Category: Blogger's Corner, Inclusive, technology, employment, Ridi Awards, disabled
Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion explores how inclusive technology can improve the recruitment and employment process for disabled people.
Around 90% of jobs nowadays have some sort of technology involved. Your job might involve using a desktop computer or laptop, a telephone, cash register or some kind of handheld device such as a credit card machine. The possibilities, like the array of devices and software, are endless. Technology is a part of working life.
When you find a job, most people expect the technology they need to be provided, with the relevant training, from day one. For disabled people the situation is often different. Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments, which cover specialist software or equipment. Often, it is only after a disabled employee starts working that a workplace assessment is carried out.
Before someone starts work, the recruitment process offers an opportunity to find out what adjustments disabled employees need in order to do the job. It seems quite logical and sensible to ask before someone starts work, so that the right kit can be put in place. What most employers struggle with is how and when to ask the right questions and many avoid asking them altogether for fear of getting it wrong.
As a charity that exists to change the lives of disabled people by helping them to use digital technology at work, at home or in education, we wanted to get better at asking that question and ensuring our workforce is diverse and inclusive. At the start of 2014 we started using an online wellbeing management solution, Clear Talents.
It’s a confidential, streamlined and easy to use process for our staff and all candidates applying for our vacancies to disclose any disabilities or needs they may have. Prior to the roll out of Clear Talents, our HR and Line Managers spent significant time encouraging employees to disclose their disability but had minimal success with an employee disclosure rate of less than 5%. Since then there has been a seismic shift in our entire approach to, and success in, diversity and wellbeing management.
This week, I was proud to have presented the key findings from our award-winning work with Clear Talents in front of the Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson MP at the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) Awards Showcase event hosted by DWF.
The theme for the 2016 RIDI awards is aptly “collaboration, communication and confidence” – our partnership with Clear Talents has given us the confidence to be able to communicate better with disabled jobseekers and employees.
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.