number from 50 to 25 for both the employer and intermediary interviews, the estimated cost of the project would be substantially reduced. This would also result in a modest reduction in the time needed to complete the project.

A third option involves administering a comprehensive core survey to employers and then conducting basic versions of the secondary employer interviews and intermediary survey. This approach retains the larger employer sample, the corresponding subgroup analysis of employer practices, and the additional data collection from intermediaries, but gives up the in-depth on-site interviewing and detailed qualitative assessment of practices that goes with it. The project would require slightly less than two years to complete and cost a few million dollars.


(22) As discussed below, the basic-option survey would be administered only to employers in the private sector. For the comprehensive option, however, public and nonprofit sector employers also would be included.

(23) The primary respondent for the core survey is expected to be someone familiar with the employer's recruitment and hiring process. As discussed in section 5.3, supplementary interviews might target additional respondents more familiar with other employment processes. Thus, if the supplementary interviews were done, the core survey might place a relatively greater emphasis on the recruitment and hiring questions in Exhibit 5.1.

(24) It is believed that establishments are the best primary sampling unit for this study, because many firms give considerable autonomy to their individual establishments, particularly in regard to hiring practices. However, for some firms, some or all employment practices are centrally managed.

(25) The InfoUSA database includes listings for for-profit, government/public sector, and non-profit employers.

(26) With a sample of 3,000 establishments, even if only 10 percent are aware of recruiting or hiring TANF recipients, we would be able to estimate the proportion of establishments who have TANF recruiting or hiring experience within plus or minus 1 percentage point at a 95 percent confidence level.

(27) With a subgroup sample of 500, we could estimate the percentage of establishments with TANF experience within 3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

(28) At least one "refusal conversion" attempt is an industry-standard practice when conducting telephone surveys.

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