Are Employers Concerned about the Employees' Look?


When we discuss about employee looks, it is quite general because it involves their mode of dressing, grooming, the physique, facial expressions and body language. Employers will always be concerned with the employees’ looks and appearances. This is because they will want their employees to always look presentable and pleasing especially to clients. Employers are always keen about the looks of an employee, right from interview stage.


The first impression created by an interviewee makes a potential employer to adjudge his her potential. For example, if an interviewee turns up for an interview in a smart formal suit then an employer will conclude that the potential employee is a keen and responsible person. The one who turns up for an interview inappropriately dressed and unkempt might suggest the opposite and may end up losing a job opportunity (Walsh 96).

It is also a health measure for everyone to keep him or herself neat and clean every time. Some jobs are sensitive because they require an employee meet certain requirements which involve the looks. Such jobs are those which aim to attract and retain customers. These are mostly the service oriented jobs. The specific employees offering the service should have certain looks which must always remain friendly to customers. These jobs include the cabin crew, modeling careers and other fields that which demand some specific physique from the employees.

Apart from being concerned about looks as a job requirement, an employer will consider how an employee dresses on a daily basis. This encompasses what an employee wears and how he or she wears it. In the corporate world, most employers prefer the employees to wear formal attire. Casual clothes are seen to make people appear less serious in their work.  Casual wear is often preferred during weekends or other non-working days. The employees are expected to wear the formal attire decently. As much as they look formal, they should not provoke any unnecessary reactions or feelings, especially from clients.

Indecent dressing has been known to provoke irritability amongst clients, sexual harassment from other employees as well as other negative treatment like hatred and non-response from both fellow employees and the immediate employers. These problems and others get employers concerned with how their employees look and dress. Some companies specifically design attires for their employees to make sure none of these maladies are encountered (Becker 56).

Will some employers hire a person based on the person’s good looks?

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 Some employers consider that appearance and looks when determining the member of staff to do a job. For example, a certain human resource manager of a bank confessed that some times back, to be in the customer service position, an employee had to be young, handsome or beautiful. He or she had to be also cheerful and jolly. This was a set concept to attract customers. The problem with this criterion is that it considered physical qualities at the expense of professional skills and experience.

An advertising firm will definitely discriminate when it comes to looks because of the nature of the business. If a company is selling out body products, they will have to hire to hire beautiful and handsome models to try and convince the potential consumers how good they will look after using those products. It is evident that an employer will have to hire prospective candidates depending on their looks (Mathis and Jackson 78).

On the other hand, some employers will not bother about their employees’ appearances because the job descriptions are not dependent on looks. This mostly applies in manual and technical jobs like engineering and construction. Such jobs require employees with technical proficiency, professional skills, and experience than just good looking individuals who do not meet job requirements. The only reason that would make an employer consider looks in this case is only when an employee’s looks will affect the position’s performance. This would be a rare case because most technical jobs do not directly deal with the customers. An energy company would not risk employing an electrical technician because he or she is looking good, yet the person does not have relevant knowledge and skills in electrical engineering.

Is this even a problem?

Employers hiring on the basis of looks have become a problem that in some cases had to be addressed legally. Employers have had to be part of legal suits because of being accused of discriminating employees because of looks. An employer recently swapped his employees’ positions to ensure that one of them was removed from the customer care desk. He gave a reason that the said attendant was turning the customers away from his business. His allegations were dismissed by a court and considered false as well as pejorative (Walsh 10).

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Some potential employees, who are more than capable to do the work they are professionals in, have lost good career opportunities since they were eliminated because of their looks and physical appearances. Others had visible birth defects or even disabled.  Opinions about looks and appearances vary with individual employers. One might be good looking to a potential employer but another employer would go further to consider academic merits, experience and personality. Therefore good looks should not surpass other determinants like an individual’s competence, professional skills and experience.  

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