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:
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….
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!
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.
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.