Finding and Hiring Employees with Disabilities

Finding and Hiring Employees with Disabilities

Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, it became illegal to discriminate against people because of a disability in 1990. Although many Americans who are considered disabled are available to work, many find themselves overlooked for positions they are capable of doing. In 2020, only 17.9% of people with disabilities were employed, versus 61.8 of people without disabilities. This shows a vast talent pool among those with disabilities going unexplored. Much of this is due to a lack of education about those with disabilities and how to integrate them into your workplace. Employing those with disabilities is essential because it contributes to greater diversity within your organization. In addition to this, it also contributes to organizational growth and increased profitability. Let’s explore how to disprove the myths about disabilities, how hiring people with disabilities can benefit your organization, and how to find and engage these candidates.

Myths About Employees with Disabilities

Individuals with disabilities face many barriers when seeking employment. Many of these barriers are not factually based. Instead, they are biased assumptions hiring teams may make about them before knowing the truth. This excludes many capable candidates before they even get a chance to apply. People with disabilities can have intellectual or developmental disabilities. Intellectual disabilities impact the function of mental tasks such as learning, reasoning, or problem-solving. Developmental disabilities can affect intellectual or physical functioning. They include Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or cerebral palsy. Many people with disabilities can perform jobs at the same level as those without disabilities. Having a disability does not automatically mean that a candidate has fewer educational accomplishments or experience.

Benefits of Hiring Employees with Disabilities

 Hiring diverse employees always carry benefits. An increase in your organization’s talent pool gives your company the ability to pick the very best candidates. In addition, diversity among employees in the workplace has increased employee engagement, increased retention, and increased productivity and profit. Employees with disabilities can specifically bring these benefits. In addition, they can provide new perspectives for problem-solving and enhance their workplaces through dependability and a strong work ethic. The government also offers incentives to businesses that employ people with disabilities, including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, the Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction, and the Disabled Access Credit.

Recruiting and Engaging Employees with Disabilities

Recruiters can reach people with disabilities by making sure applications are accessible to people with different ability types or searching for candidates through job search boards focusing on disabilities. People with disabilities may need other arrangements to perform their jobs effectively than their peers. This does not have to be a deterrent or an expensive modification. Often, they may need flexible schedules or work from home arrangements. Employers need to find out what candidates need to assess how to provide reasonable arrangements. Organizations can also partner with companies, events, and foundations that provide support, services, and resources for people with disabilities. 

            Employing people with disabilities is not a barrier to profit or productivity. On the contrary, it is a strategic investment in your organization’s talent and growth goals. Do not overlook different candidates because your staff is unfamiliar with their community. Recruiting, hiring, and engaging people with disabilities may require some education, but the benefits are worth it.