Weight as discriminatory factor in the work place and hiring standard

I landed an article that made me think of my own situation as an unhired overweight proffessional: I would like to share it with you as well as my response and hear your thoughts.

You Didn't Get The Job: "You Are Too Fat!" SAY WHAT???

  • Published on August 20, 2014

Jessica Glazer

Top Canadian Recruiter, Placing 100k, 200k 300k, 400k+ Jobs in Canada but based in Montreal. Recruitment Director/ Mentor/ Coach And Above All Truth Teller And Top 1% on LinkedIn at MindHR Inc Placement Agency

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It's not legal to say and it's certainly not politically correct but I'm going to go where people aren't going. Companies on the hiring front want to hire those who look a "part" or rather the same.

What a job seeker may not realise is that they may not be getting hired based on appearances. So I am taking the risk here to tell you that how you look may be affecting your's not right but as someone who works behind the scenes, it might be happening to you and you may not know it.

Keep in mind, when you apply for a job the hiring manager can't see what they see on paper so if you are getting interviews scheduled and not getting hired, your weight might be the problem. Understand personally I hate to state it and I never use it myself when recruiting or hiring but to others, looks matter and someone has to let people know.

So what are you to do?

Join a gym?




Lose weight?

Absolutely Not.

Eat? If you were me? Yes!

But here's the "thing" there is nothing wrong with you but there is a problem and it's serious.

People who are quite overweight are perceived as lazy, dirty and incapable of succeeding. Others think they lack drive and the ability to "keep up". Unless you are supposed to be lifting heavy goods or running a race, what do they have to keep up with anyway?

You go to a job interview to look a certain way, clean and presentable, but the company hiring is looking for a certain mold. If they look at someone larger than them their reaction is "Would I want them to be placed in front of a client?" "Do I want them to represent the face of my company?" And my question is," If they can do the job, then why not??" If they are well spoken, well mannered and personable, why do looks have to matter?

They matter for one reason and one reason only, an employer can choose from 2 to 200 applicants and the fat person is one of them which leaves the overweight person at a disadvantage. What employers need to realise is just because someone is carrying more weight doesn't mean they have more baggage. They deserve an equal opportunity to receive the job at hand.

Let's keep in mind, the weight industry alone is a multi billion dollar industry as almost every woman and man out there is trying to lose or gain weight so we all have issues. So where is the justice? The hiring manager, doesn't know someone's weight struggle, large, medium or small but business owners don't want to have to think about it and seeing someone extremely overweight makes them think.

To a hiring manager, the thinner person shows "self-discipline" or "self respect", which is deceiving in itself as that person may have other severe issues masked behind their make-up or name brand outfit, but what they see is what companies care about. They want the person they are about to hire to come in and work. They worry that when hiring the very overweight person there will be health issues that will come along with them in the short or long term.

From the horses mouth, business owners fear that someone who is too overweight has an addiction which is something they can't and don't want to deal with. So with many other candidates to choose from, the overweight person has a slimmer chance of getting a job in competitive job market.

It is my personal opinion and something I stand by, intelligence and aptitude are a valued talent. If someone does well on all tests and comes across professionally, their weight should not be a hiring managers issue. If they find that perfect person on paper, interview them and still find they are perfect except for their weight, take fatism to the side and take the risk in hiring "these" people.

Employers can be seriously missing out on the ideal person they need to help their company succeed, as they don't realise the person who is overweight can still be perfect for them.

So that one with the "bubble personality and nice smile but is very overweight"--you really need to consider them for hire as they really are just like you and worth the chance they will work out, just like any other new employee.

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Jessica Glazer

See MoreTop Canadian Recruiter, Placing 100k, 200k 300k, 400k+ Jobs in Canada but based in Montreal. Recruitment Director/ Mentor/ Coach And Above...

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See profile for Renet MyburghStatus is online
Renet Myburgh
Professional Documentation Specialist
Here is something to ponder about: You as hiring managers want someone who is ideal in weight.
Ever consider the fact that no1: They are looking for work.
No 2: Eating correctly to lose weight = Lots of money and supplements. Food is expensive, not all people are vegan, not all people have the tools food wise to lose weight. Balance is key they say, what if cravings set in (Normal and healthy, being socially normal in eating and establishing healthy boundaries makes weight-loss manageable and more attainable)
No 3: Partaking in sports and exercise also equals spending money. Not all countries and regions are safe to walk in the streets, or what if they can't even afford shoes, or exercise gear? Ever thought of that?
No 4: Assuming the weight has been lost, what about loose skin and skin damage, teeth correction due to coffee and tea consumption (How do they afford that or the products with that)
I have been unemployed for nearly four years, with poor eating habits, lack of energy due to high stress levels making me not want to exercise or partake in outdoor activities due to only having one outfit, holes have been sown and mended. Not to mention cravings for health iron levels during that time of the month.
iynna's profile thumbnail
It’s an unfortunate truth and very important to talk about it. After all, the data show that people who are conventionally good looking do better in life, I guess good genes help across the board.
MissMyburgh's profile thumbnail
Yet so little raise this topic.