Is judgement by appearance exclusive to social media recruitment?
Or is it rife in all parts of the recruitment process?
Isn’t it human nature to look at something and make a snap decision based on how it makes us feel?
For example, I recently considered walking into a shop but the group of men standing outside made me wary and instead I moved on. Their appearance made me feel uncomfortable. I reacted on instinct. It even surprised me as I am far from shy.
After the following Twitter exchange, sparked by my blog The Facebook Social Recruiting Dilemma, and seeing the cartoon above, this post was inspired.
I think Facebook is a brilliant addition to your social recruiting. In training though, I always warn that photos can be deceptive. Mine suggest that I am dog obsessed and guzzle red wine by the gallon because I am often snapped when I am out, red wine in hand. In reality though, I rarely drink these days …but I am dog obsessed 😉
Is judgement by appearance exclusive to Facebook?
In my experience definitely not. I regularly see the reaction of my trainees to LinkedIn profile pictures, photos that appear on the ‘professional’ social network.
It’s involuntary but it’s there and it’s definitely not because they’re being ageist! It’s about posture, angle of shot, expression in the eyes and so on. Or it’s over daft things like a profile picture where they are wearing sunglasses inside the house or selfies, especially when they include a view down their top.
Heading to Twitter, judgements are soon made based on the content of tweets that they see… and Twitter users know that the site is public.
And are job seekers really powerless? Surely they’re in control of their social accounts and capable of giving them an audit?
Even while writing this more advice appeared online from my new follower – note number 5!
— Julia Penny (@JobWinningTips) January 5, 2015
Is judgement by appearance exclusive to the social media part of recruitment?
Don’t we judge appearance at interview? If not why did this happen as I began typing my query into Google? (I even cleared my browser history to be sure!)
Attire, posture, handshake, smile and so on are all assessed. Isn’t this part of the selection process?
I’m in no way saying we should judge someone by their appearance, I’m just asking the question, isn’t it simply a fact of life? From the subconscious? An age old instinct?
Hey, I’m no expert and (probably) worse, I am one of those highly intuitive people who ‘just knows’ if someone is right for a role… and that’s probably worse than judgement by appearance.
The fact is, it’s 2015 and social media has infiltrated every part of our lives.
Facebook turns 11 in February, LinkedIn is 12.5 and Twitter is 9 in March, and these top 3 sites are where job seekers AND recruiters/HR/Hiring Managers will be seen.
You will be judged on how you choose to portray yourself online and on what you say.
This will work for you or against you.
P.S. For clarity…
I will never condone judgement that is based purely on appearance. The way I teach recruiting on Facebook & all social media, is about gaining access to new pools of talented people and attracting new people to your job opportunities, not about making superficial judgements from photos.
- Not All Discrimination Is Unfair
- Eliminating Bias in Recruitment
- Only Half A Minute For A First Impression