Making Recruitment Work For Candidates With Disabilities

  • february 23,2015
  • Dave Rigby
  • Improving Your Recruitment Practices

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Recruitment processes can be complex or difficult at the best of times, with employers always trying to make sure they find the right ways of attracting quality applications from the best candidates.  Have you ever wondered though if your processes are stopping some great people from applying, simply because they have a disability?

UK and European Laws place a duty on organisations to ensure their recruitment practices allow for all suitable candidates to apply, regardless of any disability they may have.  On that basis, there are some great tips you can follow (below) to ensure that you’re taking positive steps to encourage applications from everyone: 

  1. First and foremost, it’s advisable to state somewhere in your job advert, and elsewhere in company literature, that you are an equal opportunities employer. This will give candidates some reassurance that you’ll take their application seriously.
  2. When writing your advert, or defining the ‘essential criteria’ for the job, make sure you’re not adding in qualifications / requirements that actually aren’t essential! We see examples where candidates are required to travel as part of a job, and therefore expected to have a driving license, when actually they could easily travel by train or other means, rather than driving.
  3. Make sure that the initial application process is one which is relevant to the job you are recruiting for. We see examples of employers recruiting with long, complex application forms for jobs which simply don’t merit the length of time these can take to complete.  Potential candidates can be put off right from the outset, and especially those with even a low degree of learning disability, those with dyslexia or those with poor eyesight. We understand that, for many reasons, employers want information about their candidates which help them carry out background checks or for safeguarding reasons, but this level of detail can usually be gathered later on in the selection process.
  4. Offering a guaranteed interview scheme for candidates with disabilities can really work in your favour. Making it known to candidates that they’ll be interviewed if they meet the minimum criteria for a job can help encourage more applications from people who really want to work with you.
  5. Within your advert text, make it clear that for candidates with disabilities, they can contact you should they require any assistance with the application process, or need any adjustments to enable them to submit their application.
  6. Once you’ve been though the initial selection process and have decided who to invite for interview, make sure that your interview invitations contain a statement along the lines of ‘If you require any reasonable adjustments or have any special requirements for your interview, please do let us know’.  This then allows candidates with disabilities to confirm anything they need to be put in place for them personally, and could include such things as an accessible interview room (taking into account wheelchair users) or a hearing loop.

There are many more examples of things you can put in place to ensure you are following best practice and taking positive action for candidates with disabilities.  Personnel Today has a great article about making reasonable adjustments in the recruitment process. In addition, Disability Rights UK provides helpful information for employers and candidates with disabilities, should you wish to see further detail.

If you need help with your recruitment, or you’re looking for staff right now, why not drop us a line by clicking here, or calling us on 01772 633854