Year after year, hundreds of fresh graduates and young jobseekers face the challenge of the job search. As the unemployment rate in the Philippines continues to rise and in a sea of competitive jobseekers, what does it take to stand out and get the job? Do good looks count during the job hunt?
This is the question posed by Vaseline Men in its new online campaign, #PogiMatters. The brand conducted a social experiment in which two applicants, having the same skills and credentials, get interviewed for the same job position by the same hiring officers.
The first applicant was smart but had less self-confidence, his dark, oily skin pockmarked by pimples. The second applicant, on the other hand, presented himself in a more confident manner, his handsome face and smooth, flawless and fair skin making an unforgettable impression on his interviewers.
Despite being equally competent, the “pogi” candidate got more favorable results than the less attractive one. The hiring officials get a big surprise when they find out that the two applicants they interviewed were actually the same man.
Look good, get hired?
According to a 2013 study in Italy, attractive people have a much easier time getting a job. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Messina, Università Politecnica Delle Marche, analyzed the impact of beauty on people’s chances of getting employed, stressing the first stage of the hiring process.
The researchers sent over 11,000 resumes to more than 1,500 employment advertisements across the country, keeping the content consistent but changing the first and last names, and using different headshots to test gender, ethnic and regional biases.
The average callback rate was 30% across all resumes sent out. Attractive women came in at 54%, while attractive men ranked at a staggering 47%. Unattractive Italian women received a 7% callback rate, while unattractive Italian men got a 26% call back rate. For non-Italian men and women, the callback rates were 13% and 12%, respectively.
The Vaseline Men online video sparked a debate among the online community. Some netizens expressed their support for the “honest” video, while others branded it “out of touch with reality.”
“We may not admit it, but the #PogiMatters video is true,” said marketing manager John Perez. “Some people think it’s shallow, but I have seen for myself how HR officers size you up at first sight. Someone who has the looks and the charisma definitely has an edge over unremarkable candidates, especially for jobs that require the candidate to deal with clients and close business deals. He represents your company after all.”
“There’s no use denying that good looks and an attractive appearance increase a person’s chances of getting hired,” said Farrah Concepcion, a flight attendant. “Especially in a job like mine, they’re part of the requirement. You have to be a certain height and weight, with a clear and fair skin. It’s not fair, but it’s reality.”
Some viewers expressed frustration at the video, saying that it is offensive and old-fashioned. “People today are much more open-minded than that,” said Rachel Gutierrez, an HR officer in a call center. “More than physical appearance, a candidate’s competence and eagerness to learn are what matters most to companies.”
Marlon Miranda, a graphic artist, agreed. “What use is a person who looks good? He has to have the talent and the drive. I don’t care if he has weird hair or ugly toes. All that matters to me is that he delivers good output.”
Does a well-groomed pogi look matter during a job search? Is looking good key to success? Join the debate and voice out your opinions online using the hashtag #PogiMatters. For more information, visit Facebook.com/VaselineMenPH and youtube.com/VaselineMenPH