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Inclusive Hiring Practices: How to Source and Support Employees with Disabilities

Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace starts with intentional hiring practices. When it comes to hiring individuals with disabilities, proactive efforts can lead to a more vibrant and innovative team.

A team sits at a desk with an employee with Downs Syndrome with his arms in the victory pose. They are celebrating a team win. Words overlaid read: Inclusive Hiring Practices: How to Source and Support Employees with Disabilities

We are sharing some effective strategies and tips for recruiters and hiring managers to actively source and support disabled talent.

  1. Understanding the Benefits Before diving into inclusive hiring practices, it's crucial to recognize the benefits of a diverse workforce. Studies consistently show that diverse teams are more innovative, productive, and better at problem-solving.

  2. Educate and Train Your Team Ensure that all members of your hiring team understand the value of disability inclusion and are familiar with applicable laws, like the Duty to Accommodate - a fundamental principle of human rights legislation in Canada. Providing training on inclusive hiring practices is essential to supporting people with disabilities at work.

  3. Update Job Descriptions for Clarity Use clear and concise language in job descriptions to ensure that essential job functions and qualifications are well-defined. Avoid unnecessary jargon or language that may unintentionally exclude potential candidates with disabilities. Another proven way to hire and retain people with disabilities is to include the wage range or salary in your job posting. If you are operating in BC, pay transparency is now a legal requirement when posting new career opportunities.

  4. Leverage Accessible Recruitment Platforms Ensure that your recruitment platforms and applicant tracking systems are accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes features like screen reader compatibility and alternative text for images. When you recruit with CAN WiN, we post your accessible career opportunities to our website, but we also collaborate with Service Partners like Kibbi and Able & Available who market your positions directly to diverse talent.

  5. Partner with Disability Organizations like CAN WiN Collaborate with local disability advocacy organizations or job placement agencies. They can provide valuable insights, connect you with potential candidates, and offer support throughout the hiring process. At CAN WiN, we help employers at every step of the hiring process from recruitment to retention, ensuring you have the support you need to foster an inclusive workforce culture.

  6. Promote Your Commitment to Inclusion Make your commitment to disability inclusion visible in your company's mission statement, website, and job postings. This sends a strong message to potential candidates that your organization values diversity. At CAN WiN, when we engage with new employers looking to become more inclusive and accessible employers, we start with Commitment. It is the first pillar in our 4 Pillars of Accessible Employment Model.

  7. Offer Flexible Interview Options Recognize that traditional interview formats may not be the most effective for all candidates. Offer alternative options such as video interviews, phone interviews, or in-person meetings in accessible locations. Hosting accessible interviews is a great way to show candidates your commitment to fostering a culture of workforce inclusion.

  8. Focus on Abilities, Not Limitations During interviews, emphasize a candidate's abilities and the value they bring to the team. Avoid making assumptions about a candidate's capabilities based on their disability.

  9. Provide Reasonable Accommodations Be prepared to offer reasonable accommodations during the hiring process and on the job. This might include things like voice-to-text technology, flexible work arrangements, or modifications to the physical workspace.

  10. Establish an Inclusive Onboarding Process Ensure that your onboarding process is accessible and accommodating. This sets the tone for a supportive and inclusive work environment from day one. You can find out more about how to create and implement inclusive onboarding processes by contacting one of our Inclusive Workforce Specialists in your area.

Building a More Inclusive Future

By actively seeking out and supporting disabled talent, companies can create a workplace that truly embraces diversity. Remember, it's not just about compliance; it's about creating an environment where every individual feels valued and empowered to contribute their unique strengths. By implementing these inclusive hiring practices, you're not only enriching your team but also setting a powerful example for the broader business community. Together, let's build a future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

Need Help Building your EDI Capacity?

CAN WiN offers FREE accessible recruitment, retention, training, and consulting services for employers in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. We recruit for many different career opportunities, from entry to senior-level positions, on behalf of employers who are committed to workforce inclusion of people with disabilities.


Looking for more detailed information on workplace adjustments?

Job Accommodation Network Logo

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on job accommodations and disability employment issues. Serving customers across the United States and around the world for more than 35 years, JAN provides free practical guidance and technical assistance on job accommodation solutions, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities.

Self-Assessment logo

Do you want to be a more inclusive and accessible employer?

Take this 15-minute Disability Inclusive Employer Self-Assessment to gain a deeper understanding of where you’re doing well and where there’s room to improve.

Open Door Group and Presidents Group collaborated on this tool, created from recent international research on practices that truly increase inclusion and retention of people with disabilities in the workplace.


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