The first time I wrote that in a post, it was 2012 with a post called, “Hire More Beautiful People!“. In 2014, it was, “Do Managers Have a Bias for Hiring Attractive People!” (Spoiler Alert – Yes!) In 2016, I doubled down as the science continued to tell us, pretty people, make the best employees with, “Pretty People Make the Best Employees!” In 2018, it was “The One Big Problem with Being Pretty!”
All of them pre-Internet outrage wars. So, the fall out was minimal. A few ruffled feathers from some ugly folks, but all in all, people believe science! That’s hard for the extra-libs! They want to kill Trump for not believing science, but then it’s hard for them to kill me when I’m using science.
So, here we are in 2019, the height of #outrage culture and Business Insider feed my obsession to write about the Attractiveness Bias in hiring with, “11 Scientific Reasons Why Attractive People Are More Successful in Life!” I love science!
I think I write about our need to hire attractive people so much because it’s right there in our face and yet no one wants to admit to it! You see, I was raised a red-headed stepchild. I know what it’s like to not be attractive and lose out in life to some idiot who looks like Brad Pitt. To me, it might be the biggest travesty of our time!
So, what does “science” tell us about being attractive (remember – this is science, it’s not me!):
- Physically attractive workers are considered more able employees.
- Physically attractive workers are more confident.
- Physically attractive workers have better social skills.
- Attractive people are more likely to get elected to public office.
- Women who wear makeup appear more confident and trustworthy.
- Attractive people get called back to job interviews more often.
- Attractive women have a stronger advantage when negotiating with men.
- Good looking CEOs bring better returns to their companies.
- Attractive teachers can better teach students in high school and college.
- Attractive women get better grades.
Since I’ve been writing about this concept of “Hiring Pretty” I haven’t really changed my position. When in doubt, hire an attractive one!
It’s a bit fascinating to me that there is so much research about this topic. But, like me, I think dorky smart people, who most of us wouldn’t consider attractive, are trying to prove all of this wrong, but we can’t! Those damn pretty people still keep coming out on top! It’s like they have pretty privilege.
There is one giant reason most people don’t get upset by this concept of “hire pretty”. For the most part, we all think we’re fairly attractive! Not all the time, but at our best, when our game is flowing great, we look in the mirror and go “yeah, I’d hit that!” Come on! Be honest! You believe that!
I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a hotel room getting ready to go down and speak and look in the mirror and think, “yep, they’re about to get destroyed by you, beautiful bastard!” Then, sixty minutes later, I see pictures of myself on social media and I look like a troll! A f@cking TROLL!
Every time I’ve ever struggled with getting a hiring manager to actually make a decision to hire, and they just won’t, I know the problem. I haven’t given them someone pretty enough to hire! Once I find an attractive candidate, they always pull the trigger and make the hire. It’s science, we can’t stop it.
So, kill me in the comments. I’m just sharing our reality that we continue to ignore. We love to hire pretty!
I’ve known this is true forever but nobody says it. Hardwired bias. Wish it wasn’t true because I’d love to stop wasting my money, time, and brain space on preventing wrinkles and sexist BS like that, but we live in a society. If it wasn’t important nobody would be doing it.
Interesting with zoom though, considering all the filters that can be used to make you (or your environment) prettier. Someday I’ll land my dream job and I’ll be free to gradually get uglier and uglier but by then I’ll be indispensable 🙂
Oh, heavens. The reaction to this should give you enough column material for months.
Tim – While beauty may only be skin deep, ugly goes clear down to the bone, and while science is not always pretty, your article clearly states the ugly truth!