Jiří Balcar, Non-cognitive skills matter, beauty not that much: Evidence from hiring technicians in:

JEEMS Journal of East European Management Studies , page 44 - 72

JEEMS Volume 26 (2021) Issue 1 Browse Volumes:  JEEMS Journal of East European Management Studies


Despite an extensive empirical body proving the importance of non-cognitive skills and beauty for labour market success, little is known about their role under special conditions and on different segments of a labour market. This article focuses on their effects on employment of Czech technicians, whose long-term lack indicates a labour market structural distortion. Individual data on technical high-school graduates from a large industrial agglomeration in the Czech Republic show that a) emotional lability negatively affects the probability of employment, especially in the case of graduates with low self-confidence (using Freiburg Personality Inventory for capturing psychological traits), b) efficiency, cooperation and leadership skills have a significant positive effect on employment in the case of active and persuasive individuals (using Soft Competencies Colour Association Diagnostics for capturing soft skills). The relative importance of cognitive and non-cognitive skills suggests that non-cognitive skills represent a very important employment determinant even on structurally deformed labour market of technicians. Surprisingly, also facial beauty was found to be relevant to some degree. Results show that beautiful technicians do not experience any advantage in hiring, whereas the ugly ones face an employment penalty. They also suggest that some specific face proportions (related to beauty) increase the probability of employment.

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