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Interviews & Assessments: How To Take The Adjustments

Graduate Recruiter’s Disability Café (GR’2)
Hosted by Herbert Smith

The second Disability Café specifically for Graduate Recruiters took place on the 15th September at the offices of Herbert Smith. The focus of the event was on how to make the adjustments required by some disabled applicants, without compromising the process.

The event was attended by a diverse range of organisations, including members of the Graduate Recruiter’s Disability Café Club (GRDCC), disability organisations and others involved in graduate recruitment.

Following the same format as previously, delegates listened to a number of presentations concerning implementing adjustments, interposed with rounds of café style discussion in small groups. During these discussions they were asked to consider the challenges and possible solutions arising from what had been presented.

Rob Farace, National Resourcing Manager, NHS, described the adjustments made during their recruitment process and shared his suggestions on ways to improve the experience for recruitment staff and candidates alike.  Stacey Rowe and Dipti Bhadresa both spoke about their experiences of navigating recruitment processes as graduates with sight impairments.  The variation in their requirements and preferences highlighted the need for an individualised approach to adjustment. Many of the adjustments they required were incredibly, such as using larger font sizes, busting the myth that all adjustments are expensive and difficult to source.

Peter Barrett also spoke about his experiences as a graduate job-seeker with Asberger’s syndrome. Despite having four A’ levels at A grade he had found it incredibly difficult to find employment prior to seeking support Prospects.  Prospects is the employment arm of the National Autistic Society. Since making contact with them, he has held posts with organisations including DLA Piper and Goldman Sachs.  A simple change from panel interviews to one-on-one interviews allowed Peter to feel comfortable during the recruitment process and showcase his outstanding abilities to their best advantage.

Feedback from the event has, once again, been overwhelmingly positive.  In addition to the learnings gained, delegates particularly benefited from meeting and hearing from disabled graduates about their recruitment experiences. They also valued the opportunities provided within the Café format to learn from other organisations about how they were overcoming the more challenging aspects of disabled graduate recruitment, such as answering the question of what counts as a ‘reasonable’ adjustment.

Helen Chapman and Ben Robinson of MEETING MAGIC once again facilitated and graphically recorded the event; stills of which were circulated to attendees.  Delegates described the event as ‘energising’ and appreciated the highly-productive, swift progress made through key issues as well as the balance of talking and listening that informed and stimulated our discussions.

I think having guest speakers is very beneficial as I found this very helpful to get a better understanding about how candidates get treated when they attend interviews which then enables us to make changes.
— Citi
The disability café is an energising session where the knowledge of the room is gathered together and spread via informal small group conversations. It is a great opportunity to find out more about how to deal with disability related issues in the workplace.
— Allen & Overy
The Disability Café is a fantastic way for me to hear from other disabled people about their careers and experiences in an increasingly competitive jobs market. In addition, the event is reinforced further by the opportunity to network with other disabled people from companies and organisations other than my own. A splendid and innovative event!
— Andrew Havis
What I wished had been different was…that I had been able to stay longer!
— Mitie