Role of Physical Attractiveness Stereotype in Hiring Process| P 88-94

Akila A and K. Jayanthi Rani
Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai


The aim of the study was to explore the role of physical attractiveness stereotype
in the hiring process. The study entailed having two phases. Phase I included 20 IT
professionals who viewed eight pictures – four pictures of male and four pictures of
female were generated using a computer according to the native cultural standards
of attractiveness. These professionals were selected using a snowball and purposive
sampling technique from different companies and were in the age range of 25-50 years.
The highest ranked pictures were considered the most attractive and the ones which
got the least rank were considered least attractive. Phase II of the study was conducted
among 30 HR managers aged 26-52 years who were selected using the same technique.
A self-constructed online form was used to measure the perceived characteristics in terms
of positive and negative traits possessed by the physically attractive and unattractive
men and women. The same four pictures were shown to the respondents and they were
asked whom they would select for the post of a marketing manager, considering that all
were equally competent. Results show that Physical Attractiveness Stereotype does play
a role in the hiring process. Positive characteristics are attributed highly to the physically
attractive candidate whereas for physically unattractive candidates, characteristics such
as sociability and reliability are considered to be low.
Keywords: Physical attractiveness stereotype, personality traits, hiring process

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