We’re all familiar with the wardrobe panic that occurs the night before a job interview but how severely do hiring managers actually factor our appearance into their decision?
Sadly, a new survey conducted by One-poll and- commissioned by Greene King of 1,000 recruiters and executives suggests the degree might be higher than previously assumed. Fifty-one percent of all the respondents surveyed confessed to knowingly discriminating against an employee on the basis of appearance alone. For the largest majority (43%), visible tattoos drastically reduced a candidate’s hire-ability.
Forty-percent of participants were adversely influenced by an applicant’s choice of clothing and the remaining reported the same but about hairstyle and or color.
An additional half of the study pool even conceded that physical appearance was hard to dismiss when a candidate appeared to be otherwise capable of the position at hand.
Dress to impress
“Employers should be open-minded and hire people based on potential, rather than just appearance,” commented Greene Kine HR director Andrew Bush in a press statement.
“Unfortunately, our research shows many businesses still judge a book by its cover – which means those talented, intelligent and experienced applicants could be overlooked because they don’t conventionally ‘look the part’. Having a tattoo, or a piercing doesn’t mean you are unable to do a job efficiently. Employers could be discriminating against potentially brilliant candidates.”
There were other factors that dictated the degree to which optics impacted a hiring manager’s decision to confirm a followup interview. For instance, 57% were much less distracted by visible piercings and tattoos if the applicant was under the age of 24. This was determined to be true of slovenliness as well within reason. Respondents seemed to be grading Generation Z applicants on a curve.
All in all, piercings accounted for about 30% of the negative impressions expressed by the hiring managers surveyed in One Poll’s new study. A quarter of the respondents were more lenient about any of the accessories mentioned above if the candidate exhibited a general competent vibe. This blanket condition extended into other areas as well.
More than 20% of the participants said that they would not hire a candidate with a disability. Thirty-eight percent of participants refused to take an interview from a high school dropout on principle, 30% more often than not turned down applicants who dropped out of college and 25% won’t even consider a candidate who never attended a university at all.
A disappointing 37% admitted to being ambivalent about taking on an applicant after being alerted to said applicant’s lowly social class. Twenty-one percent said they would not hire a candidate with a criminal record under any circumstance.
Having said that, 90% of all the recruiters surveyed said the appearance of professionalism carried a lot of weight when deliberating on individual liabilities and assets. Even still, 85% of the employers polled feel that they are just and open-minded during the recruitment process.