The employment rate for people with disabilities is still significantly higher than the national average, yet employers who hire differently-abled workers often cite improved quality of work and increased loyalty among their benefits. But what can employers do to attract new hires who have disabilities?
Read on to learn about recruiting differently-abled applicants who can help improve your business, courtesy of the Just Ask Talk Show with Marsha Florence.
Reassess Job Descriptions
The first step in attracting new hires with disabilities is to review job descriptions for any language that would be exclusionary. For instance, words like “able-bodied” or “physically fit” are not inclusive and should be removed from job postings. It’s also important to avoid using terms such as “ninja,” “rock star,” or other phrases that have no clear definition in relation to the position being filled. This will ensure that all potential candidates feel welcome and included when considering your job posting.
Build Internship Opportunities
Creating internship programs specifically for people with disabilities can be an effective way to attract new hires. These internships provide a low-risk opportunity for employers to evaluate the abilities of potential employees before making a full-time commitment. Internship programs allow differently-abled workers to gain valuable experience in their chosen field while also building professional connections that could help them land a permanent position down the line.
Ensure Your Company Has an Inclusive Culture
Creating an environment where all employees are welcomed, respected, and valued is key when it comes to attracting new hires who have disabilities. Companies should foster an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion by educating staff on disability awareness and engaging in activities that promote diversity and inclusion, such as hosting events celebrating different cultures. Ideally, companies should strive to create a workplace culture that is accessible and accommodating for all employees regardless of ability level or background.
Factor Workplace Accommodations Into the Budget
In order to make sure your workplace is truly accessible, employers must budget for appropriate accommodations such as wheelchair ramps, adjustable desks/chairs, braille signage/elevator buttons, etc. These accommodations will not only make your business more welcoming but also ensure compliance with state laws regarding disability rights. Depending on where you live, some of these accommodations may require tax credits. If so, you’ll need to obtain an EIN from the state in order to qualify for them.
Developing Career-Planning Opportunities
Offering career-planning opportunities is another great way to attract new hires who have disabilities. Providing resources such as resume workshops or mock interviews can give differently-abled employees confidence when applying for jobs or transitioning into a new role within your company. Furthermore, providing continuing education funds or online programs could encourage talented individuals with disabilities to pursue higher levels of education which could benefit them professionally in the long run.
You can encourage all of your employees to take online courses and complete skills assessments to document their growth. Consider rewarding successful completion of these assessments with gift cards for their favorite places. You can use an API (application programming interface) to simplify the process. Using this solution to distribute virtual cards means that the cards will be disbursed automatically when a particular metric is completed, which makes it a great tool for an employee reward system.
Document the Benefits and Importance of Inclusivity
Finally, creating a document detailing the benefits of hiring differently-abled employees and the importance of creating an inclusive workplace can go a long way toward attracting new hires with disabilities. Utilizing PDF tools makes it easy for employers to keep recruitment documents organized while ensuring they are compliant with any applicable laws or regulations related to disability rights/discrimination protection (e.g., the Americans With Disabilities Act).
Embrace Diversity in Your Workplace
Attracting new hires who have disabilities requires effort on the part of employers but offers numerous benefits, including increased employee morale and loyalty, among other things. By taking steps such as reviewing job descriptions for inclusive language, creating internship programs, fostering an atmosphere of acceptance, offering career planning opportunities, and documenting your commitment to inclusivity, you are in a better position to attract talented candidates, regardless of abilities or background.