Do looks matter in recruitment?
Image via Wikipedia
I posted last year about a Kent University study revealing the ideal looks apparently associated with good management. Research has often shown that there is a halo effect associated with looks, with good looking people often regarded as being good at things that have little to do with their looks, such as job performance.
So it was interesting to read a new study into how your looks work in recruitment situations. It was conducted by German psychologist Maria Agthe. She investigated how people reacted to an application based upon the attractiveness of the photo attached to the application.
Interestingly it differs based upon the sex of the person making the decision. It seems that if the recruiter is of the opposite sex then the prettier applicants get rated higher than the plain ones.
If the recruiter was rating an applicant of the same sex however, the prettier they were the less likely they were to be considered for the job.
Here is where the experiment got really interesting though. Agthe also found that the attractiveness of the recruiter played a part in things. If the recruiter was attractive themselves then they were generally unmoved by the physical appearance of the applicant. Plain looking recruiters however were more likely to mark down attractive applicants - with this trait applying to both sexes.
Agthe suggested this was down to the fact that people implicitely believe that good looking people get the breaks in life and so plain looking people try to minimise the advantage of the beautiful.
All interesting stuff. You can read the full study here.
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