The influence of age and trait attributions on recruitment selection

Badger, J.R., Thomson, K.V.G., Senior, C. and Butler, M.J.R. (2006). The influence of age and trait attributions on recruitment selection. IN: 2006 Student Members Group Annual Conference. 2006-03-31.


The role of interpersonal attraction into the recruitment selection is gaining research attention. Early work in the domain of the influence of attraction in organisations suggested that men are given more resources, such as higher salaries and promotions. However, recent research has found women have an automatic in-group bias. It was suggested that female interviewers are more likely to hire another female. In contrast, male interviewers were found to be equally as likely to hire men as women. To resolve these two conflicting findings a behavioural experiment was set up looking at gender, attractiveness and recruitment selection. Forty participants, twenty male and twenty female, of varying ages (18-65) were recruited through age stratified sampling. Participants took on the role of manager of a medium sized company and were shown twenty photographs of faces previously rated for attractiveness. On initial viewing participants were asked to decide whether they would firstly hire the person and secondly give as many reasons for their decision. Findings from this research show that in all age groups male and female participants gave females (especially attractive females) more jobs, except in the case of the 18-21 year old females who gave attractive males more jobs. On examining the reasons behind the participant’s decisions, it was evident that if you appeared confident, friendly, youthful and attractive you were 46% more likely to receive the job. However, if you were perceived to be untrustworthy, lazy, arrogant and unintelligent you were 49% more likely not to receive the job. These findings shed light on the various processes that may underpin human resource decisions in an organisational setting.

Divisions: Life & Health Sciences > Psychology
Life & Health Sciences
Life & Health Sciences > Neurosciences research group
Aston Business School > Work & organisational psychology research group
Aston Business School > Work & organisational psychology
Event Title: 2006 Student Members Group Annual Conference
Event Type: Other
Event Dates: 2006-03-31
Published Date: 2006-05
Authors: Badger, J.R.
Thomson, K.V.G.
Senior, C.
Butler, M.J.R.


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