Workplaces are accepting tattoos more readily. What about your likelihood of landing a job due to tattoos?
These are tough questions to answer. Sandy Mancilla Rannow who is the executive director of The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University’s downtown campus, believes tattoos are becoming more accepted in workplaces.
In the last few years, tattoos have become a hot topic. In recent years tattoos have been extremely popular among young people. A recent study found that tattoos in America have grown by an average of 8.4% per year over the last five years.
This steady increase has led to employers being more open to hiring visible tattoo-wearing employees. Sandy Mancilla Rannow oversees “budgets, finance, HR and operations,” and in doing so, is responsible for hiring many Cronkite staff members.
Rannow said, “We’ve hired people with tattoos, but that’s not something that we normally look at or look for.” She goes on to say that if people do have visible tattoos it’s not an issue and “doesn’t play into the decision.”
Employers are less likely to consider applicants with visible tattoos in their hiring process. However, many employees still worry about tattoos while applying for work because of the stigma attached to them. According to AIMS education, the American Institute of Medical Sciences and Education, “76% of employees feel tattoos and piercings hurt job interview chances.”
Annamaria Heredia-Alvarez, a 19-year-old college student who worked as a Service BDC representative at a car company in Phoenix, Arizona, gave her insight into what it’s like to be a young, tattooed employee nowadays. She shared that she was anxious about how her numerous visible tattoos might affect her reputation and chance of being hired.
One of the first questions she asked was, “Do I need to cover up my tattoos?” The answer to her question was “no.” In her workplace, tattoos ultimately are not a problem and not taken into consideration when hiring new people.
Heredia-Alvarez also stated that through her work experience she believes that employers aren’t as likely to discriminate against people with visible tattoos. She said “In all of my inter-views I’ve never been asked if I had tattoos, which shows me they aren’t going to hold it against you. I also think that employers are expanding more on equal chance employment.”
According to AIMS education, “73% of people say they would hire staff that had visible tattoos.”
The shift has been dramatic in recent decades and younger generations are more open to tattoos at work. People can have an artistic outlet without having to worry about losing their job, or being unable to find one.
According to the National Library of Medicine, tattoos can even improve mental health because “tattoos have the power to improve self-esteem and satisfaction.” This can be connected back to the fact that employees struggling with mental health, which nowadays is one in four adults according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, can have improvements in their mental health when they get tattoos.
In addition, Katie Dierks, former assistant director at the daycare’s Kinder Care and Sunrise, said that she does not consider people’s tattoos when hiring them. She said they are a personal choice but they weren’t always. Many businesses have included tattoo prohibitions into their dress codes. Dierks stated “I’ve seen quite a jump in tattooed employees throughout the last few years I believe due to the rising popularity of them and acceptance in the workforce.
The topic of tattoos will be widely debated and discussed. With tattooed workers, the workforce is growing. According to AIMS Education, discrimination against people with tattoos in the workplace is down to 4%. People continue to work while sporting visible tattoos.