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Are well groomed employees paid more?

Well Groomed | HR Solutions

We have all heard the age old theories about more attractive candidates are more likely to get jobs and promotions, but what about being well-groomed?

A study conducted by Chicago and California Universities has found that employees with a smart appearance receive more frequent pay rises.

The research, which followed the careers of 14,600 men and women over the course of 13 years, revealed that the individuals who made the effort to appear neat, tidy, and groomed, earned on average £11,000 a year more by the time they reached their late twenties, than those who did not.
During the course of the study, which was published in the Journal of Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, the participants were interviewed four times on a face-to-face basis. On each occasion, they were rated by the interviewers on their physical attractiveness as well as their standard of personal grooming.

The study found that, regardless of looks, education, family background, weight, or race, being well turned-out was the key factor in predicting a person’s salary. In fact, the participants deemed to be the best groomed earned around 70% more than those deemed to be the scruffiest – an average of £27,000 compared to £16,000.

According to the study: “Grooming – a social activity that requires attention to social cues, investment of resources and conformity to desired social identities – is the key that provides women access to the premia associated with attractiveness”.

“While good grooming is beneficial for men, it is imperative for women and allows them to access labour market rewards regardless of how physically attractive they are rated.”


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