Following in his belief that beautiful people need not mingle with the plain or homely, online entrepreneur Greg Hodge has launched a new job recruitment website that allows employers to choose from a pool of only good-looking candidates.
“Numerous studies have shown that consumers tend to respond more positively and are more receptive to attractive people,” the website claims. “An honest employer will tell you that it pays to hire good-looking staff,” Mr. Hodge said in a statement to Mashable. “Attractive people tend to make a better first impression on clients, win more business and earn more.”
If the premise of the site seems just plain offensive, there may be other, more concrete reasons why it’s a bad idea, too.
Though Hodge targets mainly employers in the sales and service industries, in many other industries, good looks seem instead to be a deterrent. In March of last year, researchers in Israel found that attractive women are less likely than unattractive ones to be called in for a job interview (the study was based on women who attach their headshot to their resume – a common practice in certain parts of the world).
And in North America, a study by the University of Colorado showed that in certain fields, including engineering, finance and construction, attractive women are more likely to be discriminated against because of their looks.
The practice may be legally problematic as well, a Toronto-based employment lawyer explains here.
On top of that, there’s the very public backlash these companies can face. In 2006 for example, Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries famously said “good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people.” After Mr. Jeffries repeated those comments in a recent interview, Abercrombie shares sold off sharply and sales slumped. The company was also widely criticized, with online petitions and campaigns launched to boycott Abercrombie clothing. American Apparel and certain restaurant chains have also received bad press after being accused of only hiring pretty people.
The available job listings are only accessible to members (which requires uploading a photo, then having members of the opposite sex “vote” on your attractiveness), so this reporter cannot attest to the quality or quantity of positions available.
Despite this, Mr. Hodge told Mashable he wants his site to be taken seriously. “This isn’t an invitation for crackpots to come and ogle our beautiful members,” he said.