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Tips for 'disability confident' recruitment

A disability confident organisation is an organisation that puts policies into practice to ensure people with disability are included. Managers in a disability confident organisation know it is important to their business to employ people with disability. They have plans to ensure a diverse workplace.

Managers and staff in a disability confident organisation understand disability. They have identified ways to address barriers to employment, performance, and promotion for people with disability.
The best way to prepare to recruit candidates with disability is to focus on:

  • the inherent requirements of the job
  • discussing the candidates' individual needs in an appropriate setting
  • making reasonable adjustments if required.

The inherent requirements of the job are the essential tasks that must be carried out in order to achieve the results or outcomes of the job. They focus on what must be accomplished, rather than how.

You are likely to be more successful in recruiting a person with disability if you:

  • have an open mind and treat people the way you would expect to be treated
  • ask candidates if they require any support to participate in the recruitment process and let them tell you what they need
  • are open to trying different ways of assessing individuals' suitability for roles.

Disclosure of disability is not required during the application process unless the disability affects the candidate's ability to undertake the inherent requirements of the role.

Things to consider

Résumé

  • Breaks in previous employment may exist as work history can be affected when a person acquires disability. Many people acquire disability in early adulthood and this can create résumé gaps.
  • Consider what transferable skills the candidate may have acquired from 'non-traditional' work or personal experience.

Before interview/assessment

  • Ask the candidate if any reasonable adjustments are required such as an accessible room or parking for a candidate in a wheelchair.
  • Accommodate any requests for a support person to attend an interview, for example a Disability Employment Service case manager for a candidate with learning difficulties.

Interview/assessment

  • Offer flexibility in the assessment process and be prepared to modify or waive some testing if there are alternative ways to obtain the required information.
  • Be flexible in the presentation of essential information, for instance written versus spoken, and/or provide information in alternative formats such as in electronic format for a candidate with low vision.
  • Engage with the candidate directly rather than with any support person who may be present.
  • Focus on essential outcomes and the inherent requirements of the job. Consider what needs to be achieved, not how it is done.
  • If using an assessment centre, think about the impact of a group environment on the confidence of candidates with disability.

Tips

  • Not every candidate needs to be assessed in an identical manner. This provides flexibility to agencies when assessing candidates with disability.
  • Did you know that you may be eligible for reimbursement for costs of reasonable adjustments required at interview, such as Auslan interpreting services, and for disability awareness training? Contact the Employee Assistance Fund on 1800 464 800.

The Employment Assistance Fund also provides free workplace assessments to identify workplace modifications—see Information sheet: Employment Assistance Fund.