STUDY: Being too handsome is not good for your career

If you didn’t get the promotion, don’t worry. You’re probably too handsome.

Here’s why…

A research conducted last year authored by professors from London Business School and University of Maryland concluded that very good looking men are less likely to be offered jobs because they intimidate bosses.

The researchers found that “men were hiring other men to work with them, decisions were negatively affected by the attractiveness of the candidate and the type of job .”

According to Professor Sun Young Lee, lead researcher at the University of Maryland, “While bosses and colleagues who expect to co-operate may find good-looking male candidates helpful to their self-interests, those who expect competition may view them as strong competitors and thus threatening.

Sun Young Lee
Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour
UCL School of Management

Managers are affected by stereotypes and make hiring decisions to serve their own self-interests so organisations may not get the most competent candidates”

Published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes examined the impact of job candidates’ physical attractiveness and decision-makers’ self-interests in selection choices. The research was motivated by the following observations:

  • Our judgements of other people are often affected by stereotypical knowledge associated with them, such as gender or physical appearance, particularly when more objective information about these individuals is limited.
  • Employees may sometimes be put in situations in which their own self-interests go against that of the organisation they belong to. For example, recruiting a competent-looking candidate may threaten some existing employees while benefiting the company.

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