5 Tips for Recruiters to Hire Candidates with Disabilities

As per the Annual Disability Statistics Report, 1 in every 8 people in America has a disability and this number keeps rising with time. Companies have always been facing a war when it comes to recruiting the right candidates. But, did you know that disabled workers actually make the most committed employees at work? There are a few major research works being undertaken regarding hiring non-homogeneous workforce and creating an inclusive workplace.

Forbes, in one study, has mentioned how disability inclusion has been identified as a key driver in business growth and innovation.

It’s very often understated how employers who feel included in their workplace are more likely to show higher levels of productivity, enthusiasm and loyalty for the company than the others. Thereby, recruiters need to understand that it’s not just about recruiting people with disabilities but also diversity management.

We have already discussed in one of our previous blogs, major things recruiters must know about diversity hiring and why it’s essential for a company. However, in this article, we are going to talk about why recruiters must step up their game, interest and recruitment strategies in hiring people with disabilities. Keep reading to learn 5 such tips for disability inclusion.

5 Tips For Recruiters To Create A Disability-Inclusive Workforce

Companies and businesses that are inclusive of people with disabilities benefit from a wider talent pool, skills and innovative solutions to problems. Here are 5 ways by which you too can create a more diversified workplace.

1. Make Sure The Company Has The Right Infrastructure

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Assess the company’s situation first. To hire people with disabilities, firstly as a recruiter make sure that the company has the right infrastructure and accommodation to support them. Do you have a wheelchair? Is there parking accessible? If not, you need to be ready to make some changes to help them settle in. There might be a necessity to relocate their workstation, offer flexible working hours or even update your employee handbook. Once a recruiter hires someone with a disability for your company, existing employees in your company must treat them with the same value and respect that they treat their other coworkers.

In simple terms, no one should suffer from any discrimination. Recruiters should make sure that there is enough training and the right infrastructure changes are made to make it easier for them.

2. Partner With Community-Based Organization Or NGOs

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If as a recruiter you don’t have enough knowledge or training when it comes to hiring people with disabilities, make sure you turn to an external organization for help. Partnering with community-based organizations can help ensure that your entire company is trained on laws related to disability inclusion and there are weekly disability-awareness communications. Recruitment agencies can also tie up with such community-based organizations that can help them in hiring the differently-abled and also must keep in mind that the recruiters receive proper training with time on how to engage with candidates with unique needs.

3. Choose A Proper Language

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When you’re trying to attract and hire people with disabilities, make sure you use the right language. Always speak with inclusion. You must know how to communicate with members of a diverse group and this is one of the key lessons in diversity management. For instance, keep the following in mind while drafting a job description:

a. The word impairment might look fine in legal contexts but never use it when writing a job description. People with disabilities are not damaged but just different.

b. Mention in your job postings that the role is open for all, including those with disabilities. If a position can be freely performed by those with cognitive or intellectual disabilities, then point it out.

c. Never write ‘a disabled person’ or ‘the disabled’. A disability is what someone has. It’s not something that defines him/her. Therefore, always use the phrase people with disabilities.

d. Wherever any form of legal terminology is not required, recruiters must use the term modifications or adjustments that are usually made in a company to support them and help them feel included.

4. Modify The Application Process

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Ask yourself this, is the company application accessible to them? If a company is using an online system to accept applications from candidates, then people with disabilities should be able to access it. However,
you might need to make a few modifications here and there. For instance, if a candidate is visually impaired, make sure that they can hear the application aloud. Information should be laid out in a very clear, simple language with easy website navigation so that they can make sense out of it.

As a company, you’re actually creating a decent user experience by implementing such accessible practices. Remember that modifying the application process actually benefits everyone and not just candidates with disabilities.

5. Interview People With Disabilities Impartially

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All job candidates should be treated respectfully & equally, answering the same questions to help determine the best candidate for that specific position. Individuals with disabilities will always want to be treated fairly just like any other candidate.

Make sure as a recruiter you don’t ask disability-related queries to the person. To provide equal job opportunities for such candidates during the interview be sure that:

a. The employment offices and interviewing locations are accessible to persons with a variety of disabilities.

b. There is enough focus on the candidates’ qualifications, not any disability and don’t ask questions regarding the same as well.

c. You ask job-related questions that you would ask any other candidate like- How would you perform this task? or Why do you think you’re suitable for this position?

d. You allow them to request reasonable modifications so they can participate in the interview, such as requesting assistance in completing forms, asking for a sign language interpreter to facilitate communication and so on. Recruiters must make sure that they are not taking diversity management lightly and treating everyone with due respect.

Apart from proper awareness, supporting employment for people with disabilities will help you gain access to the unexploited talent pool. As an all-inclusive and diverse recruiter, make sure the companies define what disabilities actually mean to them on a personal and professional level. Broaden your recruitment structure and make way for these talented candidates. In the end, don’t forget to leave your views in the comment section below!

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