Diversity of all kinds is good for business. Many businesses actively promote diversity inclusive hiring practices or even positive discrimination because of the benefits it brings to their business:
But it can be hard for employers to know how to incorporate specific practices and policies to ensure they are able to attract, recruit and retain disabled people.
Alice Weightman, Founder and MD of Hanson Search and The Work Crowd, spoke at a Disability Confident event on 23rd June in partnership with the Disability Confident campaign encouraging recruiters and top HR professionals to prioritise more inclusive recruitment tactics: “Recruiters and HR are often the gatekeepers in the recruitment process. We need them to start making waves in raising confidence and encouraging applications.”
Nearly 7 million people of working age in the UK are disabled or have a health condition. There has long been a large gap between the numbers of disabled people in work compared with non-disabled people due to many barriers.
The Disability Confident campaign, launch two years ago by the DWP, is working with employers to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that disabled people have opportunities to fulfil their potential.
On 23rd June, Weightman told a group of the top HR and recruitment minds, “I think there is a lack of confidence around hiring people with a disability. When you hear the statistics that 1 in 6 people have a disability and recent reports say that its 1 in 3 in the communications industry – that’s staggering – and we need to do something about it.”
Weightman launched The Work Crowd in early 2015 fuelled by the frustrations she observed in a rapidly changing industry with businesses seeking to create a more agile workforce and untapped talent looking for work. With flexible working becoming more accepted in Britain, and becoming more of a priority for employees, there’s huge scope for businesses to profit from the unique skills and talents of disabled people – and others seeking flexibility.
For our six top tips on how to become disability confident and join the flexible working revolution, read our blog here.
The DWP offers more extensive guidance on employing disabled people and people with health conditions. Find more information on their website.