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A Professional Beard Conundrum

A Professional Beard Conundrum

Do beards have a place in corporate Australia? As a recruiter it’s our job to advise what is and isn’t appropriate presentation for candidates during interviews and continuing on into those roles in the workplace. As specialists in the property industry, we have some highly corporate clients and need to ensure the candidates we put forward are a good cultural fit for their respective workplaces.

It seems beards are very ‘on trend’ at the moment with high profile footballers, actors, models and musicians sporting some seriously big beards…bushranger big! There’s even a popular band called ‘The Beards’, spreading the word about beard love (check out their video). Attitudes towards the acceptability of beards in the corporate space have loosened in recent years and whilst beards are acceptable in some scenarios, it begs the question; how much beard is appropriate in highly professional settings? We often talk about appropriate hair, make up and dress sense, but what about facial hair?

Jane Carey (Director) who leads executive placements at Edge Recruitment says, “Very short and very neat beards are acceptable. Very neat stubble (aka designer stubble) is ok for most workplaces, but I wouldn’t risk it for a first interview. Always err on the side of conservative for interviews and until you can ascertain the company culture in more detail.

Our recommendation is to think of facial hair the same way as you think of the hair on top of your head. It should be neat, tidy and trimmed regularly. Whilst having nothing to do with your talents and performance at work, having unkempt hair on your head presents you in an unprofessional light.

To put it in context, if you are vying for a job role and have equal qualifications and experience with your competitor candidate but your presentation is less professional, you are less likely to get the role. In addition to this, some employers have given us the feedback that untidy looking facial hair can make you appear lazy.

You may say that judging someone on their choice to have facial hair is discrimination…and you are correct, it is! It has absolutely nothing to do with a person’s skills, experience and ability to perform in a role. However, the reality is that corporate working environments are still conservative and demand their workers present in a professional way.

What's your opinion?

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