Today's blog article has kindly been provided by Ryan Compton, Director of Centre for Resolution, and is the next instalment in the four part series on the process of employing someone with a disability.
Ryan writes: "We hope you enjoyed our previous blog ‘Introduction to disability and employment’. So for the next instalment in the series we are taking a look at inclusive recruitment and what this may look like for employers.
Fair and accessible
In order for us to recruit people with disabilities we must make the recruitment process fair and accessible. Some employers don’t realise that before a candidate with a disability gets to the job interview stage, there are multiple barriers that they face for example job adverts being inaccessible. In some cases job adverts have excluded people with disabilities by stating such things as you must hold a valid driving licence. This isn’t completely true as somebody with a disability may have access to a vehicle and may be entitled to a driver funded by Access to Work.
There are some people with disabilities who would require the advert in a different format for example by having someone read out the information via the telephone and some people use email as an alternative method. In most adverts there are contact details listed at the bottom of the advert: is this contact person well informed about the job and are they able to provide the advert in an alternative format?
The job interview comes with multiple barriers for people with disabilities. Some people with disabilities may find it difficult to get to a job interview for a number of reasons: for example until they have secured the job with you they can’t get access to funding to enable them to get to your workplace, or they may have recognised the job advert at short notice and arranging support to enable them to attend the interview could prove difficult. Advances in technology such as Skype® or the good old telephone may prove invaluable in opening up a job opportunity to a wider field of candidates.
Advertising equals diversity
Ensuring your job is advertised in more than one place is key. Most providers promote their job adverts on one particular platform. How about having a multi-layered approach by advertising your vacancy on multiple platforms? Some may argue that this could be costly for organisations but forums for people with disabilities, social media, and many other advertising channels are sometimes free and provide the opportunity to create a diverse workforce, as inevitably you will get different types of candidates.
Is it all about physical adjustments?
Often those involved in making the recruitment process accessible fixate on physical adjustments such as step-free access, lifts or hearing loops, which are the very obvious ones. Although they are still very valuable there is much more to recruiting someone with a disability than this. Being aware of the way in which you speak to someone with a disability, maintaining eye contact and also looking in the candidate’s general direction when they are vision-impaired. It is often the case that because the candidate has limited eyesight the interviewer doesn’t maintain eye contact. Treating someone fairly, and with the same level of enthusiasm as a non-disabled candidate, will ensure better rapport. Furthermore if that candidate is then successful in achieving the job there is a better impression of the organisation on the run up to the candidate accepting the position.
Interviewing candidates for a job requires a vast amount of skills which some people lack. Interviewers must recognise their own unconscious biases and have a certain amount of self-awareness to ensure fair treatment for all.
To find out more about making your recruitment process accessible you may wish to attend Disability Awareness Training.
For more information about Access to Work please visit this site.
We also have a resource on The Equality Act 2010, if you wish to find out more information about the law.
Keep an eye out for our next installment in our blog series “Disability and Employment’’ where we take a look at how employers can accommodate people with disabilities.
If you would like to know more about our support services please visit www.centreforresolution.com."