It’s not every day that I am invited to No.10. In fact, it’s fair to say, it has never happened before, and I was therefore somewhat excited, and indeed a little daunted, by the prospect. I was invited to meet Jean-André Prager who has recently been appointed as the Prime Minister’s Specialist Adviser on disability issues, and who wished to discuss disability employment matters with me…
Author - Helen Cooke, Director, MyPlus Consulting
I am often asked why we are called MyPlus and the answer is simple: whilst I don’t believe that disabled people are any more remarkable than those who don’t have a disability, I do believe that having a disability gives you something extra; a ‘plus’.
If you are serious about diversity, you need to ensure that you have a real expert in each of the strands. Otherwise you will not even begin to do justice to it.
At a time when budgets are tighter than ever, there has never been a stronger argument for inclusive attraction and recruitment practices.
Organisations can no longer afford to pay to place specific adverts aimed at disabled candidates. Nor can they afford to pay specialist organisations to attract and recruit disabled graduates on their behalf.
The current economic climate is the stimulus needed to embrace inclusive practices - in order to attract and recruit the very best talent.
However, does being inclusive work? Is this how disabled candidates want to be treated? To answer these questions we need to understand how disabled jobseekers search for employment opportunities.
To this end Greenlight, the UK’s leading diversity communications agency, undertook research to understand the key issues for disabled candidates when they are looking for a job.
Greenlight conducted an online survey of over 120 current and potential job seekers who have a disability. In addition to partnering with Magazine, Arberry Profile and Employability, Greenlight utilised their network of universities as well as sending the survey to specific internal disability networks of employers. The survey covered the following areas:
- How do you look for work?
- What makes a company attractive?
- When, if at all, do you disclose your disability?
How do disabled individuals look for work?
The continuing migration of jobseekers and consumers alike online is well documented and reflects a general move towards wanting quick and simple solutions to everyday problems. Jobseekers tend to use a variety of channels when looking for new employment, wanting to feel proactive and get their names ‘out there’.
No one looks exclusively offline: While 38% of respondents said that they looked in national newspapers and other offline media (magazines, posters, etc), none of them looked offline exclusively.
A small amount of exclusive online users: 85% of total respondents searched on some form of online platform, job boards, through a banner advertisement, on an online newspaper portal, etc. Meanwhile, 9% of the total sample said that they exclusively looked online.
Recruitment consultants: Some 45% of all respondents said that they used recruitment consultants when looking for a job. 15% of all respondents only used this method; these were all experienced hires as opposed to graduates.
Generalist approach by students: Looking specifically at the student part of the sample, it is interesting to note that jobseekers take a generalist approach to online platforms, with only 10% of student respondents saying they look at specialist diversity websites like www.disabledworkers.org.
In summary both disabled and non-disabled jobseekers, whether they be students or experienced hires, use the same channels to find jobs.
If organisations don’t fish from as wide a talent pool as possible they are potentially missing out on finding the best people for the job.
Be aware of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and what constitutes a disability. At a very basic/minimum level you need to be knowledgeable of the DDA and what is covered by it to ensure that you are taking all relevant action.