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The Right Stuff: Attracting Differently-Abled Talent

The Right Stuff: Attracting Differently-Abled Talent - written by: Elijah Dawson


Often, talented individuals are passed up for reasons that are irrelevant to the role in question but, in recent years, employers have begun to wake up to the various benefits of seeking differently-abled employees. If you want to find and recruit these key team members, you’ll need to prove you’re capable of providing an inclusive work environment.


Culture


Before you’ve even begun the recruitment process, it’s important to shape a culture that is inclusive and accessible. This means adapting the behavior of current employees to be modern and appropriate and training managers on any challenges to expect or how to intervene correctly in the event of a conflict. It may even be necessary to host seminars or online courses to better improve the understanding of your team.


A change in company culture should also be reflected in your bureaucratic measures. Policies (including disciplinary measures, termination processes, code of conduct, and operational expectations) should be structured to accommodate differently-abled employees. Take some time to review your company’s processes and policies and adjust these so they don’t discriminate against those who are differently abled. If you’re unsure of how to go about this, look to other companies for positive examples.


Environment


Creating an environment that is friendly to differently-abled people is going to require some research and clear communication with your new employee. You need to express that you and your organization are willing to do everything necessary to accommodate their needs. A good place to start is with mobility - ensure that the office is navigable and consider offering work-from-home flexibility so an individual who might struggle with commuting has the option to forego. It may also be necessary to adjust your work schedules to accommodate doctor’s appointments or physical therapies.


Process


Rigidity in the way your company works can be detrimental to the efficiency of your team, not just differently abled people. If you want to get the best out of your people, it’s important to adjust your work processes to be flexible. This is made twice as easy with the right technologies - if your new employee struggles with learning disorders, for example, you’ll find plenty of support in the way of software (such as literacy programs or text-to-speech tools).

You may even want to offer additional education funding for online university programs as a benefit. With remote learning, it’s possible to achieve a degree such as a master’s whilst still working full-time or tending to family obligations. The right institutes offer competitive rates on accredited courses.


Recruitment

Once you’ve created the culture, environment, and processes to better accommodate differently-abled hires, you’re ready to begin the recruitment process. If you’ve made the necessary adaptations, your workplace will stand out to intelligent, talented prospects as uniquely accepting and progressive.

If you’re using recruiters, make sure to go through an agency that has experience or processes in place for hiring differently-abled employees. You should also make sure to write a thorough job description, communicating any responsibilities and requirements and clearly outlining remuneration. You might also want to detail your company’s measures to promote inclusivity - this will show off your care for employee wellbeing.


The hottest talent is often the hardest won. If you want to attract sharp minds, you’ll need to make an exertive effort to show them you’re worth the application and be willing to meet people halfway. In the modern work market, you’ll find a little compromise can go a long way.

Turning Point HCM is a fractional human resource consulting firm that is focused on solving the problems that keep business leaders awake at night. We create customized solutions for each client, starting fresh or building on what is already in place. Learn more about our services, at: www.turningpointhcm.com



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