Hiring is largely based on set criteria (job specifics or requisites) that are purportedly objective. However, the process can be largely subjective. “Hire someone we would like; someone agreeable and would be easy to work with.” This is what hiring managers mean when they say “Find me the best qualified candidates”. The looks and personality, on top of the basic skills and experience, can tilt the balance toward a hire decision. In some cases, how a candidate looks even becomes the basis of whether to look further at a candidate’s qualifications or not.
You see, an organization, much like an organism, repels an entity that will not match its DNA. Personality traits and characteristics, including looks, could be a deal breaker. It is not that companies discriminate only by the candidates’ looks, although it would seem likely so. It is because organizations are designed and structured to operate a certain way. The way it functions sets a unique culture.
Understanding that each individual contributes to the structure of its DNA, an organization cannot afford to morph into an unknown entity by letting in a different gene in its midst. It is protecting itself and its controlled existence. It is not capable to adapt to an unknown behavioural dynamics that might influence the way products are delivered and service rendered. At the end of the day, companies look after the bottomline results and the predictability of its delivery. A change in the DNA of the organization threatens this predictable result.
How would it serve the workplace to hire ingenuity and take some innovative risks to allow the unknown define the fabric of an organization’s future?
As a candidate, how could you present yourself as someone able to fit the mold yet progressive enough to help build a stronger organization through diversity?