Ugly people need not apply

Just when you thought the situation for job seekers couldn’t get any worse, a new wrinkle appears. It seems that, an online dating service, has decided to expand their services and offer what it thinks employers are clamoring for.

Beautiful employees. Not necessarily skilled or talented, just beautiful. Now I’m not saying that beautiful people can’t be or aren’t talented or skilled. Just look at that handsome mug at the top of my blog page! But seriously, since when did looks become a valid selection criteria? Here’s a link to an article about this new phenomenon:

It seems that there is an unspoken, anecdotal belief that companies hire on looks and prefer to hire people who are deemed beautiful by today’s standards. Now there may even be some truth to this but to come right out and say that you are providing businesses with a service by making it easier for them to hire so-called beautiful people to help their bottom line? Let’s not even get into the potential ADA implications, but can a company seriously defend their hiring practices by saying they hired the person they thought was hotter?

I hope you are as angered by this practice as I am. I’m not saying this doesn’t happen. It’s been happening since the first manager chased a secretary around a desk. But we don’t have to condone it. Personally, if I found that a company was using the BeautifulPeople jobs portal as their sole sourcing and recruiting pool, I’d think about taking my business elsewhere.

Comments? Responses? Pitchforks and burning torches? Let’s hear ’em!
Only the best,

9 thoughts on “Ugly people need not apply

  1. I vote for tarring and feathering, followed by pitchforks and torches.

    The first thing that came to mind, before I even finished reading the post, was a Twilight Zone episode named “Eye of the Beholder”.

    What is beauty? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

  2. By using “beauty” as a criterion for hiring, BeautifulPeople seems to be taking job searches to a new low. We all know that there may be appearance qualifications in certain fields or businesses. But that should be a limited factor in hiring. This is going too far. It’s offensive. After all, who’s to say who’s beautiful, anyway?

    • April, Are you as curious as I am to try to figure out which industries BP is targeting? Call me cynical but I bet they are high wealth investment companies. Jus’ sayin’…
      Thanks for your comment,

  3. I think there’s a natural tendency to (initially) judge people by appearance. I’m discounting of course, those that should be judged by appearance; pants drooping down, shirt not ironed etc. However, despite the many new norms at work, I have to believe this is a fringe element. How long will an HR manager stay around if work suffers because they hired Steve Reeves (remember the original Hercules?) or Sophia Loren (showing my age…)?

    • Excellent point Frank! I would hope that HR manager would be the first one ousted based on appearance! My concern, I guess, is there may some HR people who cave in to managers’ demands (think traders and hedge funds) to have some “eye candy” around the office for their high wealth clients. It seems that “courage” is becoming an even more essential characteristic for human resource professionals. Thanks for your comment, and yes I remember both the actors you mentioned! Ron

  4. It’s maddening and saddening, but not really news. In my business, we evaluate sales skills and customer service skills, using surrogates who pretend to be customers. Although it’s hard to quantify, we find that very attractive people tend to receive better service than the average looking customer. And in subjective ratings, attractive sales people are rated higher than average looking sales people – even when the objective scores measuring demonstrated behavior are equal.

    And alas, it’s probably no surprise that the differential is greater for women for men – meaning that a woman’s looks tend to count more than mens’.

    For at least ten years research has shown that attractive people are not only hired more easily, but are given higher performance ratings. And the bias starts early. According to research, good-looking kids get better grades and teachers tolerate mildly disruptive behavior more from cute kids than the not-so-cute.

    • Remarkable insights, thanks for sharing. Who knew that kids start to get conditioned to base opinions on appearance so early?

      I guess what BeautifulPeople is doing is not news, it’s just the hubris and their blatant approach that I find so galling. The founder of BP refers to their rejects as “the aesthetically challenged.” Really? If BP were staffing the Normandy invasion it would have been led by Errol Flynn instead of Eisenhower! And how might that have turned out?

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