The biasness inherent in hiring managers

Given the difficulty of learning from experience, recruiters may be unaware of the factors affecting their perceptions of job applicants’ suitability. In one experiment, participants viewed videotaped job interviews. Unbeknownst to them, professional actors wore special prostheses to play overweight job candidates in the experimental condition and then played themselves— average-weight candidates—in the control condition. All the participants were presented with the same resumes and job descriptions. When participants viewed overweight job candidates, they made more negative inferences about them (r = – .45) and reported they would be less willing to hire them (r = – .59) (Pingitore et al. 1994). Studies on the beauty premium also show evidence of such bias. One study concluded that workers who ranked in the lowest 9 percent in terms of looks earned between 7 and 9 percent less than average, whereas workers who ranked in the top third earned 5 percent more than the average (Hamermesh and Biddle 1994)… In interviews, irrelevant factors (e.g., height, body build, gender, accent, and looks) often dominate relevant factors.

Jacquart and Armstrong, 2013


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