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The price of getting a job for having contacts

The price of getting a job for having contacts

January 25, 2022

Own merits do not always guarantee access to a job, and too often what really matters is whether or not to know someone related to the organization or project in question . When jobs are scarce and unemployment soars, as has happened in many countries during the last global financial crisis, there is even more reason to consider the repercussions that the practice of nepotism You can have it in the workplace.

Because what is clear is that someone who accesses a job because they know someone is getting some benefits: it happens that they do not have a job they may not be qualified to have without going through too many personnel selection filters. But it is possible that the practice of "plugging" also has a negative effect on the beneficiary. A kind of consideration more difficult to detect than the positive of earning a job without hardly trying.

Stigmatization through the plugs

A group of psychologists from Butler University have published an article in the Journal of Business and Psychology in which evidence about the fort is presented social stigma who carry the people who have been selected for a position because of nepotism. Specifically, people who access a job because they are relatives of someone are not only judged negatively for having taken advantage of their special contacts, but also are perceived as less able to do their job .


The researchers focused on analyzing the responses given by 191 business administration students. The members of this group of volunteers had to imagine being workers in a bank in which their boss had not yet been selected and then reading information about three candidates for that position. Two of these candidates were always the same: a well-qualified profile that fulfilled the requirements for the vacancy and another clearly inframed. The third application, which was the one corresponding to the person who was finally hired, varied between three levels of qualification.

In some cases, this candidate had better qualification than the other two candidates, but in others it was of the same level as the "strong" candidacy of the previous two or was a little below. In any of these three possibilities, the third candidate met the minimum requirements to access the position. But nevertheless, half of the volunteers were informed that this candidacy, the chosen one, was that of a close relative of the vice president .

Having gone through this phase, the volunteers had to fill in some questionnaires in which they evaluated the person chosen to be their superior in factors such as their level of competence, luck, ability and political ability.

Karma things

The results show how the people chosen are significantly worse valued when there are signs of nepotism . In fact, in the three degrees of qualification that the third candidacy could present, it was always worse valued than the candidacy that had been chosen on merit. The students assumed that this person had been chosen primarily for their family ties, regardless of their level of ability reflected in their curriculum vitae. In this way, the selected people were evaluated as if they lacked all the typical characteristics that are usually associated with good managers , regardless of whether the person chosen based on "plug" was male or female.

In this way, even people who, because of the professional and academic information that was available, seemed well prepared for the position, were perceived as not very capable. Paradoxically, the type of stigmatization seen in the study could make people chosen by their connections more difficult to develop their work because of the type of work environment they inoculate in the organization. It could also cost them to rise beyond the influences of the one who has selected them.

Bibliographic references:

  • Padgett, M.Y., Padgett, R.J., and Morris, K.A. (2014). Perceptions of Nepotism Beneficiaries: The Hidden Price of Using a Family Connection to Obtain a Job. Journal of Business and Psychology, 30 (2), pp. 283-298.

I Tried Colored Contacts For The First Time! ~ Guava Juice (January 2022).

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