Hiring On The Basis Of Looks Problem Essay

Length: 5 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Careers Type: Essay Paper: #26115741 Related Topics: Human Trafficking, Age Discrimination, Discrimination, Everyday Use
Excerpt from Essay :

Hiring on the Basis of Looks

Problem Identification:

Abercrombie & Fitch came under attack when it was found that many young good looking people were being offered jobs on the basis of their looks. When the issue came to light, other complaints also surfaced where people from Filipino and African-American backgrounds complained of having been rejected by the company because of their race. This gave rise to much outcry from the public and A&F confessed that this has been company policy to offer jobs to good looking people to improve sales.

Hiring practices have often come under fire due to discriminatory policies. However while sex, gender and race-based policies often lead to discrimination charges, people have yet to become more aware of hiring practices that focus too heavily on external appearance and looks. This raises a fundamental question: is hiring on the basis of looks unfair, illegal or even discriminatory?

It is easy to see that employing someone purely on the basis of looks is discrimination against otherwise average looking people. However the question cannot have a simple yes or no answer due to variety of complexities involved. When Abercrombie and Fitch came under attack for hiring practices that seemed to exclude average looking people, it also triggered a debate regarding discrimination that exists on basis on someone's looks.

"According to an attractive young woman a student at Northwestern University the same thing happens to her every time she goes shopping at Abercrombie and Fitch. On at least three occasions, store managers have approached her and offered her a job…Elizabeth looks like she belongs to an A&F catalog." (Carroll, p.937)

It is clearly unfair to most but almost everyone knows that it exists. In many professions, people are hired for their looks and it is highly acceptable. But generally for all other occupations, hiring on the basis of appearance is considered highly unfair. "Most of us would be willing to concede that, in some occupations,...


For example it seems reasonable that the Charles Stern Agency of Los Angeles would insist (as they do) that the men they hire for television commercials be over six feet, athletic looking and weigh 150-170 pounds….for most occupations, however, it seems unfair for employers to discriminate. Generally there is not an obvious link between good looks and competence." (Hatfield, p. 55)

When discussing the issue of hiring on the basis of looks, one may wonder why this has not been debated as seriously as it should have. Over the decades, it has received lesser attention than other discrimination issues. One reason for this is the embarrassment and humiliation attached to being rejected on the basis on looks as William Rasberry observed in his Washington Post article. His observation was presented in Time magazine in these words:

"According to Rasberry, discrimination against ugly women ("there's no nice way to say it") is the most persistent and pervasive form of employment discrimination. Men, he argues face no bias except in the movies and in politics. Rasberry's sympathies lie not with the "mere plain Janes, who can help themselves with a bit of pain and padding" but the losers, the real dogs who supposedly would be working full-time of their features were more regular. Such discrimination, he insists, is all the more insidious because no one will admit that it exists. No personnel officer in his right mind will tell a woman, "sorry lady but you need a nose job and your lips don't match." And a woman so insulted would not be likely to publicize it." (p. 8)

All employers fully understand that there is no link between good looks and competence but they still might unconsciously favor better looking candidates especially where public dealing is involved. "The employer may know there is no real difference in competence between an attractive and an unattractive employee, but there may be difference in how they are received by the public or by clients that could mean a difference in profit." (p. 8)

While there is no connection between how qualified a candidate appears and how he/she looks, it is found that many employers tend to discriminate unconsciously as they look for people just like themselves. "Despite frequent disclaimers, many tend to hire on the basis of superficial first impressions involving appearance, clothes, height or personal chemistry. They look for…

Sources Used in Documents:


1. Hatfield, Elaine. (!986) Mirror, Mirror: The Importance of Looks in Everyday Life (Suny Series in Sexual Behavior) State University of New York Press

2. Carroll, Archie B. (2008) Business and Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management. South-Western College Pub; 7 edition

3. Rockman, Milton. (1982) Know How to interview for a Job. Wisconsin State Journal.

Cite this Document:

"Hiring On The Basis Of Looks Problem" (2011, April 02) Retrieved September 25, 2021, from

"Hiring On The Basis Of Looks Problem" 02 April 2011. Web.25 September. 2021. <

"Hiring On The Basis Of Looks Problem", 02 April 2011, Accessed.25 September. 2021,

Purpose of Paperdue.com

The documents we provide are to be used as a sample, template, outline, guideline in helping you write your own paper, not to be used for academic credit. All users must abide by our "Student Honor Code" or you will be restricted access to our website.

Related Documents
Hiring on the Basis of
Words: 710 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Careers Paper #: 65261308

For this reason, I will also be speaking to about 15 -- 30 random job seekers who might have something valuable to add on the subject. I will use the following methods for secondary and primary data collection: Secondary Research Print and electronic articles from reliable sources. Primary Research 1. Fifteen interviews that we will conduct randomly. Though population will be selected randomly, the questions will be fixed and pre-designed for everyone. The subjects for

Problem Solving on a Regular Basis, Humans
Words: 930 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Government Paper #: 51252290

Problem Solving On a regular basis, humans must solve problems or issues. This has been true for millennia, from the time in which we were hunter-gatherers to now having a myriad of choices in almost every single moment of our lives. We must choose clothing, colors, styles, entertainment, meals, and time schedules, almost down to the minutiae. Because we are now confronted with so many decisions, these decisions often bleed off

Hiring or Non-Hiring of Older
Words: 2122 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Careers Paper #: 98419880

Also, since the survey is given by an outside agency and not the organization that the individual works for there is no worry on the participants part that anyone in his organization will have access to his responses. This reduces the fear of any possible retaliation if some of the responses are not favorable for the respondent's organization Another reason why this method is appropriate is the reduction in peer

Problem Solving Systems Thinking, Technology, and Organizational
Words: 10189 Length: 37 Pages Topic: Business - Management Paper #: 75128438

Problem Solving Systems Thinking, Technology, and Organizational Change Models of Problem Solving Different Approaches to Problem Solving Brainstorming Risk Assessment Flow Charts Mind Mapping Identification of Complex Problem Analyzing the Problem Identification of a Range of Potential Solutions Constraints Evaluation of Potential Solutions Phase IV Evaluating Progress Implementation Process Risk Assessment Accelerating Change Formative and Summative Evaluation Values and Ethical Issues Values Corporate Responsibility and Ethics Thinking and Decision Making Strategies Problem Solving Process Complex Problem Solving This section of the paper is focusing on the introduction of complex problem solving, which reflects the

Hiring People
Words: 2597 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Business - Management Paper #: 73630631

growing imperative to be globally competitive as well as the increasing sophistication of customer needs, organizations must hire the highest quality employees. Unfortunately, however, many companies do not have an effective hiring system in place. Since the hiring process has been such a fundamental part of an organization's human resources ongoing responsibility for such a long time, it is often taken for granted and not reviewed and critiqued on

Social Problem Discrimination Over Sexual Orientation in the U.S....
Words: 3889 Length: 12 Pages Topic: Sociology Paper #: 19443631

Sexual Orientation Discrimination Discrimination can be carried out in the work place through many different ways. Federal and state laws go on to prohibit employers from carrying out unfair practices like hiring or terminating on the basis of religion, race, sex, national origin, physical disability or origin. All these are factors about a person that can be used either in his favor or against him. Some states have also declared employment