The stats are in, and according to a Labour Force Survey, conducted by the Office for Disability Issues Department for Work and Pensions in the UK, disabled people are more likely to find employment today than they were back in 2002. With that said, the numbers are still low and could stand to improve significantly.
As an employer, maybe you have been wondering what you can do to better attract disabled talent to your workplace. Perhaps you’ve tried in the past and had little success, or maybe you’ve come to the realisation that your company isn’t doing its part to provide equal opportunities to the disabled talent out there. So, what can you do to change things? Here are some tips that you can put into play right away that will help attract and retain disabled talent.
Examine how you recruit talent
The first place you're going to want to start is your recruitment process. Ask how accessible the process is. If it's not accessible to all, then how can you expect to find disabled talent? You'll need to be sure that your application is available in all formats, your building is accessible for all during the interview process, and ensure that the people performing the interviews are able to understand and answer questions related to disability issues.
Make sure it's clear you welcome disabled talent
It's also equally important to make it clear that you welcome disabled talent. You need to make it clear that you offer a fully-accessible workplace and that you are committed to attracting disabled talent. Saying that you have a "diverse" workforce isn't enough, you need to follow through and make sure your workplace truly is welcoming and inclusive.
Take a look at your current disabled talent
This next step requires you to take a good look at the disabled talent currently employed in your building. How many people do you have? Are they all in entry level positions? If so, this is a problem and it's going to turn potential talent off. Disabled talent needs to be afforded the same opportunities as others, which means they have the same opportunities to advance in the company.
Make sure you are focusing on the individual
While it's easy to focus on the disability itself, it's important you shift that focus to the individual. Focusing on that person's skills, talents, and experience should be key, after all that is why you are hiring them. It's also a good idea to get to know each individual to learn about their skills, they may have more than you even knew about.
Make sure disabled talent is treated like others
In society, disabled individuals are often treated with fear and there is a stigma around them. As an employer, it's important you treat them just the same as your other employees, in a natural, respectful, and relaxed way. This should be the case with all employees.
By following these tips, you’ll be doing what you can to attract disabled talent to your workplace, and also keep them there.
VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.