Inclusive Hiring Practices | Create a Fair & Accessible Recruitment Process

Inclusive Hiring Practices

Is your hiring process inclusive? There are a wide range of benefits to becoming a more inclusive company and adopting inclusive hiring practices. Find out why it matters and how to create an inclusive hiring process.

What Does it Mean to be Inclusive?

Inclusivity in the workplace means the company makes a commitment to diversity in their workforce. It’s more than just employing people with a different sexual orientation or ethnicity. Being inclusive at work means cultivating an inclusive culture and inclusive environment that allows all people to flourish.

Whether or not your employee has a disability should not impact their salary or the level at which they can engage with others at work. An inclusive team makes accommodations for people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and medical statuses. They level the playing field by taking additional steps to equip those who need it.

Why Does Inclusive Hiring Matter for Your Company?

In South Africa, the importance of hiring different ethnicities and those of differing economic status has been highlighted, thanks to BBB-EE. But did you know that less than 1% of the workforce in South Africa consists of people with disabilities? Around 5 million South Africans live with disabilities, and many remain unemployed.

Our constitution makes it clear that we all have equal rights, but there is a clear disparity between unemployment rates for those who are disabled and able-bodied individuals. According to a study that investigated disability inclusion in the workplace, companies that have embraced inclusive practices when it comes to disability make more money! Their revenue is 28% higher.

An inclusive workplace is good for your business, according to research.

Today, there are many resources available that can help companies and organisations become more inclusive, from using inclusive language to creating an inclusive work environment. But inclusivity in the hiring practices hasn’t been given much attention. This creates a barrier for potential candidates who cannot complete the process because it isn’t inclusive.

One survey found that nearly 50% of applicants applying for a job online found it “difficult – impossible”, 24% needed help completing the process, and 9% were unsuccessful. This means workplace diversity is being hampered by a lack of inclusivity in hiring practices. Thankfully, there are steps you can apply to implement more inclusive and fair hiring practices.

 

10 Steps to More Inclusive Hiring Practices

 

10 Steps to More Inclusive Hiring Practices

1. Write Inclusive Job Descriptions

When you write the job description, make sure you are clear about the fact that individuals with disabilities are welcome to apply. And, beyond the job description, ensure that your company actively communicates that you are open to people with disabilities in your workforce.

This is important, because more than half of people with disabilities don’t feel comfortable disclosing them to managers. You can create a more inclusive employee experience from the start in three steps:

1. Make Your Intentions Clear. You don’t have to hide the fact that you want to hire people with disabilities. In fact, you could make it part of your diversity statement. You can also share the success stories of disabled employees in your workforce and advocate for disabilities on social media.
2. Use Purposeful Language. Disabilities don’t define us. Instead, they are something we have. Did you know different communities prefer distinct language when it comes to discussing their disabilities? Some people prefer a clear label, while many do not want to be defined by their disabilities. Terms like “differently abled” are more accepted in most communities than phrases such as “disabled person”, for example. You can check the NCDJ Guide for more detailed insights into preferred language.3. Build an Inclusive Public Image. You can include people with disabilities in the images on your website, in advertisements, and anywhere the brand is represented. This will make any person visiting your website or learning about your company aware that you are building an inclusive workplace.

2. Create an Inclusive Job Application Process

Inclusive application forms are one way to help broaden your pool of candidates to include differently abled individuals. You can build a more inclusive process with help from hiring specialists such as Mint Kulca, who can help you apply the right tools to make the application and selection process more fair.

3. Use an Inclusive Interview Process

Both remote interviews via video call and remote work options allow more differently abled candidates the ability to engage in the process and work for your company. Although this may not be true for all types of disability, for example, visual impairment or hearing loss, it does broaden your candidate pool significantly. Offering remote interviews can make the interview process more accessible.

4. Adapt your Hiring Strategy

Make accessibility and fairness a standard goal in your hiring strategy. This is a great place to include experts in the field who can help you define what success looks like in the role, and how you can improve your hiring strategy to increase fairness and equity from start to finish.

Remember, many people have what’s termed an invisible disability, which is a disability you can’t discern just by looking at them. Finding accessibility strategies to adapt your hiring processes that keep these disabilities in mind will help you become truly inclusive.

5. Build Inclusive Hiring Teams

An inclusive hiring team has a representation of people with disabilities and other diversified individuals. When building your hiring team, it’s a great idea to include disabled individuals. Not only will they have valuable insights into how the candidate experience can be improved by accessibility adaptations, but they will also benefit your decision-making process with unique insights.

6. Offer to Make Accommodations

You can accommodate more individuals by asking them upfront what type of interview process would make it easiest for them to engage in the process. Different options can include the option to answer questions in written form instead of face-to-face, flexible interview formats and times, and accommodations with time. Some candidates may need more time to respond to questions or perform tasks.

7. Advertise Intentionally

To make your hiring processes truly inclusive, you can ensure the job posting is accessible to diverse communities. This means posting about the job in places people with disabilities are more likely to see. There are also many organisations you can partner with that focus on empowering differently abled individuals.

8. Remove Unnecessary Restrictions and Barriers

This means if a requirement you are listing in your job description isn’t necessarily needed to complete the job, you can omit it. For example, did you know up to 60% of higher education jobs require that you be able to lift at least 10kg? Seeing that most higher-education jobs don’t include a lot of manual labour, this requirement will exclude some otherwise qualified candidates who may have physical impairments.

You can work with experts like Mint Kulca to define what attributes and characteristics will be most necessary and valuable in the position you want to fill.

9. Focus on Abilities in Your Interviews

Your interview process should be equal and fair, and not focused on disability. Your questions should be the same for each candidate across the board. Additionally, ensure your questions are fair and will help you accurately assess a person’s capability to fulfil the role. Some questions directly about medical issued may not be legal to ask, so it is best to formulate your questions ahead of time with the help of experts in hiring strategy.

10. Cultivate an Inclusive Mindset

If you truly want to step into the world of inclusivity as a company, it will mean making many changes. Since change can be uncomfortable for some personality types, it is important to communicate changes well, incentivise growth in this area, and make an effort to develop the mindsets of your team to become more inclusive. A disability etiquette guide can be useful in this situation.

Are you ready to make a commitment to inclusion and to create a more inclusive recruitment process? We can help you discover and apply inclusive recruitment practices and build high-performance teams! Talk to us today about a solution for you!

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