We recently attended a roundtable hosted by The Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI), which aims solely to break down the barriers facing disabled people in the workforce. On the day, attendees came together to discuss the hurdles disabled individuals face and how the recruitment industry must work together to truly make a difference. The main theme centred on how we can enable technology for disabled talent and the impact it is currently having.
Attendees discussed the types of technologies available which are designed to help those with impairments and disabilities. Challenges voiced ranged from ways to alter the application process, how to change attitudes and the importance of reasonable adjustments.
Currently 75% of disabled people believe their condition is a barrier to employment, while the Business Disability Forum has found that 71% of disabled people will click away from websites they struggle to use or access content on. With this in mind, it is crucial that recruitment firms take a fresh look at how accessible application processes are to disabled candidates if they are to tap into this valuable pool of talent.
There are now many platforms available that open the doors to those with a disability, with functionality such as text to speech function to online portals which allow individuals to communicate their needs to their employer – tech enables us to break down barriers – let’s make the most of the tools we have.
A key point, agreed round the table, was that while many organisations have awareness around disability, the ‘old way’ of recruiting is still present in many practices today. For some companies, the attitude has not changed for years – but we are now in a digital era. Firms must give employees confidence and recognise it is not about saying the ‘wrong’ thing but asking questions to enable candidates to perform to their strengths. It's clear then, that with the help of technology guiding firms on how to help disabled talent, this will allow organisations to source great individuals and give them the career path they deserve to succeed and thrive.
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Author: Zahra Abedi