Something that happens mostly in government jobs. For example, I’m Mr. X, an important director of an organization or a minister, and I tell human resources to hire Mrs. Y—regardless of her actual competence—just because she has slept with me or she is a relative. What is it called this practice? What would you call the person hired this way?


1 Answer 1



The practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.


Also relevant:

  • In Britain the term "old boys' network" is used to describe a system where men in important jobs give jobs to, or grant favours to, men who went to the same school or university (often one of the élite schools or universities).
  • The term "patronage" is used to describe the way that politicians give jobs to their supporters, funders or political contacts. Some countries are said to suffer from "clientelism", i.e. an extensive, organised system of patronage.
  • The phrase "It's not what you know, it's who you know [that matters or that counts]" is often heard - and often shortened to just "It's not what you know", with the second half implicit. People sometimes say this when they hear about an appointment they consider undeserved.

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