Ugly People Earn Less


Daniel S. Hamermesh is a labor economist and has a new book out called Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful. I wish some publicist would send me this book instead of an awful book about leadership. This looks far more compelling.

I read an interview with Professor Hamermesh in Time Magazine. The difference in earnings between a normal looking bloke and an attractive worker over a lifetime of employment is $230,000. And according to a Korean study, plastic surgery doesn’t really help. It just makes you look like a weird version of yourself and pays back less than $1 for every dollar invested.

Ugly people are screwed.

Except HR professionals know that we could absolutely automate our hiring process, kill behavior-based interviewing, and hire for competency. Then we could do the hard work of defining and measuring performance via algorithms and automate the annual increase/bonus process.

But the pretty people won’t let us. They want us to use our ‘gut’ and flex our bias against ourselves so that they benefit and earn more money.

Okay, maybe not.

But if HR oversees a system that adversely impacts ugly people, we can fix this. Affirmative action for the butterfaces?

You tell me.

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