Facing up to bias in healthcare: the influence of familiarity appearance on hiring decisions

Facing up to bias in healthcare: the influence of familiarity appearance on hiring decisions

Associations between facial appearance and hiring decisions are well-documented within job literature as a source of decision misjudgment with economic and human costs. Notwithstanding, this aspect is yet to be investigated in healthcare. We collected 90 pictures of new-graduates nurses faces to be judged on different facial appearance-based traits by an independent sample. Six months after graduation, the same new-graduates were interviewed about their job situation. Binomial logistic regression was conducted to examine whether facial appearance ratings would predict the probability to be hired as nurse. Results showed that applicants with a face conveying a feeling of familiarity were more likely to be hired. Considering that people might be inclined to these biases during societal crises and the exceptional need to quickly recruit health professionals during COVID-19 pandemic, our study recommends special attention to prevent the influence of facial appearance-based evaluations not reflecting real skills to limit potentially adverse consequences.

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Source: Online Library, Wiley

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