The employment situation for people with disabilities remains concerning; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics‘ most recent data.
The data shows that only 21.3% of Americans aged 16 and over with disabilities were either employed or actively seeking employment, significantly lower than the 67.1% rate for Americans without disabilities.
Recruiting people with disabilities can be challenging for many organizations, but ensuring that diversity and inclusion remain key parts of your hiring strategy is important. As a nonprofit that employs people with disabilities, we understand the value that people with disabilities can bring to the workplace. Here are ten recruitment tips to attract people with disabilities and create a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
- Use Inclusive Language
The first step to attracting people with disabilities is to use inclusive language in job postings and other recruitment materials. Avoid using language that might be exclusionary, such as “able-bodied” or “normal.” Instead, use terms like “diverse,” “inclusive,” and “accessible” to show that your organization values and welcomes people with disabilities.
- Create Accessible Job Postings
Creating accessible job postings is crucial for attracting people with disabilities. To make your job postings accessible, you should use plain language that is easy to understand, avoid jargon or technical terms that might be difficult to understand, and ensure that the content is available in accessible formats such as HTML or plain text.
It is also important to ensure that the job posting is compatible with screen readers and that any images or videos are captioned. By making your job postings accessible, you can ensure that candidates with disabilities have equal access to information about job opportunities and can apply for positions with confidence.
- Promote Your Organization’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Make it clear that your organization is committed to diversity and inclusion. This could include highlighting any diversity and inclusion initiatives your organization has implemented or sharing stories of employees with disabilities who have found success at your organization.
- Use Disability-Specific Recruitment Channels
Using disability-specific recruitment channels is an effective way to reach a wider pool of candidates with disabilities. Many job boards, career fairs, and networking events are specifically designed for people with disabilities. Using these channels, you can connect with candidates who may have yet to find your organization through traditional recruitment channels.
Disability-focused recruitment channels can also provide resources and support for job seekers with disabilities, such as information on accommodations, disability rights, and vocational rehabilitation services. By tapping into these networks and resources, you can increase your chances of finding highly qualified candidates with disabilities who fit your organization well.
- Offer Accommodations During the Hiring Process
Make sure that your hiring process is accessible and inclusive. This could include offering accommodations, such as providing sign language interpreters or allowing candidates to take assessments in alternative formats. By offering accommodations, you can help candidates with disabilities feel more comfortable and confident during the hiring process.
- Partner with Disability-Focused Organizations
Partner with disability-focused organizations to expand your reach and connect with candidates with disabilities. This could include working with disability advocacy groups, vocational rehabilitation agencies, or disability service providers in your area. You can tap into their networks and expertise by partnering with these organizations.
- Highlight Your Accessibility Features
Make sure that your workplace is accessible and inclusive. This could include having wheelchair ramps, accessible bathrooms, or assistive technology. By highlighting these accessibility features, you can show candidates with disabilities that your organization is committed to creating an inclusive workplace.
- Offer Flexible Work Arrangements
Offering flexible work arrangements can be a game-changer for people with disabilities. This could include flexible hours, remote work options, or job-sharing arrangements. By offering flexibility, you can help employees with disabilities better manage their work and personal lives.
- Provide Disability Awareness Training to Your Employees
Provide disability awareness training to your employees to help them understand how to work effectively with colleagues with disabilities. This could include training on communicating with people with hearing or vision impairments or providing accommodations for employees with disabilities.
- Showcase Employee Success Stories
Finally, showcase success stories of employees with disabilities who have found success at your organization. This could include highlighting promotions, awards, or other achievements. By showcasing these success stories, you can demonstrate to candidates with disabilities that your organization values their contributions and supports their career growth.
In conclusion, recruiting people with disabilities requires a thoughtful and intentional approach. By using inclusive language, creating accessible job postings, partnering with disability-focused organizations, and offering accommodations and flexibility, you can attract a more diverse pool of candidates and create a more inclusive workplace. By taking these steps, you can build a workforce that reflects and creates a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
As a nonprofit that employs people with disabilities, Amplify understands the importance of creating an inclusive workplace. We hope these tips will help you attract more candidates with disabilities and build a stronger, more diverse team. If you want to learn more about Amplify and our mission to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities, please visit our website.