Having tattoos could give job candidates an advantage in competitive labour markets, according to new research.
A US-based study suggests tattooed job seekers are just as likely, and in some instances even more likely, to gain employment in the hiring market.
The new research contradicts previous studies – including one published in the Work, Employment and Society journal in 2013 – that found that recruiters perceived tattooed people as less employable than people without tattoos.
In the study jointly conducted by the University of Miami Business School in Florida and the University of Western Australia, more than 2,000 participants based in the US were surveyed.
The results showed that annual earnings of tattooed employees were statistically indistinguishable from those without them.
The researchers also found visible tattoos were not linked to individual employment, wages, or earnings discrimination, suggesting that the perception of tattoos in the workplace had changed in the recent years.
Michael French, professor of health economics at the Miami Business School and lead study author, believes discriminating against job candidates with tattoos could result in hiring managers settling for less-qualified applicants.
Mr French said: “The long-held stigmas associated with having tattoos, and particularly visible ones, may be eroding, especially among younger individuals who view body art as a natural and common form of personal expression.
“Given the increasing prevalence of tattoos in society – around 40% for young adults – hiring managers and supervisors who discriminate against tattooed workers will likely find themselves at a competitive disadvantage for the most qualified employees.”
The research is published in the journal Human Relations.