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'Employers are more likely to hire people they fancy'

'Employers are more likely to hire people they fancy'

Posted on 19/03/2013 by Phil Hall

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Bosses would rather hire someone they find attractive and enjoy spending time with than the perfectly-qualified candidate, it has been claimed.

Women in the workplace have fought a long battle to prove their skills, experience and CV are the only keys to their success.

But their efforts may have been in vain, as a study find good looks, a winning smile and a little gentle flirtation may be the key to securing a job after all.

Bosses would rather hire someone they find attractive and enjoy spending time with than the perfectly-qualified candidate, it has been claimed.

They would rather employ someone “who will be their friend or maybe even their romantic partner”, with whom they feel a “spark”, researchers have suggested.

A study, conducted by American sociologists, has found interviewers at banking, law and management consultancy firms consistently prefer applicants they “feel good around”.

More than half of employers claim attractiveness, the right social background and how candidates spend their leisure time are the most important considerations when hiring, it is claimed.

Dr Lauren Rivera, from Northwestern University in the United States, found interviewers often put their personal feelings of comfort, acceptance and excitement first.

Half of those studied ranked “cultural fit” as the most important criterion at job interview stage, meaning they were more likely to hire someone with the same “leisure pursuits, background and self-presentation” as current staff.

“Of course employers are looking for people who have the baseline of skills to effectively do the job,” she said.

“But, beyond that, employers really want people who they will bond with, who they will feel good around, who will be their friend and maybe even their romantic partner.

“As a result, employers don’t necessarily hire the most skilled candidates.”

The study, based on 120 interviews and published in the American Sociological Review, is the first investigation of its kind into whether shared culture between employers and job candidates matters.

Dr Rivera said: “It is important to note this does not mean employers are hiring unqualified people.

“Given less affluent students are more likely to believe achievement in the classroom rather than on the field or in the concert hall matters most for future success and focus their energies accordingly, the types of cultural similarities valued in elite firms’ hiring processes has the potential to create inequalities in access to elite jobs based on parental socioeconomic status.”

By Hannah Furness http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/9710004/Bosses-more-likely-to-hire-someone-they-fancy-study-finds.html