Tattoos have increasingly gained in popularity – not just in a social environment, but also in the workforce. Within a decade, attitudes towards tattoos have had a significant change in the workplace. A survey conducted in the US in 2006 showed that a study of human resources managers found that 80 percent of them felt negatively towards tattoos which were visible on employees. Just six years later, job hunters can safely say that sporting a tattoo is a definite advantage and made them more attractive to prospective employers. That’s right – tattoos may help you land a job!
A joint Australian and US study conducted by researchers at the University of Miami and The University of Western Australia revealed in an article published in 2012 in Human Relations that there’s no issue with having a tattoo. In fact, it could even place you on employers’ radars. In the study, over 2,000 people were surveyed in all 50 states across the US. The study focused only on respondents who had a visible tattoo. Researchers found that having a tattoo which was visible did not affect a person’s employment, wages or earning potential. There was no disadvantage to those who had a tattoo and those who didn’t. What’s even more interesting, is that in some instances, those with a tattoo were more likely to be hired.
Discrimination against those who have a tattoo has diminished in the workplace. Employers and recruiters acknowledge that they would be dramatically limiting suitable job candidates if they were to consider tattoos taboo. In this ever-competitive world, ensuring you have the right employees is more than half the battle. With longevity being the end goal to success, creating the right culture is essential.
Employers have had to become more inclusive towards cultural sensitivities too. The Australian Human Rights Commission’s advice to employers is that they can set their own rules in the workplace as long as it does not amount to discrimination of any kind. Tattoos in most workplaces are completely acceptable but there is still some pushback on face and neck tattoos in some industries. If you have a tattoo due to your ethnicity and religious beliefs and you were rejected for a role based on this, it could count as racial discrimination.
‘Rebels’ from back in the day are now employers in today’s society and with the onset of more millennials choosing tattoos to express themselves, having a visible tattoo should not hinder your job application process – This is particularly the case in the creative arts, hospitability, retail and fashion sectors.
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