Do visible body modifications influence job applicants’ perceived employability in Ghana? A quasi-experimental study


This study examined the effects of visible body modifications on the perceived employability of job applicants, and whether the type of body modification, applicant’s gender, and job type influence these perceptions. Results from a mixed analysis of variance indicate that applicants with tattoos, piercings, and both tattoos and piercings were rated significantly lower on employability than applicants with no form of visible body modification. The type of visible body modification, however, made no significant difference in the employability ratings of job applicants. The negative effect on employability was lower for pierced female job applicants, tattooed male job applicants, and applicants seeking non-customer-facing jobs. These findings underscore the importance of appearance in employment selection and call for more attention to the potential consequences of visible body modifications.