We’re not sure which is the lesser evil: sitting through numerous skills examinations for a job position that you may never get, or getting rejected based on your horoscope. Some companies believe that horoscope hiring might, in fact, help to thwart evil. So the next time you feel stricken and dejected by rejection from yet another company, add this to the list of reasons why it probably isn’t your fault.
It’s really not your fault, and that’s especially if you’re an Aries, Cancer, or Pisces, three astrological signs which may get you rejected at one particular branding agency in Singapore. According to ex-employee Tiffany, her then-boss would be averse to hiring applicants of those three signs. If it matters, he’s a Libra.
Apparently, it’s a proven means to success in companies.
Fate, destiny, and the stars
Horoscopes aren’t just a thing of the past. It seems as if they remain a reliable method of character and chemistry, whether in the offices of older hiring managers or the Instagram feeds of horoscope e-girls.
Tiffany deduces that her ex-boss was looking to avoid possible friction “that may arise based on their respective characteristics and determined working styles”.
Tiffany, as a Capricorn herself, thinks she did not have the misfortune of being discriminated against based on her zodiac sign – a possible contributing factor to her getting hired.
While Tiffany found her boss’ hiring practices to be rather narrow-minded, she also said that he was entitled to his own “selection process”. She herself believes that hiring should be performed based on “one’s experience, abilities, strengths, potential, rapport and cultural fit”.
“I’m just amused at the old-school brain for a ‘new-school’ company,” she said.
It isn’t just Tiffany’s ex-company with these tendencies. In fact, there’s a large market for them, which explains the presence of shops like Horoscope Shop, which sits in the corner of Orchard Plaza.
Like personality tests, but less fair?
Astrologer Andrew Wee’s Horoscope Shop specialises in predictive services for sales-driven companies. A significant portion of his clientele apparently includes insurers and real-estate agents, some of whom have even brought job applicants’ birth charts to see if they would be an advisable recruit.
According to him, “sales is the most clear-cut [industry]. You can see my astrological predictions have immediate results… It’s not like you’re going to wait five, 10 years before something happens”.
Clients have been flocking to Mr Wee during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he has even had to move to a larger shop space within Orchard Plaza to accommodate larger groups of clients.
Wee has advised his clients not to hire solely based on an applicant’s “sun sign”, or what is better known as star signs, especially without acquiring their full birth chart. However, this is not easy to obtain, as it includes information like time of birth. Many of us don’t even know our times of birth.
It is said that Moon signs represent your mood and emotions, while Rising signs present the first impressions that you tend to give off. These take a little more digging to calculate and require additional details such as your time of birth. And apparently… that’s just scratching the surface of astrology.
He says that some signs that don’t get along are Gemini and Sagittarius, which he says is “quite clear”. The Aquarius and Pisces pairing apparently results in “crazy” creativity, and the Leo and Virgo pairing might result in a good working relationship, especially in sales and marketing. According to Wee, Taurus people tend to not lock horns with anyone and are rather peaceful in nature.
Wee considers himself a “scientific person”, so we aren’t going to argue with his “statistics” and the centuries of event tabulation that secede him. You can decide whether to abide by these or if they come off like a string of overly-interpreted coincidences.
Forget horoscopes… personality tests are just as bad
Astrology is perhaps one of the more risque predictive hiring considerations in today’s corporate world. Something that we see a lot more often is the use of personality tests in hiring. Oftentimes, interested recruiters may ask job applicants to complete certain personality tests and use it to assess the personality type is appropriate for the role.
It’s a little easier to understand why these are more justifiable, especially for client-facing, roles such as public relations, which may require applicants to be more extraverted. But to some extent, these personality tests are as anomalous as astrology.
Tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire are incredibly detailed and ever-present in the workplace, with about 2 million people taking the former annually. The company that produces it makes about $20 million a year, off of HR departments and colleges.
The MBTI has been infamously disproven by the psychology community in recent years, since its formulation in the 1940s. The test apparently rests on wholly unproven theories, with even its creator admitting that the personality “types” were just rough observations that he’d made.
“There’s just no evidence behind it,” says Adam Grant, an organisational psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
Not all science is as it seems. Before you mock astrology in place of personality tests, think again. Maybe it’s time that companies relooked their hiring practices and how discriminatory their actions are. Rejecting someone because of their assumed personality is discriminatory, no?
Maybe it’s a little less silly to believe in the stars than it is to disregard years of research on the complexities of the human psyche. Come 2021, be a better hirer.