Talking about tattoos at work isn’t a new phenomenon, in fact it’s not even new for us, as we have discussed this topic in the past. However, it’s worth coming back to, this year more than ever, due to the changing tides in the workplace, where even the most traditional career paths are having to open their minds, and their doors, to inked skin.
Most companies are now attempting to present themselves as inclusive, kind, even family-style workplaces, bad attitudes towards individual style will quite easily quash these values. Over the past few years businesses have begun to grasp this, and it is in fact the candidates who are showing the most concern now. Most of the studies surrounding perceptions of tattoos are almost a decade old now but the majority of the conversation around tattoos still centers around this scaremongering, when in fact the modern-day truth is starkly different. As although 76% of employees fear tattoos and piercings will hurt their job interview chances, 73% of employers say they would hire staff that had visible tattoos.
For some, it’s not just that they would consider hiring tattoos but would actually see ink as a positive. BBC News recently reported that for Debbie Darling, who runs her own Marketing and PR agency, tattoos have been a positive influence on her career, providing her with talking points at networking events and proving her creative side.
It’s true that a fascination remains with tattoos and yet that might not last for long, as a fifth of adults now have at least one tattoo, with that number increasing slightly for millennials, with 30% of 25-39-year old’s sporting one or more.
This rather large number means that, despite 75% of adults saying that their tattoos are usually hidden from view, companies are having to abolish strict dress codes in order to recruit. The Met Police relaxed their policies this year, saying they would consider tattoos on a case-by-case basis. These changes were put in place after the revelation that 10% of 2017’s applicants were rejected, not due to a lack of talent, but because they had tattoos. A fact that didn’t best please a public who were already up in arms about police shortages.
Most recently, Air New Zealand ended their ban on visible tattoos in June, which is a significant move forward for an industry which has traditionally been scrutinized for strict dress code policies, including hair styles and painful high heels.
Of course, there are no current legal reasons for companies to abolish blanket bans on tattoos, however as these companies prove, times are changing, it’s best not to get left in the past.
“We tell individuals to express themselves and live authentically, but then when it comes to the hiring process, it’s please cover your tattoos.”- Michael Danes, Business Executive