Companies still ‘fearful’ of hiring disabled people

disabled signCompanies are still ‘fearful’ about hiring disabled people, according to a new survey within the recruitment industry.

Of those surveyed, 95 per cent of recruiters said that companies were ‘fearful’ or ‘unsure’ about hiring a disabled candidate. While 28 per cent reported that there had been some progress with clients more open to hiring people with disabilities, employers remain unsure about how to do this. Two per cent of those surveyed reported that they believed job opportunities had actually worsened for disabled people.

The findings, conducted by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), highlight the need to continue raising awareness and add further impetus to the ongoing campaigning work of the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI).

Founded in 2011, the RIDI is the recruitment industry’s only disability awards. The aim of the initiative is to help to remove barriers face by disabled people within the job market.

Kate Headley, Chair of the Judging Panel at the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative Awards (RIDI) & Development Director at the Clear Company said, “While it’s encouraging that there has been a marginal increase in companies requesting more diverse candidate shortlists, it is clear that there remains a lack of awareness and understanding around disability throughout the business community.”

“The fact is that despite their best intentions, many employers, recruiters and HR professionals simply don’t know where to begin when it comes to becoming more inclusive to disabled talent – or are just afraid of getting it ‘wrong.”

“One thing that these statistics acutely demonstrate is that if employers are considering actively tapping into more diverse talent pools, they are not sharing their aspirations with their recruitment suppliers. However, in order to help close the disability employment gap, employers must collaborate with their HR departments, their recruitment supply chain and third party organisations to determine how to best source, engage with and retain disabled talent.”

Tom Hadley, RIDI Executive Board Member and Director of Policy & Professional Services at the REC, said, “Although some progress has been made in regards to placing people with disabilities, it is clear that there is a huge amount left to do. It is also clear that recruiters can play a major role by working with their clients to make change happen.”

“The feedback from REC members is that more needs to be done to raise awareness amongst businesses – including SMEs with no HR department – of how to get additional support and the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. As attitudes continue to evolve, recruiters with a genuine commitment to driving inclusive recruitment can gain a competitive advantage. As a result, opportunities to showcase good practice will become increasingly important.”

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About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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