Graduate Recruiter’s Disability Café 10 (GR’10)
Disabled graduates share their personal experiences of recruitment processes.
Hosted by Clifford Chance
Organisations are continually honing and improving their recruitment processes in pursuit of greater efficiency and effectiveness. However this desire for efficiency in the process can lead to unintentional challenges and barriers existing for disabled candidates. This Disability Café raised awareness of the various barriers that may exist in processes and looked at how these can be addressed.
On 5 June 2013 members of the Graduate Recruiters Disability Café Club (GRDCC) met at the offices of Clifford Chance to challenge themselves about how inclusive their recruitment process was in reality. Delegates included recruiters from a range of companies, including Citi, Channel 4, Linklaters and HSBC, university representatives and a number of disabled students and recent graduates.
Helen Cooke, Director of My Plus Consulting, identified the goals for the day’s discussions, emphasising the importance of the human contact that disabled candidates need in order to ensure that any potential barriers in the process are addressed for them. Delegates also shared what they hoped to learn during the day with key themes including identifying and developing best practice and hearing firsthand accounts of barriers faced by disabled candidates in recruitment and the impact it can have.
Helen then moved on to introduce the first three speakers. Becky, David and Christina are all bright disabled individuals with recent experience of navigating various graduate
recruitment processes. The speakers shared their individual experiences, highlighting good and bad practices with suggestions for how recruiters could improve their processes. Themes in these presentations included the importance of communication, privacy of the candidate’s information, and the need for clarity in implementing adjustments.
These presentations were followed by table discussions that provided the delegates with the opportunity to discuss what they had heard and to identify ways to improve their own recruitment processes in light of this.
In the second half of the Café delegates heard from a panel of disabled students and recent graduates who again shared their experiences of navigating recruitment processes. The delegates were then given the opportunity to question the panel members further about areas of particular interest. The discussions again helped delegates identify barriers within their own recruitment processes and informed them of how these could be addressed.
This Café built the awareness of recruiters to identify unintentional barriers to disabled candidates within their own recruitment processes. It also highlighted that many of these barriers can easily be fixed. The overarching solution to many barriers is clearer communication: recruiters sought to improve language used on websites, within applications, and also to increase personal contact with disabled candidates. Delegates continued their discussions after the Café while enjoying drinks and canapés. Thanks to Clifford Chance for hosting this event.