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Employment Services Team

Top tips for recruiters – Get the best person for the job through accessible recruitment

Is your company having staffing challenges? Are you looking for new sources of talent? Do you want your workplace to reflect the diversity of the marketplace in which it operates? Yes? Yes? Yes? SCIO’s Employment Services team can help! There are a great many benefits to recruiting people with disabilities into your workplace and we can offer great support, starting with the application process through to the background check, which can help you attract this talent pool.

What to watch for in your application process:

  • Don’t jump to negative conclusions when you see job gaps or short-term job positions on résumés
  • Ensure that your online application is accessible:
    • avoid drop down menus and tabs, lists are better
    • use plain text for the job posting
    • use strong contrast in colours, avoid using coloured backgrounds
  • Remove “timed-out” restrictions from the application process; someone using adaptive computer software may need a little more time
  • Avoid a lengthy application process that requires large amounts of data entry
  • Ensure that ads are highly visible and easy to read, physically accessible and available in alternative formats
  • Review your use of language in job advertisements to make sure it does not exclude people with disabilities
  • A statement such as “We are an accessible employer” or “an equal opportunity employer” will signal to people with disabilities that their applications are welcome
  • Offer an alternate method of submitting résumés and cover letter (e.g., dedicated email address)

What to be aware of during a phone screen:

  • Call to schedule time for a phone screen, avoid cold calls
  • When calling to arrange a phone screen ask the candidate’s preferred method of communication
  • Offer an alternative to a phone screen (e.g., instant messaging)
  • Forward written material via email beforehand
  • Explain the interview process (i.e., panel, group interview)
  • Consider a working interview or short job trial as an alternative to a more traditional process

Things to think about during an interview:

  • Provide enough notice for candidates who need to book accessible transportation
  • Ensure that space is accessible and appropriate for both candidate and interviewers
  • Provide extra time for the interview
  • Ask if there is a need for attendant services or escort to the interview room
  • If unsure, ask “How can we help?”

How to make your testing process accessible:

  • Advise interviewees of any testing requirements at the time of scheduling, be prepared to ask about and provide accommodations
  • Method of accommodation will depend on the individual and the type of testing involved
  • Hardcopy testing:
    • provide test in large font
    • offer alternate formats
  • Online testing:
    • provide accessible material
    • allow candidate to bring own laptop computer for testing
  • Allow for extra time
  • Allow for scribes or note takers to assist

Important to remember when conducting your background checks:

  • Inform candidates in advance of background checks and ask if there are any issues that they would like to clarify
  • Reference checks:
    • some candidates with disabilities may have stale references
    • allow for non-professional references
  • Credit checks:
    • due to high health care costs, some candidates may have issues with credit checks
  • If there are concerns or issues with reference or background checks, it is always best practice to ask for clarification and allow for flexibility

At the end of the day, you hire people because they have the skills and abilities to do the job. Opening the door wider to attract more diverse candidates is always a smart choice. When your business is accessible to employees with a disability, you become attractive to customers or clients with a disability!

Spinal Cord Injury Ontario | Winter 2020

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