Favouritism is alive and kicking!

Nepotism remains a potent force here in Ireland and the UK yet according to Barry Whelan, any employer keen to hire the best candidate possible should make it their business to give every applicant an equal shot



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20 November 2015

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Ever wonder why you’re the boss’s ‘go to’ guy in a crisis? Or why you’re the employee in more meetings than any of your colleagues? Or perhaps you might be wondering why you’re being fast tracked to that promotion that you deserve, but others do too?

Well this is because favouritism is alive and well in the workplace!

An executive survey by Georgetown University in the states recently returned some interesting answers. More than 50% of executives who responded, admitted they had at least a favourite in mind for inter-company promotions. Significantly, 96% of these executives said they have given a promotion to their favourite pre-identified employee. These executives admitted that favouritism exists in large organisations.

Closer to home a study carried out by Aldi Graduate Recruitment, confirmed that the issue of favoritism and indeed nepotism in the UK and Irish workplace is still alive and well.

The study found that that one in three people in UK land a job through a friend or family member. Research has shown that 11 million people in the UK are either employed by a relative or in a position which family members helped them secure and over a third (34%) dodged the interview process completely after some help from a friend.

The old saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know” seems as true as ever, as it was reported that nearly two-thirds of respondents believe that good contacts are just as important as qualifications when it comes to getting a job.

Part of the reason, alongside total unfairness, why nepotism should be strongly discouraged is that as a result of people getting jobs on the back of relatives and friends, often the best people for the job are not the ones being employed. Linked to this, one in ten people employed in jobs obtained through nepotism, handed in their leave soon after they started, most probably due to both the pressure of working with friends and family, and because of bad feeling among other members of staff over their hiring.

The bottom line remains: favoritism is alive and well in the current workplace.

Five signs the boss secretly likes you the most

  1. You’re included in more meetings than your colleagues

No-one enjoys being in meetings with people they don’t have an affinity towards, so it’s a reasonably good sign that your boss also likes you as a person. It is also a key sign as it shows they respect your judgment and wisdom, and they recognise that you have positive contributions to make.

  1. Your boss chooses you for all the plum projects

When you’re the boss’s favourite, you often feel like you are on a roll, getting every new and interesting project on the go. One great project follows the next.

Your boss feels like you have a proven track record and is developing you further each time you get additional responsibility.

  1. They invite you to accompany them to conferences

Again this demonstrates deep respect for your talents, and a desire to share learning opportunities along with a commitment to furthering your professional development. It also says they like your company and don’t mind spending time with you on the road.

  1. You are their go-to person in a crisis

If you are the first on your boss’s radar for getting things done or dealing with a crisis, it means they trust in your abilities.

  1. You have unique freedoms

This one is the kicker. Unlike other employees, you may find that your schedule has less scrutiny or your work is not as micromanaged; you can speak up more without as much criticism. You have more licence to act a little more like an equal than a subordinate.







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