A diverse and inclusive company employs people with disabilities. However, many employers worry that they aren’t equipped to include people with disabilities in their recruitment process. Fear not employers, here are EDI’s 6 steps to inclusive recruitment to help you get it right!
This is the first step in any recruitment process and the best way to ensure a good job-person match. By analysing the job, we’re getting up to date information about the core functions of the job, how it is organised, the environment and the qualifications required. Don’t forget - a job analysis describes the job, not the person who fills it. It also helps to ensure you have the support of senior and middle management to guarantee success. They play a key role in decision making and influence the company’s approach. To encourage the employment of people with disabilities, develop a competency based job description.
Flexibility in how someone can apply for the role is a key positive action step for people with disabilities. We rely heavily on online recruitment these days so make sure your hiring site is accessible for all. Remember to provide an alternative means for people with disabilities to contact the company to request accommodations at interview. If your application is timed allow applicants with disability the time they need to fill in forms.
At this stage, applicants with disabilities are often screened out of the process. Their CVs and applications look different to other applicants and they may have gaps, less work experience and alternative qualifications. However, people with disabilities are creative thinkers, problem solvers and exceptionally resilient people. They have had to navigate their lives and work in a different, and often more difficult, way than their non-disabled peers. When shortlisting many companies now state that applicants who meet the qualification requirements and have disclosed a disability on their CV or application form will be automatically invited to interview. That way, you are communicating your commitment to inclusion and encouraging the disclosure of a disability.
Some companies use assessment centres and online testing. These tools can prove a huge barrier to applicants with disabilities, in particular non-visible disabilities. Consider whether you can waive this requirement for applicants with a disability. A work trial or placement may be a better way to assess the abilities of applicants with disabilities. Ensure that the testing location and material is accessible for all types of disability, including neurodiverse applicants, specifically learning difficulties like dyslexia and those with sensory and physical disabilities. Check with your test developer to ensure the test is flexible and accessible for all.
The main purpose is to establish whether applicants have the skills and capability to do the essential and core elements of the job. You don’t need to change your interview process – just ensure it is competency based to get the best result. Members of the interview panel should be appropriately trained in disability awareness. Ask all candidates the same open and direct questions about their ability to perform the functions of the role. Don’t worry about the disability or how it may impact at work. Focus on the ability of candidates. Remember to be open-minded as to how the job can be done – people with disabilities will approach tasks differently.
There are financial support grants available and the Employer Disability Information team are always here to help you make your workplace a more inclusive and understanding place.