In 2019, Half of S’pore Still Less Likely to Engage Someone with Tattoo Even If They’re Very Qualified

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Adages do seem to work the other way, don’t they?

While we’ve all certainly heard of “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, it seems that judging a book by its cover is indeed what people love and still do.

Just take a look at a recent survey conducted by YouGov, a market research firm, which recently conducted a local survey on employer-hiring sentiments for people sporting tattoos.

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About 50% Of Singaporeans Less Likely To Hire Someone With Tattoo, Even If Qualified

In general, about 47% of Singaporeans were less likely to hire candidates with tattoos.

Of which, 37% were “Somewhat less likely” and the other 10% being “A lot less likely” to do so.

Image: YouGov

There’s however a silver glisten from the shiny needle at the end of the inky-patchwork with 4% of employers indicating they were “Somewhat more likely” and 1% indicating they were “A lot more likely” to hire someone with tattoos.

While the report did not indicate the industries or roles from which these positive sentiments emanated from, the other 48% of respondents polled said that having tattoos, or not, had “No Impact” on their decision-making.

Same Same But Different; Astronomical Differences in Anatomy

But there were astronomical differences in sentiments when it came to specific anatomical parts.

Back tattoos were seen as the most acceptable; with just about 10% of respondents objecting to candidates sporting them.

On the other hand, about 75% and 60% of respondents were less likely to hire qualified candidates with neck tattoos, an arm or hand tattoos, respectively.

That’s about a seven-fold disadvantage between a person with a neck tattoo compared to one with ink on the neck or hand.

And if a back tattoo could speak, it would be quipping “hey, I’ve got your back.”

Ah Hock loved Michelle and asked her, ‘Ai stead mai?’ in the 90s. Today, he tried again but would it work? Prepare some tissue paper and watch their love story here:

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Generation Gap

Another aspect of the survey revealed a generational discontinuity when it came to the perception of tattoos.

60% of those over 55 said they were less likely to hire tattooed candidates, while about 30% of those aged 18 to 24 felt the same way.

A total of 1,075 Singaporeans were polled for this survey.

Moving Forward

Despite becoming mainstream in society, with about 10% of Singaporeans having been inked, according to YouGov spokesperson, Jack Gammon, tattoos are still affecting job hunter’s employability significantly.

While about 50% of respondents indicated that a tattoo had no bearing on a job seeker’s employability, on the whole, about 60% of respondents still felt those with tattoos should cover up while at work, while 70% felt certain professions were “unsuitable” for people with tattoos.

Suffice to say, to spot a tattoo would mean dealing oneself a losing hand at job-hunt, despite qualifications.

Oh, Wells.