Hiring of attractive women in media was to entice guests for shows/media bytes?
A tweet last week, which set me thinking.
Is it fair to blame the media? Which industry does not?
During my career across market research, hospitality, logistics, retail, this has been a common debate and action which led to HR being instructed to hire attractive women even at the cost of not being the best of the interviewees on that particular day.
Years ago, it was extremely difficult to even get women applying for a Sales Job and those who did were hired without too much of verification. Some turned out to be excellent, but most were whiling away time – earning a bit of pocket money, getting freedom from home.
Then it changed – well educated girls matched boys when it came to applying and getting jobs, companies became more relaxed, but the rule of hiring attractive women first seemed to continue.
And Yes we were all guilty and will continue to be guilty, because let any man claim that he would not like to work with – boss, peer, subordinate – who is attractive.
The problem is not hiring attractive women, but treating them with too much deference, leeway leading to an imbalance in the organisation and which gives rise to a lot of irrelevance and advantage being taken by both sides. This problem is more pronounced when recruitment is based on looks and not on competency as is the wont in many organisations.
Aviation, Hospitality, Retail, Events, PR, Media are some industries where being attractive is a big plus. All of them are customer facing jobs and the ratio of relevance increases accordingly.
Who would you prefer to sell you a perfume? or Greet you in flight or at the Hotel’s reception desk or call you for an event or follow up for brand or ask you questions on TV? An Attractive women, though in the current environment those trying to be politically correct would disagree.
And before women and feminists in particular jump up, the same is true of attractive men also; however the ratio is severely lop sided towards women.
Having recruited enough people to start a couple of agencies of my own, there are some aspects which gets factored in for recruiting attractive ladies.
Hiring for hospitality/courier company, it was my mandate that the ladies were finally selected after a telephone call made by them to HR which jumped at least 4-5 extensions after a personal interview. This was because their job was to speak to the customers on the phone and meet/greet when they walked in.
Hiring for a jewellery retail, the mandate covered nice – beautiful hands, neck, because that was the requirement of the job which was selling jewellery.
I am sure, some similar relevant points are also factored in whilst recruiting attractive women for media and other industries too.
Today, with the kind of personal products available, access to salons and spa, that the smart generation makes ample use of, you also see more attractive women overall.
But, does this mean that all attractive women are available or all men are leeches – NO.
But, hey this is twitter and it is ok to bash, act saintly or whatever.
At the end of the day, intent, approach, relevance is always critical. Yes there will always be exceptions but that happens everywhere and all the time.
(Disclaimer: I have worked with women bosses during 75% of my career and have always had 60% peer group)