A good equality and inclusion policy doesn’t target any one specific group. Instead it uplifts the quality of the policies applied to everyone. It promotes communication, understanding and opportunity. Learn more about building great diversity policy.
We’re talking today about recruiting persons with invisible disabilities. That could be connected to mental health and wellbeing, such as autism or depression. Or it can be medical or learning conditions, like dyslexia or epilepsy. People with these conditions may need small adjustments to the working environment to unleash their skills and talents.
Recruitment of persons with disabilities
● Carefully consider your application process: some persons with hidden disabilities may be barriered by an entirely online application. Others will struggle with paper copies. It’s important to have a mix of methods and formats to capture everyones’ needs effectively.
● Be thoughtful about interviews: if someone has declared a disability on their application then they may already feel anxious about the process. This means it’s important to open and thoughtful about the process. Can adjustments be made to make it easier for them? Be clear about when you will be able to make a decision. And how and when you will let them know.
● Think about your questions and environment: remember to ask open questions that allow people to self-disclose about their life and history. Tread gently and think about things like table positions and how many people sit on panels. Is your process inclusive?
● Consider different interview formats: Can you consider a more practical interview format that allows people to showcase their skills?
● Be open and honest: Some jobs will have health and wellbeing considerations. If you need to ask a potential hire to fill in a medical questionnaire then properly explain how that information will be used and considered.
This is not an exhaustive list of how to recruit inclusively. It’s important for you as employers and managers to reflect on how recruitment works for you. Ask disabled employees and new hires with disabilities on how the process worked for them. However, you need to remain sensitive to the challenges different people bring to the table. You could consider:
● Anonymous feedback surveys or question boxes.
● One-to-one interviews.
● Consultation sessions with groups of disabled persons within your organisation.
The workforce is changing, is your business plan? Find out more about how we can support your company to grow its diversity and inclusion strategy here.