You don't have Javascript enabled, you will need this to apply for jobs and view your applications. Please enable and refresh. Thank you."
Tattoo Talk - Benchmark Recruit, Sheffield

Tattoo Talk

With 36% of Millennials and 40% of Generation X with at least one tattoo it is a hot topic when it comes to appropriateness in the workplace – and views are divided among business owners.

Long gone are the days where employers didn’t want men with long hair or smokers, instead we’re now witnessing some companies actively requesting no one with tattoos.   The fear here is that you are alienating a large pool of golden candidates based on appearance – and an ever growing pool of talent too as millennials and Generation X set their sites on flying careers.

Undoubtedly tattoos are more prevalent in the workplace as popular culture and major influencers such as celebrities and role models showcase their designs on social media and through the press.  As time goes on and Generation X will take up positions of seniority in the workplace and it will become more of the norm.  With this in mind, it may be time for some employers to shift their mind-set as otherwise they could be missing out on valuable candidates.

Both parties need to bend as these will be our future hiring managers, and on the flip side if you’re contemplating getting a tattoo think about visibility and appropriateness to please your industry.

So, whether candidate or employer, read up on our guidelines for a harmonious future:

For candidates

Industry views

There will be some industries such as the creative sector where tattoos don’t even get a second glance – we’re the same in recruitment but not everyone is as easy breezy.  In customer facing roles or corporate environments organisations can be more stringent about what is acceptable, and in this case this is where we would say play it safe….

Play it safe

All we mean here is give yourself the option to cover the tattoo.  If they are placed on your arms you can cover them, but if they are highly visible on your neck, hands or face mean there is quite literally nowhere to hide.  On the same vein if you want your tattoos to be accepted think about how you express yourself….

Express yourself 

While tattoos are all about individuality and expression think about images and views you want to portray to others.  Be cautious about tattoos that have any offensive implications, as again this is probably something a potential employer doesn’t want to see.  If you’re going to express yourself like this a discreet location would be best!

How about employers?

We would say if candidates have adhered to the above you can be open and honest about your expectance in terms of covering them up, as it is an accepted request for people with tattoos – plus an easy fix!

Employee Branding

If you are promoting yourself as a forward thinking company but clamping down on tattoos (even when covered) be warned that employees perception of your business will change – and not necessarily for the best.  It could say more about your company culture and in time damage what people think about working for you.

The future

Based on the percentage of people now with tattoos we would say who knows in time you could love the candidate so much you won’t even notice them! Be inspired by people already embracing the change…

Embracing the change

We love these inspiring images – don’t judge a book by it’s cover….(More to be added)

Something to think about….

The tide may well turn and who knows it could be tattoo wearing hiring managers of the future only wanting tattooed individuals working for them!

Send us pics of your tattoos @BenchmarkRec and let us know the roles you work as we want people to be inspired and forward thinking.

One Comment

  1. Janine Gladwin-Revill

    I have tattoos across my upper body and I can hide them if I want to. In the industries I have worked in (inclusive of the legal sector) I have never been asked to cover mine up or feel ashamed that I wear my creativity on my skin. I will always respect others views in relation to tattoos however now it is harder to find people without them than with them therefore employers need to form acceptance of a culture that will never cease to exist. And potentially will be endemic across their workforce.


Leave your thought