enei is delighted to be working with Evenbreak, one of the sponsors for our annual networking event at the House of Lords.
Evenbreak is a social enterprise run by and for disabled people. They are the only global specialist disability job board in the world, and they help organisations attract and retain talented disabled candidates and be seen as inclusive employers of choice. This article explores when is the right time to employ disabled people.
When should you start employing disabled people?
When we talk to employers about employing disabled people, one of the first questions often asked is what should you put in place first? Many employers say they’d love to employ disabled people, but they just aren’t ‘ready’ yet. How can you make sure you don’t ‘get it wrong’?
You are almost certainly already employing disabled people…
In some ways, that’s an odd question, because you are almost certainly already employing disabled people. You just might not know. Most impairments (around 80% – 90%) are not visible, and many people just don’t mention them. Consider dyslexia, diabetes, asthma, chronic pain, autism, mental health conditions and so on.
Apart from that, if we waited for organisations to become completely inclusive before employing disabled people, no disabled person would ever be employed! The important starting point is just to get started. It’s a virtuous circle – the more disabled people you employ, the easier it gets, and the more confident you become.
On the whole, disabled candidates understand that no organisation will get everything right every time, but if there is a willingness to listen and learn, that’s enough.
Involve disabled people in your journey
If you try to ‘get everything right’ before employing disabled people, how will you know what they need? You would be guessing, and you might be guessing wrong. Why not employ disabled people and involve them in continuous improvement?
It’s fine to be honest with candidates. Tell them you want to be completely inclusive, and are on a journey to get there; that you want them to come with you on that journey.
The danger is that if you wait until everyone is trained, all the buildings are made accessible, all the policies are changed and all the budgets are in place, it will never happen. You can be working on all of those things at the same time as attracting disabled people to help you on that journey. Sometimes, the “we can’t do it until …” becomes an excuse rather than a genuine concern.
If you would like support with attracting and retaining more talented disabled candidates, have a chat with us at Evenbreak – the only global specialist job board run by and for disabled people. Our lived experience will help you to start your disability equality journey, right now!
Evenbreak is delighted to be exhibiting at enei’s event on 19 June 2023 at the House of Lords where we will be bringing together industry leaders to make connections, network and strengthen bonds in the diversity and equality. We look forward to seeing members there!