Recently I heard the terms “forward facing” and “client facing” used by a recruiter in reference to interviewee appearance. If a potential new employee will work hidden somewhere in a cubicle, that is not forward facing work.
But what about employees who meet with clients or anyone outside the company on a regular basis? Or ones responsible for being the face of the company, as in reception work. If that’s the case, then they are in a forward facing or client facing job.
In practice, looks often matter to an employer when hiring someone for any job, But in many companies there is particular attention paid to a candidate’s looks. Especially when public contact work is part of the job description.
Shhh! Forward facing is a secret.
Most companies won’t admit to what extent they mention the client facing requirement to recruiters or interviewers. Clearly, they don’t want to be accused of hiring discrimination. Or identified with it in any way. But it does happen. Still, even today.
And even without this being discussed, some recruiter / interviewers choose to err on the side of good looks just to play it safe. But whatever the case, forewarned is forearmed.
That said … even if you aren’t a perfect 10 (as if anyone really is), being well groomed, having good energy, and a great smile can still get you far when it comes to these kinds of positions. The rest is out of your control. And who wants to work for someone that uptight anyway? 🙂
This article was written before the current coronavirus / COVID-19 situation. In that context, “forward facing” means jobs where you have direct, in-person contact with the public.
If you got here because of what is happening, feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in a comment. I have no expertise in that area, but sometimes it helps just to voice your thoughts. 🙂
If you want to suggest changes to this or any other definition in our career dictionary, feel free to add your suggestions in a comment.
[Article updated in 2020]