I recently read an interesting article by Richard Branson regarding wearing ties in business. He states ” I have always prided myself on throwing out the rulebook when something proves a barrier to business — or is just plain silly. And there is no viable argument why “gentlemen” should wear ties. The best anyone can muster is: “It’s expected,” or “Everyone else will be wearing one.
One of the signs that business culture has changed is that when people arrive for a business meeting with me, often the first thing they ask is, “Do you mind if we remove our ties?” They surely never thought, “If we don’t wear our ties we’ll stand a lesser chance of getting the deal done.” So why did they wear them in the first place? ”
I have to say I agree. Obviously I have never needed to wear one and as a business owner myself I now enjoy coming to work wearing jeans if I want to, however I would never visit a client or interview a candidate whilst wearing jeans – so what does that say?
We certainly always coach people to attend interviews wearing a suit and tie (in the case of men) or a smart suit (in the case of women) but how important is it really? Will it make a difference to how they do their job?
And that of course is the tip of the iceberg – what about tattoos and piercings? Long hair or shaved head? Flip flops or army boots? Rings on every finger, overly made up, no make up? We all have our own prejudices whether or not we admit them.
I recently heard about a well qualified salesman who was turned down for a job because his top button was undone – fair or a bit over the top? Another one was turned down because he had a tattoo on his hand. Now I’ll admit I am not a fan of tattoos or body piercings but would they cause me to turn down a really excellent candidate?
What are your thoughts? Where do we draw the line or should there be a line at all?