Global HR Round-up

Tattoo taboo in workplace

Most US workers believe body art such as tattoos and piercings damage your job prospects.

A survey of 500 employees and managers by career information provider Vault found that more than 80% said inking an arm or piercing an eyebrow could hurt your chances of getting a job.

Tattoos and piercings were considered career killers, particularly in law, financial services, health and politics. Four in 10 respondents said they had a tattoo of their own.

A separate survey of employers showed that 58% said they would be less likely to hire someone with visible tattoos or body piercings.

If candidates’ body art was concealed, 72% of employers said it would have no effect on their recruitment decisions.

Horses for courses

Austrian firms are experimenting in selecting managers by asking them to train horses.

Animal psychologists who run courses at a centre in Obertrum claim that a horse will only allow itself to be trained by natural leaders.

Delegates are asked to teach a horse to do a number of set tasks to demonstrate they have what it takes to lead.

Animal psychologist Barbara Lehner said: “Horses recognise leadership abilities in humans at once. You can’t make them believe you are something you’re not. You’re either a good leader, or you’re not.”

Offshoring alternative

Bulgaria is the latest nation to make its mark in the offshoring market, with an increasing number of foreign companies reportedly choosing it to set up operations.

While China and India have long dominated the market for business process outsourcing, Bulgaria’s ongoing post-Communist economic transformation makes it an attractive alternative.

The country, which joined the EU in January, offers a low-paid, highly educated, multilingual workforce – and is culturally and geographically closer to Western clients than Asia.

According to the government’s Invest Bulgaria Agency, 33 major call centres have opened in the country since 2001.

Women stress need for action

Swiss researchers have confirmed what many women may already know: when they are stressed they need action – not words – from their partners.

A team at the University of Zurich studied the reactions of 67 women aged between 20 and 37 to different methods of support before a job interview.

The study showed that stress levels during the interview were the same for women who had either no contact with their male partner or had received words of encouragement beforehand.

Women who had been massaged before by their husbands or boyfriends were far less stressed.

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