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Disability Confidence and Inclusion
Disability Confidence and Inclusion

Posted by: Nicola Halliday
Date: 2018-11-14

Beyond compliance

Last week’s RIDI Parliamentary Reception was a great success. 200 business leaders from government and the private sector gave up their time to learn how to start or progress their disability confident journey and to understand the critical role the recruitment industry has in meeting the government’s target of getting 1 million more disabled people into work. 

The event took place at the House of Commons and was hosted by Sarah Newton MP, Minister for Disabled People and supported by Sir Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary Home Office and Civil Service Disability Champion both of whom spoke alongside RIDI Chair, Kate Headley and Morgan Lobb, CEO of RIDI sponsors Vercida, Vercida Consulting and Karen Wilson, CEO of Hoggett Bowers. 

Effective progress

The presentations underlined the essential role, not only of hiring managers but also ongoing talent management policies in enabling an inclusive culture and making genuine change.  Further examples showed that progress to disability confidence is most effective when it is applied across all elements of an organisation’s HR practice.  Taking a proactive approach that is aligned to other HR policies, rather than being compliance focused will have a noticeable impact.

However, latest ONS figures suggest there is still some way to go before this becomes common practice; 50.7% of working age disabled people are in employment compared to 81.1% of people without disabilities.

Widening the talent pool

With overall UK employment rates at high levels, widening the talent pool makes complete sense.  A common theme, running through the many examples of best practice and progress from RIDI partners, is that going back to basics and looking at every aspect of the recruitment process really works.  Becoming disability confident becomes much less daunting when it’s a series of small steps, and most of the time the changes required are small and easily achievable. 

Much of this can be achieved by investing in hiring managers, making sure they are properly trained and can confidently implement the policies and initiatives being put in place.   An inclusive recruitment process that is consistently applied by all hiring stakeholders in the organisation will not only widen the talent pool but also show ROI very quickly in terms of reduced time to hire and better ongoing retention. 

Removing barriers from recruitment processes

  • Review your job descriptions and advert
  • Create an environment where candidates feel confident in sharing information about themselves and are able to request reasonable adjustments so that the interview process is accessible to all candidates.
  • Make sure your interview processes enable you equitably assess and differentiate between applicants
  • Monitor the impact of what you’re doing and request candidate feedback.

 

Getting started

Getting started on the journey to Disability Confidence becomes less daunting when you start by understanding your current successes and challenges as well as the scheme requirements. RIDI and its partner organisations offer a wealth of experience and practical know how; enabling members to access and understand new thinking and apply the latest developments and mindsets to their specific needs.  From audits of current practice to a range of training options the ability to go beyond compliance is achievable to all businesses. 

For further information about how to start your disability confident journey please contact enquiries@theclearcompany.co.uk