In our last blog, Bascule’s MD, Chris Jay answered a question based around the benefits of recruiting people with a disability. Here, he provides a few basic tips on how to make the process of recruitment as inclusive as possible, ensuring that people with disabilities can apply for the role.
The process of recruitment can be a difficult and expensive task. Reaching the right people with the right skills, knowledge, experience and personality can be a huge challenge, therefore when we recruit, we must appeal to as wide an audience as possible. However, many employers exclude a vast number of potential applicants, simply through the methods of their advertisement. For example, A recent survey found that: 75% of jobseekers with a disability find their condition has an impact on job hunting, 54% find hurdles at multiple stages of the recruitment process and 28% find online assessments challenging (Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) / VERCIDA).
If you also consider that 1 in 5 people of working age in the UK have a disability, you begin to realise that taking a few simple measures throughout the recruitment process, will certainly widen your net for potential candidates.During the recruitment phase, to develop a stronger appeal to people with disabilities, consider the following:
- If you are advertising on your own website, now is a good time to make sure it is fully inclusive. Ensure it can be read and navigated in several different formats to accommodate as many different disabilities as possible. Add accessible features such as a large print availability, dyslexia friendly options and plain text versions. Those researching or considering you as an employer will take note of these details and the effort you have made.
- Make it as clear as possible on any job advertisement you create that the company welcomes candidates with a disability. Why not take it a step further and look into schemes such as Disability Confident- that helps employers think differently about disability, and improves how they attract, recruit and retain workers with disabilities. With the Disability Confident logo on your website, people with disabilities will actually seek your business out.
- Most employers will advertise positions on their own social media- if you do this make sure you use ‘alt text tags’. These are descriptions embedded into images and designed so that technology used by people with sight impairments can access audio descriptions.
- When advertising externally, why not consider recruitment websites and platforms that specialise in promoting opportunities to people with disabilities, such as Evenbreak or Disability Jobsite. If you use an external agency, ask them what procedures they have in place to attract people with disabilities
- Think about where the interviews will take place and if they happen to be on the third floor, then make sure you have an alternative location in place for anyone that will have difficulty accessing this room.
- Make sure when you address the successful candidates, that you ask if they have any specific requirements, or if they need assistance during the interview process.
- Consider parking availability and make details about the location of spaces clear in any invitations to the interview that you send.
- Think about any instructions and time allowances for tests. For example, it may be that a candidate has dyslexia, so allowances could be offered here.
- Consider all formats for documents such as application forms or job specs, and any other materials and make sure these are available in various document formats.
- I have said it many times, but I’ll say it again. You can have the most inclusive working environment possible on paper, but if your staff lack disability awareness – then it will be of little use. Make sure your employees are disability awareness trained in all departments, from the top down, to ensure an inclusive mindset is embedded in the culture of your business.
- Remember that over 80% of disabilities are hidden, so it could be that you already employ someone with a disability. A workforce that is inclusive and empathetic will allow people with a disability to feel comfortable in their working environment, and will encourage others to disclose, whilst offering a platform to allow them to improve the way in which they work through reasonable adjustment.
- If nothing else, simply be aware of the limitations that exist. Making as many adjustments as possible and continuing to build on these is always recommended, however if there are limitations that you are currently unable to change, always be aware and as open as possible about these. That way, the person considering a position with your company can decide if you are the right employer for them. Often, the thought and openness you show about your business will tell people with disabilities a lot about you and how you want to work?