Do good looking people have an unfair advantage in the workplace?
According to studies conducted by Mobius and Rosenblat (2003) attractive candidates are seen to be more productive in the workplace and would be rewarded for it by receiving higher remuneration than less attractive candidates who are just as qualified. The focus of this study revolves around suggestions that good looks play a major role in the workplace. In addition, Fryer and Kirby (2005) report that obese people earn less than people of average weight with the same set of skills. This study aims to determine the extent to which good looks play a role in recruitment in the workplace and assess the extent to which looks are important to young managers as opposed to older managers when recruiting employees. It also seeks to identify the extent to which looks play a role between male and female managers when recruiting staff and determine if and to what extent good looks give an interviewee an undue advantage. Lastly, it seeks to determine if and to what extent overweight candidates are discriminated against. The sample is segmented using both male and female managers in Durban as key respondents of the questionnaire. The research aims to determine if good looks play an important role in Durban, not only in recruitment in the workplace, but also in the workplace as a whole. Interesting conclusions were drawn. • 71% of the sample population agreed that good looks are based on one’s physical appearance. • 71% agreed that good looking managers have confidence in themselves. • 63% of respondents agree that managers are more tolerant of good looking people. The response overall proved to be that good looking people certainly do have anunfair advantage in the workplace.