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HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Is Singapore a friendly workplace for inked applicants?

Almost two in five Singaporeans are less likely to hire individuals with tattoos.

A study by market research and data analytics firm YouGov recently revealed that one’s chances of getting a job would likely dissipate if you have a tattoo.

According to the research, “Singaporeans have quite a conservative view of tattoos in the workplace,” which is somewhat likely given that only 1 in 10 (10%) have skin impressions and almost half (47%) expressed that they are somewhat less likely (37%) or a lot less likely (10%) to take in inked personnel, even if they were qualified for the position.

This firm belief is mostly held by the 55-year-old and above population (59%) compared to the younger generation of 18- to 24-year-olds (33%).

Out of those surveyed, 48% confirmed that tattoos have no effect on their hiring decisions, whilst 5% gave a dim light for those looking for a job.

Face tattoos (87%) are most likely to affect one’s employment, followed by neck (73%), hand (61%) and arm (59%) tattoos, with back marks being the least likely with 11%, according to the study.

“Six in ten (58%) think they should be covered at the workplace while seven in ten (70%) believe that certain professions are unsuitable for people with tattoos,” said the report, noting that half (50%) surmise this “taboo” as a non-factor in a person’s employability.

Overall, this negative impression does not quite reflect what the research is trying to imply, with only two in five (38%) expressing this negative feeling, over half (55%) not commenting, and 6% having a positive impression.

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