For as long as we know, people with disabilities have been unfortunately underrepresented and excluded from the workforce. And for many, they still remain an untapped workforce.
When in reality, there are a number of benefits for hiring people with disabilities. They bring creativity, innovation, and valuable skills to their jobs. In fact, they also bring an influx of unique skills and perspectives to the table, which can undeniably help companies improve their bottom line and team productivity.
People with disabilities can give businesses a competitive advantage. They can help you diversify and strengthen your workforce in various ways!
If you’re planning on hiring people with disabilities, then these 4 great tips will help you in the process!
Promote an inclusive culture
Before you begin hiring people with disabilities, take the time to work on promoting a culture of inclusivity that encourages and embraces diversity. A Deloitte study has actually shown that businesses who foster inclusive cultures are two times more likely to exceed their financial targets, and six times more likely to be more agile!
The best way to promote an inclusive culture is by supporting disability groups, boosting awareness efforts, partnering with outside groups, and keeping all communication lines open.
Then, begin showcasing your inclusive culture. Make sure you glamorously reflect it on your career page and make sure to mention all the awesome benefits you have to offer. When hiring people with disabilities you want to make them feel welcomed, appreciated, and well accommodated. This way, you’ll be taking the initiative to continuously evolve, grow, and foster a warm and inclusive culture at the workplace.
Broaden your hiring practices
When hiring people with disabilities, broaden and expand where you share your job vacancies. The point is, you want to post your jobs where people with disabilities can find them. For instance, opt for sharing your vacancies with nonprofits or agencies that work with people with disabilities in your region or area. You can even consider partnering with external organizations that can help you hire people with unique needs.
Also, post your vacancies on websites that target candidates with disabilities, and feature your job openings on social media and blogs that candidates with disabilities follow. Make sure you train your recruiters to maximize engagement and care with these candidates throughout the hiring process. Using language that promotes inclusion is also crucially necessary for recruiters to adopt.
Recruiters should modify job descriptions to include inclusive language. For instance, recruiters should abstain from labeling people with disabilities as ‘’disabled’’ in job descriptions. They can also make the conscious effort to adopt a vocabulary that is deemed respectful and sensitive to candidates with special needs and disabilities.
Adjust your application process
Now that you’re hiring people with disabilities, you must modify the application process to accommodate their needs. You must make it easy for these candidates to navigate and apply to open job vacancies. For example, people with disabilities might need to hear the information that they see on your site. Therefore, information should be simple, clear, and straight to the point.
We highly advise you to turn your application process into a great user experience for candidates with special needs. For instance, website navigation should include both keyboard and mouse accessibility. So make sure your job adverts are easily accessible and are at least a font size of 12. And most importantly, make sure the application process promotes a positive approach and fosters leniency when receiving information from candidates.
Last but not least, make sure that candidates on canes or wheelchairs have easy access to your office, whether it’s by elevators, escalators, or wide doorways.
Prioritize and promote a fair interview process
By default, all candidates who are conducting interviews should be treated fairly during the interview process. However, extra caution and care should be taken when interviewing candidates with disabilities. Keep in mind, that these candidates don’t want to be treated any differently. They want to be treated like everyone else.
When asking them questions, focus more on their qualifications rather than disabilities. Ask them job-related questions just like everyone else, and check when they would be able to sit for an assessment test, so you can arrange for the necessary accommodation.
If the candidate has a companion or interpreter, don’t get distracted. Maintain eye contact with the candidate and show them that they have your undivided attention! Listen attentively to what the candidates have to say, be understanding, and keep an open mind.
To wrap up
People with disabilities are bright, smart, and have a lot to offer!
Hiring people with disabilities will help your business build a diverse workforce, create a better brand image, reduce turnover, and improve its bottom line. By promoting an inclusive culture, broadening hiring practices, adjusting the application process, and prioritizing a fair interview process, you will create a hiring process that encourages and supports candidates with disabilities to become part of your company. Like anyone else, candidates with special needs deserve a hiring process that makes them feel comfortable and encourages them to unleash their full potential.