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Do Pretty Women Have the Edge in Hiring? October 20, 2014

Posted by Darwin in Uncategorized.
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While most people assume that beautiful women have a leg up on the competition in terms of securing employment, sometimes they are actually at a disadvantage. More and more attractive women are complaining that they aren’t getting job offers and they are blaming their looks. Surprisingly, many of them are telling the truth. Plenty of attractive women are disliked and denied employment opportunities simply because of their beauty.

When hiring managers consider a beautiful woman for an open position, they commonly consider her to be an inferior applicant. In general, people equate female beauty with incompetence, shallowness and a general lack of authority. Many people think that pretty women should be relegated to being stay at home mothers, receptionists, file clerks, cashiers and other jobs that don’t require significant intelligence and responsibility. Unfortunately, people in power consider these “low authority” positions to be female oriented while considering managerial positions are typically thought of as male oriented roles.

Yet the question looms: What should women do about this discrimination? It’s awfully hard to prove that one’s good looks could prevent her from obtaining a managerial position, or any position. Oftentimes, people just assume that women with beauty are given priority for jobs because they provide “eye candy” for the men in the office. Pretty women might be best served by openly acknowledging the fact that they are attractive. Simply mentioning that they don’t look like the typical manager, executive or supervisor might be enough to persuade a hiring manager to give them adequate consideration. This might sound odd but it is a fact of human nature. When a beautiful woman alludes to her beauty and her gender, an employer is more likely to hire her. This is due to the fact that the majority of people have an unconscious bias against the intelligence and aptitude of beautiful women. When this bias is subtly brought to light without an offending statement, it tends to fade away.

Hiring managers must acknowledge the fact that they might have this unconscious bias against attractive women. We’ve been socialized to think that pretty women are incapable of handling a demanding position that requires intelligence, authority and skill. Instead of judging applicants on their looks, hiring managers should make use of advanced technologies to pinpoint applicants with the best skill set, experience and potential.

One such high tech tool at employers’ disposal is the applicant tracking system (ATS). ATS empowers hiring managers to sift through an avalanche of prospects with ease. This software program can be set up to search for specific experience levels, college degrees, skills and other key words so that hiring managers don’t have to spend significant time and energy to find the diamonds in the rough. ATS will identify the employees that can benefit the organization and it can even list job openings on the Internet and generate a list of qualified candidates from those that respond. It’s the perfect tool for a hiring manager who wants to converse time and effort when searching for his company’s next super star.


How To Prevent Hiring Discrimination at Your Company October 6, 2014

Posted by Darwin in Uncategorized.
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When you’re hiring someone new, how do you choose the right person for the job? Do you look at what is on paper or do you rely on gut feelings as well? Employers use a variety of factors to decide who is right for the job, but for most, the bottom line is how they feel about the person. But that can cause serious problems down the road if you do what most people do unconsciously – hire someone that looks and acts like them.

The Problem: Human Beings Are Inherently Biased

When an interviewer meets with an interviewee, they often have the subconscious habit of “look-like-me/act-like-me” hiring. That means that when faced with basically equal candidates, they will unconsciously choose based on race, gender or possibly economic status. They aren’t being prejudiced on purpose – it is just how the human brain is wired.

Is The Answer Big Data and Modern Computing?

It is a simple enough equation. If you want to stay as unbiased as possible, you should look at the facts objectively. Just like a computer. In fact, that is what is happening in many companies, where data mining can lead to a completely objective decision about who to hire. Many are hoping that this will lead to a more diverse workforce where a minority has exactly the same chance as a non-minority to get hired.

But big data at work has some risks. The White House and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have both expressed concerns over how the data will be used and whether it would allow companies to discriminate against minorities and those with a lower socio-economic status. The FTC is calling it “discrimination by algorithm.” so the right application is essential.

Recruitment data mining and use doesn’t have to be difficult. One of the most promising apps that can make using data for H.R. an easy and effective task is called the Applicant Tracking System or ATS, a fully equipped software solution for recruiting that not only collects data from prospective job applicants, but then organizes and analyzes the data collected so that a hiring decision can be reached. In this way, all candidates are evaluated equally and a recruiter or employer can see the big picture.

There will never be a replacement for the “gut feeling” in hiring practices, and there shouldn’t be, as it is one of the most effective tools for judging someone. But it shouldn’t be your only hiring standard, and you should look at the data to ensure that you aren’t making a serious error that could cost you down the road.