4 Ways Hiring Job Seekers with Disabilities Can Support D&I Goals

Workplace diversity is quickly becoming one of, if not the most, significant hiring priorities among employers. According to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2018 report, diversity is a key trend that is largely impacting the ways organizations conduct their hiring. Findings from the report revealed 78% of companies prioritize diversity to improve culture, and 62% of companies prioritize it to boost financial performance.

Although many employers develop goals to build and retain a diverse workforce, these goals typically consider gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation as aspects of diversity. However, the unique perspectives, qualities, and experiences of people with disabilities also serve to support employers’ diversity and inclusion goals. In fact, if disability is not a component of your organization’s diversity and inclusion strategy, you are missing out on a significant opportunity to strengthen your competitive advantage.

Here are 4 ways hiring job seekers with disabilities can support your diversity goals:

  1. Increases overall diversity numbers – Most employers with diversity initiatives identify quantifiable goals to increase the overall number of diverse employees in their workplaces. Including disability as an aspect of your diversity numbers will undoubtedly increase your overall metrics. Some organizations choose to measure disability through formal Self-ID campaigns (see our post How Can Organizations Host Effective Self-ID Campaigns), while others simply inquire about disability in confidential employee surveys. Still, federal contractors and subcontractors must use the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ formal Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form. Whether your goals are based on recruitment, placement, retention, or training, including disability is a must.
  2. Creates increased opportunities for education and training – Many employers provide diversity and inclusion trainings as part of their professional development, but disability is often neglected in these trainings. Hosting trainings that either focus solely on or incorporate disability etiquette and inclusion are great ways to address diversity and inclusion goals.
  3. Establishes stronger internal employee relationshipsEmployee Resource Groups (ERG) are another practice companies are implementing to increase diversity. Creating a disability-focused ERG can provide ideal opportunities to engage employees with disabilities, including veterans with disabilities. Additionally, it’s important to have opportunities for various ERGs to network with one another, as quite often employees with disabilities represent multiple communities represented by ERGs (i.e. an African American woman with a disability could participate in multiple ERGs).
  4. Improves organizational culture – As employers seek to engage next-gen employees, many incorporate diversity goals that focus on creating a more inclusive organizational culture. Employers that hire job seekers with disabilities demonstrate a commitment to inclusion, which tends to improve overall company morale and culture.

Employers that foster inclusion and embrace diversity position themselves for better business outcomes. By hiring job seekers with disabilities, employers establish countless opportunities to strengthen their diversity initiatives and exceed their goals.

For more on incorporating disability within your diversity goals, contact the Getting Hired team.

Contributions to this blog were made by Andraéa LaVant of Solutions Marketing Group.