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The Big Reveal: Encouraging Applicants To Declare Their Disability

The Big Reveal

Graduate Recruiter’s Disability Café 8 (GR’8)
Hosted by BarclaysCapital

> view the executive summary

In principle, disclosing a disability is in the best interests of both candidates and employers: disclosure ensures that reasonable adjustments are made in a timely fashion for candidates, and also enables employers to assess the candidate as a whole person. Why, then, are candidates hesitant to disclose their disability, especially at certain points in the recruitment process? The eighth Disability Café for Graduate Recruiters explored this complex area in an effort to help employers better understand disabled applicants’ behaviour in regards to disclosure.

On 26th September, 2012, members of the Graduate Recruiters Disability Café Club (GRDCC) met at Barclays office in Canary Wharf to discuss the complex issue of disclosure. Delegates included recruiters from a range of companies including Citibank, Sainsbury’s, Ernst and Young and Clifford Chance along with a number of disabled students and recent graduates.

Waqas Samad, Head of Index, Portfolio and Risk Solutions at Barclays, welcomed delegates with a synopsis of Barclays’ attitude toward disability and disclosure. Helen Cooke, Director of My Plus Consulting, then went on to outline the key issues surrounding disclosure including why it was important for employers to know, the concerns of disabled candidates, the personal nature of disclosure, and what employers must do to encourage early disclosure.

Following Helen’s presentation, the delegates discussed the implications of what they had heard and considered what they needed to be doing to encourage disclosure. The main changes suggested during these small group discussions included: a more personal touch, language changes, clarity regarding how information is used, ensuring the candidate’s comfort, and information integration throughout the recruitment process.

After a short tea break delegates enjoyed an engaging and thought provoking panel discussion. The panel was composed of individuals, all of whom had first-hand experience of struggling with disclosure during the recruitment process, who shared their thoughts and insights into this personal and multi-layered topic. Following introductions from the panel members, delegates had the opportunity to ask questions about how to improve what they did, what makes a particular company attractive from a disabled candidate’s point of view, and why candidates are hesitant to disclose.

Feedback from this Disability Café has been overwhelmingly positive with delegates particularly finding the panel discussion useful and interesting. Although the day was very informative many delegates claimed that there is still much to learn about this complex area, and future GRDCC events are likely to delve more deeply into disclosure.

Thanks to Barclays for hosting this event.