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Newsweek recently conducted two new polls amongst corporate hiring managers as well as a telephone survey of the national public in order to determine once and for all whether or not looks matter in the hiring process and at the workplace. The results, while perhaps reflective of what we’ve always secretly thought but hoped wasn’t true, are disturbing.
• 57% of managers believe an unattractive (but qualified) job candidate will have a harder time getting hired and 68% believe that once hired, looks will continue to affect the way mangers rate job performance
• 63% of the general public believed that being physically attractive is beneficial to men looking for work, and 72% said looks were advantageous for women searching for jobs
• When asked to rank nine characteristics in order of importance, looks ranked below experience and confidence, but above where candidates went to school and their sense of humor
• 61% of hiring managers surveyed (60% of whom were men) said a woman benefits from wearing clothes that show off her body at work, yet 47% said that women are penalized for being too good-looking at the office
• 2/3 of managers surveyed said other managers would hesitate before hiring an overweight – yet qualified- job candidate and 84% said other managers would hesitate before hiring a qualified but significantly older-looking candidate.
• 64% of hiring managers said looks should be a factor in the hiring process and yet 60% of the same managers said that they believed most Americans would support a law against discrimination based on looks in the hiring process