It has long been assumed that when it comes to landing your dream job it pays to be good-looking and it turns out that may be true - if you're male.
The researchers sent more than 5000 CVs in pairs to more than 2500 advertised jobs. In each pair, one CV contained a picture of either an attractive male/female or a plain-looking male/female and the other, almost identical CV, was sent without a photo.
The findings? While attractive men boosted their response rate by attaching a photo to their CV, good-looking women were around 30% less likely to receive a response if they did so.
However, attractive women were not the only ones losing out. Applicants deemed unattractive by the researchers, regardless of gender, were less likely to receive a response if they attached a photo to their CV.
Although attaching photographs to CVs is fairly rare in the UK, this could have wider implications in our recruitment processes. Does the same bias against unattractive applicants and attractive females apply during interviews?
Unfortunately, this was not an area the research looked at but a post-experiment survey did reveal something that arguably could impact on the wider recruitment process.
Of 25 of the companies included in the original research, the person who screened candidates was female at 24 of them.
The researchers added: "Moreover, the women were young and typically single (67%), qualities more likely to be associated with a jealous response when confronted with a young, attractive competitor in the workplace."
Based on the issues raised in this research, I'm interested to find out XpertHR and Personnel Today readers' views on the following questions:
- Have you ever made a decision to hire based on looks?
- Do you think UK recruitment is bias against unattractive applicants and good-looking females?
- Are female recruiters really to blame?