Tattoo Counting as New Hiring Practice
It wasn’t that long ago that tattoos were viewed as an expression
of social deviance, perhaps with the exception of those serving on a naval
vessel during a time of war.
Today, however, large numbers of young adults and teens
sport body art and body piercings. For some older managers and retail store
customers, these expressions of personal style are disconcerting. There is
no real evidence to suggest, biases aside, that a tattoo or two is an indication
that a potential employee is unfit for hire.
There is, however, a study conducted
by researchers at Texas Tech that found college students with four or more
tattoos or seven or more piercings are more likely to engage in behavior such
as drug use and cheating on tests. The research, which surveyed over 1,700
students at four colleges in the U.S., found 37 percent had at least one piercing
and 14 percent were tattooed. Only four percent reported having four or more
tattoos and/or seven or more piercings.
The study’s findings, which were published
in the January issue of the Social
Science Journal and summarized in a report on Miller-McCune Online,
concluded respondents within the four percent group "were
substantially and significantly more likely to report regular marijuana
use, occasional use of other drugs, and a history of being arrested for
a crime. Less pronounced, but still significant in many cases, was an increased
propensity for those with higher incidence of body art to cheat on college
work, binge drink and report having had multiple sex partners over the
course of their lifetime."
Discussion Questions: Should the number of tattoos and/or piercings have
any place in assessing a candidate for a potential job with a retailer? Do
current practices at retail do a good job of screening out problem employees
before they are hired, regardless of personal appearance?
- Tattoo Trends:
It’s Not Just Sailors – WebMD
- Body art, deviance and American college students – Social Science Journal/ScienceDirect
- Ink on Skin Doesn’t Necessarily Indicate Sin – Miller-McCune Online