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Only 3% of disabled people find condition does not impact their job-hunting

Category: Blogger's Corner, Awards, disability, Ridi Awards, morgan lobb

Only 3% of disabled people find condition | job-hunting

Blog by Morgan Lobb, CEO of Diversityjobs.co.uk on RIDI candidate survey - 'Only 3% of disabled people find condition does not impact their job-hunting.'

A recent survey by the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI), in conjunction with Diversityjobs.co.uk and Evenbreak, has revealed that only 3% of disabled jobseekers find that their condition does not impact their job-hunting at all. These results were based on findings from a survey of over 300 disabled jobseekers who have a variety of disabilities including mental, physical and long-term conditions. Of these, 47% considered themselves to have a mobility impairment, 10% had a visual impairment, 13% classified themselves as having a learning disability and 23% reported a mental condition.

Altogether, 56% of participants reported that they had experienced barriers as early as the initial application stage of the recruitment process. One respondent even commented that, “employers instantly think a disabled person will be unreliable and have time off for sickness and/or hospital appointments” but this is far from the truth; according to the Health and Safety Executive, disabled people experience fewer accidents in the workplace and take less time off sick.  Other areas were also seen as problematic; telephone interviews (23%), online assessments (32%), travel to an interview (29%), presentations (15%), psychometric testing (11%), role-play (15%), and group exercises (18%) also presented obstacles for disabled jobseekers.

Those who took part in the survey commented on their experiences of the recruitment process. One spoke of the difficulty of finding employers who were accepting: “I have a hearing dog. When they see her, they don’t want to know. After 8 years, still looking for a job.” And with one in seven people in the UK – that’s roughly nine million people – living with a hearing impediment, this demonstrates how unprepared some workplaces are, and the scope of talent they could be missing out on.

Similarly, small additions to job adverts, such as a full UK driving licence, can be problematic – especially when they are not compulsory to the role. One respondent commented that, “many jobs I have been to seem to require a full driving licence. Due to the nature of my health condition and poor joints, I am unable to drive so do not hold one. I have been refused interviews because of this despite my husband being able to drive and we have a blue disabled parking badge.” When one in thirty people in the UK are registered blind or with a visual impairment, and many other conditions can stop people from being able to drive, these roles are effectively excluding a vast amount of candidates who would otherwise be able to fill this position.

So, how do you make sure your employer is disability confident? There are five key signs to look out for:

Are they committed to change?

The organisation’s values need to be in the right place – an inclusive recruitment strategy is great but this must stretch to all aspects of on-boarding and the workplace.

Have they gone back to basics?

Does it feel as though their recruitment process has been examined to ensure that there is no unnecessary red tape; this includes everything from job descriptions, advertising, assessment centres, access, interviews and appointment procedures.

Is each recruiter/interviewer confident on disability?

Do they know which questions to ask and, crucially, when? Do you feel comfortable talking openly to them?

Are they engaging with disabled talent?

It’s always a good sign when a recruiter or employer is working in partnership with disability confident suppliers – can you see evidence that the organisation is actively seeking to tap into the pool of disabled talent?

Have they made reasonable adjustments?

For example, if you are a wheelchair user, do you have easy access to your interview room? Is there software which can enlarge the text on any computer-based forms? Make sure that they act on their promises and accommodate you fully.

If you know of a great employer which is taking positive steps to engage with disabled talent, encourage them to enter the RIDI Awards. After all, it is only by sharing best practice that we can raise the bar on inclusion.

The awards are free to enter and attend – submissions close on the 31st of July.

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 [email protected] for more information.

We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.

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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 email [email protected] for more information.

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