Will I be disappointed if I am rejected before entering the interview room? Yes.
Will I, however, find solace in the fact that the position was never mine to begin with? Definitely.
Will I possibly undermine the skill and intelligence of the individual who profited from pulling a few strings? Maybe yes, maybe no… As the article develops, the latter aspect will be clarified.
“An individual getting a job through nepotism is a nepotist who nepotistically had a nepotistic or nepotic or nepotistical advantage.” Unknown Source
We’ve all been victims of nepotism at one point or another during our lifetimes.
What is Nepotism?
Nepotism is mentioned when someone in a position of authority grants a job or a favour to a family member despite their lack of merit and qualification. Not to be confused with cronyism, which is primarily about favoring friends, associates, or coworkers. They both, in general, entail “favouritism.”
We all have biases that have been scientifically verified. Otherwise, we’ll have too much information to deal with. That is how our brain is wired to make decision-making shortcuts (heuristics). It’s referred to as “cognitive bias” or “psychological bias.” We see nepotism in various forms in everyday life, whether it’s in politics, the corporate world, private and public institutions, or the entertainment sector, you name it. It’s become a way of life and has always been, whether done covertly or in plain sight. Those that result in massive bribery, corruption, and fund embezzlement scandals are the ones that make it into the media.
Types of Nepotism
As per research, there are two types of nepotism:
As the term implies, this form of nepotism occurs when a person feels entitled to a position bestowed upon them with or without merit, such as a son or daughter inheriting the CEO/Chairman position from their parents.
It is a favour done by someone in authority to a family member or friend. However, in this situation, the person accepting the position does so for numerous reasons: developing family relations, reliance (typically financial), cultural norms, etc.
Is Nepotism Unethical?
Yes, it is, and it is highly unjust to deserving candidates. If the beneficiary is intellectually worthy of the position, the story shifts to a different point of view. For example, “if he/she wasn’t the son or daughter of so and so, they wouldn’t have been considered in the first place…” we then envisage their interview going something like this: “… How is your (the influential personality) doing?” Regardless of bias, I’m always curious to know if our perspective would remain the same if we were the ones who benefited. Who wouldn’t want strings pulled for them to get a perfect position or that lucrative contract bid?…
Can Nepotism be Regulated?
This practice cannot be eradicated entirely. A family-owned business passed down for generations will eventually follow that path. Instead of constantly lamenting one’s disadvantage, it is indeed essential to try to develop one’s network. “Your Network is Your Net Worth,” which is troublesome since we keep repeating the same problem we set out to address.
Many organisations around the globe have laws in place to deter nepotism and other fraudulent practices, but in all honesty, this wrong doing appears to be a necessary evil. We form deep bonds with those with whom we come into contact. These are the individuals we refer to as circles, the ones we suggest and vice versa, the people whose phone numbers we dial first when in need of a favor.
When we examine the situation more closely, we may see not everybody who gains from nepotism is unqualified. On the other hand, how is an opening made for individuals with no affiliations to higher-ups? Why publish irrelevant job ads solely for formality sakes?