You might think that handsome guy in the cubicle over from yours has all the advantages, but a recent study shows that being good looking may not be all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, being too handsome may be detrimental to your career. The study was carried out in the US and in the UK, and found that handsome men are much more likely to be viewed as a threat by their bosses, leading to them being less likely to receive positions of equal power.
Researchers at University College London’s School of Management and the University of Maryland carried out the study, which involved four separate experiments in four different offices. What they found was that when men hired other men, their decision was negatively affected by how attractive the candidate was and what type of job it was.
“Managers are affected by stereotypes and make hiring decisions to serve their own self-interests so organisations may not get the most competent candidates,” explained Sun Young Lee, a professor and lead researcher at the University of Maryland. “With more companies involving employees in recruitment processes, this important point needs attention. Awareness that hiring is affected by potential work relationships and stereotyping tendencies can help organisations improve their selection process.”
Oddly enough, the study also reports that a woman’s good looks had no bearing on their career progression. Evidently, men who are over hiring can look past a woman’s looks, but just can’t get over the idea that another man is better looking than they are. So if you were passed over for that last promotion or you didn’t get the job you really wanted, take it as a compliment. Evidently, you’re so good looking that your manager views you as a threat to their own success. Not that will ease the pain in your wallet.