Define “beautyism” and its potential discriminatory effects on hiring in the workplace.
“Beautyism” is giving a person preference or hiring someone due to their outward beauty. Some research has suggested that people who are outwardly beautiful get hired faster, get paid more, and receive better treatment in life in general, becoming more successful than others. While this may be true to an extent, I do believe that the opposite is also true, attractive people are over-looked due to their outward appearance and are taken less seriously even when qualified or more qualified than another candidate. This is not to mention that life brings challenges, hurts, and un-pleasantries, regardless of how a person looks. So we cannot be too quick to say that beautiful people have better lives.
In this case though, the issue is beautyism as a “free-pass” in a sense, or a way into a job position without the proper qualifications (or in spite of the proper qualifications). There has been some evidence that people who hire for job openings do give preference at times to people who are obviously physically attractive. Researchers have noted that “beautiful people” tend to charm interviewers with their looks and create a positive tone and impression based solely off of how they look.
Assess the Chair’s behavior from a human resource management perspective. I feel that if people try to regulate every detail of a hiring process, including the way people look, there will be even more discrimination. When an exceptionally beautiful or attractive candidate is interviewed, managers may feel pressure not to hire them just so there are no lies or tension in the workplace as to why that person was hired. In this case, though, it is not even evident that the Chair made an incorrect decision. Other department members should allow the Chair to do their job and trust that they have the proper qualifications to interview and choose quality candidates.
There are times when candidates are chosen without having all of the qualifications of another candidate. There are job openings available that specify that a certain degree is preferred but not required. The Chair was said to have “overlooked” a more qualified candidate, but that does not negate the fact that this interviewee may have also been qualified. A lot of times a degree or certain qualification sets are not the only thing being considered. A person who shows that they are able and willing to complete a job with a great attitude may win job offers faster than a very-highly qualified person who may be lacking in other areas.
Recommend the action that the hiring committee should take to handle the hiring decision. The hiring committee should do their best to work as a team and keep down conflict within the workplace. The Chair made a hiring decision and that decision should be upheld. Employees may feel that the Chair is easily swayed and become more involved in the hiring process than they are even supposed to be. What happens when someone is interviewed that a worker just doesn’t like from their outward appearance? Going to the chair to try to get a hiring decision overturned should not be a route taken too often by employees.
I feel that there is already enough “looks-discrimination” in the workplace. When a person enters a room to be interviewed they are being judged not only their answers but also how they look. Research shows that 74% of interviewers make hiring decisions within the first minutes of an interview. They judge looks by the person’s appearance, voice tone, handshake, and body-language. These are all surface characteristics… There is enough judgment in interviews, applicants should not have to be subjected to on-looking, non-involved employees’ judgments as well.
Discuss to what degree and why attractive candidates may be given unfair consideration during hiring processes. This question makes me wonder, honestly, if people would feel better if attractive women or men were interviewed through a wall or only via telephone. People come in all sizes and shapes, with different features and looks. Attractive people cannot help how they look and are often not even thinking about their looks when working or at an interview.
Believe it or not, a lot of times attractive people would like a little less attention based off looks when it is time to be professional. More often than not, other people are more hooked on the candidates looks than the candidate themselves are. I feel this is an extremely issue and hopefully no advancements will be made to try to control this… There is no way to tell what would begin happening in workplaces if employers try to control what they think others may be thinking about how a job applicant looks – this does not fit into professionalism.
Retrieved from: http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2010/05/18/pretty-girls-get-all-the-jobs/. 16 May 2012.
ERG Theory. Dictionary of human resource management (2001): 112. EBSCO MegaFILE. Retrieved viaWeb. 5 May 2011. Muller, M. (2009): The managers guide to HR: hiring, firing, & performance evaluations. New York, NY: AMACOM