Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Job Vacancy: Only the beautiful need apply . . .

Cornell University’s Department of Study into the Blindingly Obvious has just published a report indicating that in criminal trials, unattractive defendants are 22 percent more likely to be convicted than good-looking ones. Also, the unattractive also get slapped with harsher sentences – with an average of 22 months longer in prison.

Apparently (and I assume that someone must have funded such crucial research) some jurors make decisions rationally, based on facts and logic, while others reason emotionally, taking into consideration factors unrelated to the case - attractiveness being one of them.

CNS News: Blind Justice? Attractive Get Breaks with Juries

The good news for readers of HR Case Studies is that decisions based on subjective factors are never, ever made in HR.

Managers (whether HR Managers or otherwise) would never, for instance, allow Richard Gere to be recruited as a refuse operative in preference to the much better qualified Albert Steptoe, or Julianne Moore rather than the sabre-toothed tart that is Sybil Fawlty to be engaged as a hotel receptionist.

Would we?


  1. You play with us Mr Salisbury – and I like it!!!!!

    Attractiveness, I am sure, can be a blessing and a curse.

    Not sure whether this works for boys but I do think that the sabre-toothed tart may well be recruited by a female in preference to anyone of the same gender that is likely to attract the attention of the guys!!

    Similarly, given the choice of two equally qualified candidates, would I go for the ordinary guy or the guy who makes me go weak at the knees when he looks at me with his gorgeous brown eyes? Head says go for the ordinary, heart says go with the eyes and blow the consequences!!!!

    We are only human after all!


  2. A long time ago one of the American news groups did a hidden camera about attractive people and job placement. They either dolled up or down the applicants and - of course - made the less attractive people more qualified than the attractive. The unattractive interviews never got a call back, the attractive ones did!

  3. It's interesting to note that auditions for certain internationally-renowned symphony orchestras frequently involve "blind auditions" where the musician is required to play behind a screen, thus (it is thought) removing the possibility of the decision being made on the basis of what the candidate looks like.

    But how about this casuistry from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra:

    "The Philharmonic's auditions are held in three rounds. In the first two the musician plays behind a screen, but in the third it is removed. This allows the physiognomy of the applicant to be evaluated to make sure it matches the orchestra's ideology that gender and ethnic uniformity give it aesthetic superiority."

    That's OK then!