Many organizations state that one of the greatest barriers they face in hiring people with disabilities is that they have trouble finding qualified candidates. So, how do you go about it?
Put your Job Advertisements to the Acid Test
While some of the exclusion of disabled people from the workplace is due to outright discrimination, some of it is also due to simple mistakes. For example, in job adverts, are you making any of the errors that may exclude some qualified candidates with disabilities: requiring a driver’s license when driving isn't key to the role, posting it on a website that isn't fully accessible, using a small font that’s hard to read or not offering alternative formats for applications? Also, think carefully about the language of your ad, which can unintentionally exclude certain groups. Tools like Textio can help you become more aware of wording that may fall into this category.
Partner With Disability-Related Organizations
Go where your target audience is. If you partner with advocacy organizations, they can connect you with qualified candidates, advise you on the best approaches to take, and more. You can also attend disability-related job fairs and conferences, post ads in magazines or on websites produced by disability advocacy organizations, or find specific job boards.
Create an Equal Opportunities Policy
This is basic, but small businesses may not have considered it before. If you truly have an inclusive hiring policy, then state it up front. Create an equal opportunities policy, post it on your website, and refer to it in all of your hiring materials.
Offer a fair Interview Process
Another area where you can unintentionally exclude people is in the interview process. For example, if you require people to take a test, are you giving them advance notice and allowing them to take it in a different format if necessary? Are you asking questions that are focused squarely on the performance of the job function? Are you making assumptions about how a disability would prevent the person completing certain tasks, or are you giving them a chance to show what they can do?