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Some Hiring Managers Rate the Attractiveness of Your Spouse...

As a candidate, you know that people considering you for employment judge you on everything, right? Clothes.  Your Car.  How you talk.  Whether your spouse is smoking hot.

Hold up, what was that last one? Trophy-wife

Your spouse - he or she needs to be smoking hot - you didn't get the memo?  

I made it gender neutral becuase I'm a long term HR guy and that's how I roll.  But let's face it, men are pigs.  So it stands to reason that men, not women, would be the ones to judge the ultimate accessory held by a candidate - the wife.  Don't believe me?  Here's the rundown from Coachingsearch.com (hat tip to a blogging friend who doesn't want his name on this), which covers comments made by the Vanderbilt head football coach on the topic:

"Breaking: Do not apply for a job on James Franklin's staff if your wife is not a smoke show.

While in Destin on Wednesday afternoon, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin told Clay Travis on 104.5 The Zone that he evaluates the appearance of coaches' wives during the interview process.

Franklin, in a relaxed mood near the beach, explained, "I've been saying it for a long time, I will not hire an assistant until I see his wife.  If she looks the part and she's a D1 recruit, then you got a chance to get hired. That's part of the deal.  There's a very strong correlation between having the confidence, going up and talking to a women (sic), and being quick on your feet and having some personality and confidence and being articulate and confident, than it is walking into a high school and recruiting a kid and selling him."

Does this apply to more than football?  Probably.  The general rule of thumb is that the spouse starts becoming a factor once you start getting into leadership positions, especially with smaller companies where great sacrifices might be required on the part of families - that's when the hiring executive wants to meet Mrs. Candidate, more often than not to guage whether she'll be supportive of the sacrifices required, and also to sell her in to the promise of the role, etc.  So it stands to reason that a high attractiveness level might be a plus in that situation, if not a requirement via the progressive views of James Franklin.

Women - does this ever hold true for the male spouse of a key female candidate?  That would explain my wife's amazing career success before she opted out of the game.  I'm just sayin...



Great post, Kris. Reminds me of the scene from "Moneyball" when the scouts are in the conference room talking about the players' girlfriends.

A's Scout: "I like Perez."
A's Scout: "He's got an ugly girlfriend. Ugly girlfriend means no confidence."


Interesting post ;-)

Tim Sackett

There's really so much science to this! That's what I love about it! Pure HR science!

Unlike Seth, though, I go the opposite way. Pretty spouse means they're fighting out of their weight class (man or woman) - don't hire that. Your employee will spend all day trying to keep that pretty spouse happy - instead of focusing on their job! Ugly employee, ugly spouse. Pretty employee, pretty spouse. Let's not start screwing with the matrix!

Laura Coker

I cannot say I am surprised however, I never would have thought. I wonder how this applies to CEO’s and people of power? Being a woman in the professional workplace I believe that the partner you choose does have a direct impact as to how you are viewed by coworkers and superiors. I think for women its more about character and “swag” of the man as opposed to looks. Some of the most liked and adored men are not the best looking. If you show up to an event with a confident, secure, educated and well liked man it leaves a lasting impact. If you show with an insecure, shy, man with poor communication skills, that will also impact others view of you in a negative way. I guess that’s just how it goes!


I have a family member (who shall remain un-named)who has been in sales for 35+ years. His philosphy is that a good salesman should marry up because that's the most important deal they will ever close in their life. If one's self-esteem is so low they settle they probably won't have the confidence to be a top performer :). (this does not represent my philosphy or my employer)


Hilarious ! So is that a picture of you and your wife Kris?


Thanks for checking in guys - just goes to show you, all philosophy is local to the individual right?

Kelly - this is very similar to how far I married up. I married up like 3 levels!



But if you marry "up", what does that say about them marrying "down"?

Beth Graf

What if the candidate is gay?? How many superficial fools does it take to realize how this violates everything we have worked so hard to prevent?? What is the woman is so-so and talented? I am a 49 year old, formerly hot, now flabby grandma who has years of experience and ideas that would be thrown out, if not for my amazing looking husband who has stood by me for 30 years, during 2 back surgery's and an extra 80Lbs. Obviously this is only pertaining to men?? What if they are gay I say again?? Do they have to find a hot beard just to facilitate an interview? Disgusting!

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