Monday, January 21, 2008

Tips for hiring more individuals with disabilities

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued a report titled Improving the participation rate of people with targeted disabilities in the federal workforce.

Long title aside, the report offers all employers some concrete suggestions for increasing the hiring rate of individuals with disabilities, a chronically underemployed segment of the population. These recommendations include some that you probably have already thought of (establish a task force, train your managers, recruit broadly) but also include some you may not have:

- Ensure hired individuals can perform the essential functions of the position (so you don't set people up for failure)

- Use a panel interview to minimize bias of a single individual (which we know is a best practice for interviews generally)

- Use clear language and avoid jargon on job announcements (something we should be doing anyway)

- Encourage people with disabilities to self-identify and ensure confidentiality (your numbers may be artificially low)

There's a lot of good information and resources in the report that go beyond the federal workforce. Definitely worth checking out.


Productivity Guy said...

Hiring rates are one thing... Interesting you blogged about this because my company, i4cp, just did some research on employees with disabilities (how there are pay discrepancies, how companies are looking to retain employees and how many changes are actually needed to affect the mindset of employees with disabilities). Let me know what you think -

BryanB said...

I think the research report provides a good summary. I suspect many employers simply aren't doing enough to reach out to individuals with disabilities and their only exposure to the issue comes when an accommodation (often met with uncertainty) is requested. As with discrimination, effective and ongoing training is certainly part of the remedy.

Dr. Dan said...

Thanks for the great job with the blog. I hope you saw my mention of your blog in my most recent IPMA-HR column.

Anyway, I do not think the article or review by Campion actually supports your conclusion about the panel interview, at least the way I read Campion.

"Use a panel interview to minimize bias of a single individual (which we know is a best practice for interviews generally)"

BryanB said...

Dr. Dan - I must have missed the mention! IPMA-HR News, I assume? Which issue? (by the way, have you seen the new format? very nice.)