Tattoos can be a deal-breaker for someone looking for a job, although some companies are more concerned with hiring the right person.
The business atmosphere apparently has changed in regards to a hot button topic in the employment industry: tattoos.
Body art is an increasingly popular form of self-expression. According to Pew Research, 14 percent of Americans have a tattoo, and 40 percent of adults between the ages of 26 and 40 have a tattoo. That’s 45 million Americans who have had their bodies permanently painted in some area, with some message or significant artwork.
The question is whether such body art, when visible in appropriate business clothing, can affect a person’s ability to get a job? The answer to that question has changed over time.
According to a study by Dr. Andrew Timming of the University of St. Andrews University School of Management in England, most employers still consider visible body art is a reason not to hire someone. The study interviewed managers of banks, hotels, prisons, and universities, and found overwhelming response that tattoos are employment deal breakers.
“Hiring managers realize that, ultimately, it does not matter what they think of tattoos. What really matters, instead, is how customers might perceive employees with visible tattoos,’’ Timming said.
The Center for Professional Excellence at York College in Pennsylvania conducts an annual survey of human resources mangers, and in 2012 61 percent said a visible tattoo would hurt a job applicant’s chances of getting hired.
But Forbes Magazine reports that a number of American businesses are not letting tattoos prevent them from hiring qualified personnel. According to John Challenger, a consulting firm CEO, “Even in this tight job market, most companies aren’t going to view tattoos too harshly." Companies have a vested interest in hiring the most qualified candidate.”
Bank of America spokeswoman Ferris Morrison told Forbes that her company has no formal statement regarding tattoos and employment. “We value our differences and recognize that diversity and inclusion are good for our business and make our company stronger,’’ she said.
According to a 2011 survey conducted by Careerbuilder.com, the top three physical attributes that could inhibit getting hired are piercings (37 percent of managers said that would affect a hiring decision), bad breath (34 percent) and visible tattoos (31 percent),
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.