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Over the years the perception of tattoos has changed. They’ve been associated with rebellion and criminal cultures as well as held significance to tribes, however now, in my eyes, they are seen as art and a way to express yourself. In a world where we are working hard towards equality in all aspects of society, we appear to be behind when it comes to tattoos. Studies show that a fifth of all British adults have at least one tattoo. But are there any tattoo hiring consequences?

Despite this, it is still not uncommon to see people with tattoos refused work, asked to cover them up in the workplace, or asked not to get them in the first place. I don’t know about you, but it actually shocks me as a female with over 20 tattoos… however, I bet you wouldn’t have guessed that by looking at me.

The representation of tattoos has had a long-lasting influence on the corporate world, deeming tattoos as unprofessional and a ‘no-no’ for many years. However, as with many things in our constantly evolving culture, this perspective on tattoos in the professional environment has shifted significantly.

One of the main reasons tattoos have shifted and evolved is largely down to our generational shift in the workforce. Millennials and Gen Z, generations have one of the highest percentages of tattooed individuals. According to a 2019 Harris Poll, nearly half of millennials claimed to have at least one tattoo. This marked change has forced many employers to reconsider their stance on tattoos, given the number of tattooed potential employees.

Luckily, companies are recognising the importance of diversity and inclusivity within the workplace and therefore recognising that talent comes in all forms and would you believe it, a tattoo doesn’t define a person’s capabilities. In fact, you’ll probably find there a great way to start a conversation with someone and learn about them.

As we know at Orbition, we are big on personal branding and being yourself in what can be a very strict corporate world. Therefore, having the freedom to express yourself via tattoos, be it an expression of identity, beliefs, or memories. As companies move towards fostering individual strengths and unique perspectives, they are becoming more accepting of tattoos.

However, it is worth noting that not all workplaces have embraced tattoos and it is also worth noting that it is still important to consider what you are getting tattooed on your body and where. Obviously offensive and racist tattoos could definitely hinder your chances of being hired, whatever the job.

If anything, I wanted to write this blog as more ‘food for thought’.

This is one of the new tattoos I’m looking to get in the next few months…

Perspective is everything.

About the Author

Emily Firbank

Internal Talent Lead

Emily is a talented and dedicated internal talent lead here at Orbition. With a passion for identifying top talent, she has become a valuable asset to both to us internally, but also to our clients and candidates in the industry.

Emily is an expert in building strong relationships with potential talent solution experts and partners. She has a proven track record of successfully hiring top performers for a range of positions. Read more.

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