Over 15 million people of working age are living with disabilities in the United States. They present a tremendous opportunity for your business as an untapped talent pool especially in the tight labor market facing employers today.
Shed your preconceived notions about people with disabilities, their capabilities and costs for accommodation, and you will reap tremendous benefits from hiring these workers with diverse strengths and innovative ways of thinking.
Hiring People with Disabilities is Good for Business
According to a 2018 study by Accenture in partnership with the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN, businesses that actively seek to employ people with disabilities outperform businesses that do not.
Their revenues were 28% higher, net income was two times more, and profit margins were higher by 30%. Additionally, the Department of Labor found that employers who embraced disability saw a 90% increase in employee retention.
Debunking the Myths about Hiring Employees with Disabilities
Research debunks prevailing myths surrounding workers with disabilities. On average people with disabilities meet the same job performance rating as those without a disability. Absences are on par with all workers within a company. The average expense for accommodation for an employee can be partially or fully offset by tax credits. And workers with disabilities are hired because they can do the job and not because of any preference over other candidates.
Including People with Disabilities Creates a Truly Diverse Workplace
Yes, larger corporations are taking the lead in hiring people with diverse talent. Bank of America brought together a group of 300 people with intellectual disabilities to create a support services team that manages fulfillment and external clients; Microsoft created a hiring program specifically for people with autism; Starbucks opened its first Signing Store.
But smaller businesses, like yours, can benefit too. Tap into vast resources through the US Small Business Association, local chambers of commerce and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) network. Becoming a champion for people with disabilities in your community not only enhances your candidate pool, it positively impacts your customer base as well.
How to Hire People with Disabilities
As companies see the benefits of fully inclusive hiring, they are re-examining their hiring practices and methods. But even before you hire, be sure your company policies and culture are inclusive and disability-friendly. Your employee handbooks are good places to start.
Interviewing people with physical or intellectual disabilities requires additional recruiting skills and knowledge. While you want to avoid any potential legal pitfalls, you also want to ensure that the interview process is comparable to those that you conduct for all candidates. The key is to treat the person with a disability with respect. That means also holding them to the same standards as all applicants. Share these tips with your human resources staff and anyone involved in the hiring process including managers and individual team members.
Would you like some help finding the right people? Contact us. We’re here to help. MassHire Cape & Islands Career Center 508-771-JOBS (5627)