It is a widely held belief that those who are attractive generally experience an
easier life; that the door to success is opened by perfect bone structure and a
sparkling white smile. However, this might not be the case. Attractiveness might
play a far lesser role in individual’s achieving their objectives than has
previously been thought. Is it possible that an individual’s qualifications may
have a greater influence regarding the perceptions of managers who question
the suitability of a candidate to fill the position of a Knowledge Worker?
The main purpose of this research was not only to identify the existence of the
so-called Beauty Premium in the Knowledge Economy but, to determine that if
it does indeed exist, how to explore the influence of this aspect regarding the
hiring decisions for which managers are responsible.
A two-phased experimental design was followed that investigated the existence
and strength of the Beauty Premium amongst a group of managers who were
provided with fictitious resumes coupled with photographs of the applicants.
These managers were requested to make a hiring decision based on the
information in front of them.
The results revealed the existence of a Beauty Premium but that is was
relatively weak and that the qualification of an individual had a far greater
influence on a manager’s perception of the suitability of a candidate to fill a
position of a Knowledge Worker.