&nbsp An employer may have 100 qualified job applicants. What if a qualified person applies for the job and also happens to have a disability? What are the benefits of interviewing that person? Should employers seek to hire persons with disabilities?

Yes! At Stafflink we’ve made many successful placements of persons with disabilities. We’ve also hired persons with disabilities for our internal staff. In every case we’ve managed to overcome the challenges of making accommodations. We’ve found the experience to be enriching for our staff and our clients.

The good news is that most employers want to hire persons with disabilities. They are willing to make accommodations because they know that it’s worth the investment.

Persons with disabilities bring unique perspectives and solutions that enrich the companies they work for. They open up new markets. They humanize company culture. They bring the diversity that is essential to the success and creativity of every organization.

Hire Outside the Box and Diversify Your Talent PoolEdit

As consultants committed to inclusive search processes, we’ve noted over the years some of the challenges organizations face when attempting to diversify their talent pool. One of the easiest is to identify what we call “right fit” decision making.

At the beginning of many searches and during the interview process, we often hear this refrain from clients—“I’ll know it when I see it.” This feel-right approach poses a challenge to an inclusive hiring process. Why? For two reasons: first, knowing it when you see it assumes you’ve seen it before and second, many “diverse” candidates who offer an organization new perspectives are just that—new.

One of the most universal principles in human psychology is the positive relationship between similarity and attraction. We are most attracted to those who are similar to us and diversity is by definition different. If decision makers rely too heavily on gut feelings to guide what feels right, they can develop unintended biases towards ‘familiar’ candidates. Doing so will slow the progress an organization can make toward diversifying it’s talent pool.

Written By: Lorraine Steel, the lead IT account manager/recruiter at StaffLink Solutions.

The Business Case for Hiring Persons with DisabilitiesEdit

One of the biggest groups overlooked in the typical recruitment process are persons with disabilities. About 1.85 million people in Ontario have a disability. That's one in seven people. So what is the business case for hiring persons with disabilities?

  1. The market is relatively untapped. Under utilized talent sources will be at an advantage in the future race for talent.
  2. With the sheer size of the population people with disabilities represent a large consumer group with significant spending power. Enabling this group to earn and spend is good for the overall economy.
  3. With an ageing workforce, the number of young people and immigrant candidates will be insufficient to meet demand.
  4. Hiring more diverse workforce increases employee morale. Workplaces that are sensitive to their employees are better, more energizing places to work and more profitable in the long run.
  5. Creates a brand as an employer of choice. In a competitive employment market employee loyalty is like gold. And turnover is expensive.
  6. Having a company or product that is open to persons with disabilities will also attract their friends and families – a huge share of the overall market.
  7. Uniqueness breeds unique ideas. Having people of diverse backgrounds at the table brings more creativity and broader range of thought.
  8. According to John Izzo (Values Shift: The New Work Ethic) making your workforce diverse can result in a 8% increase in shareholder value.
  9. People who want to work should be given the opportunity to work regardless of disabilities.
  10. Beyond the benefits to business, employers have a legal requirement to ensure that workplaces are accessible and free of discrimination. Complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission can be both expensive and can earn your company a bad reputation.

Bottom Line: Creating a diverse workforce is good for business. Welcoming persons with disabilities onto your workforce will increase your profitability and create a better working environment for all.

Written By: Lorraine Steel, the lead IT account manager/recruiter at StaffLink Solutions.