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Unlocking the Benefits of Embracing Candidates with Disabilities

A diverse and inclusive workforce has been proven to provide a plethora of benefits, such as enhanced creativity, heightened productivity, and a stronger employer brand that attracts and retains top talent. Despite this, many companies have struggled to effectively implement inclusive hiring practices, particularly when it comes to candidates with physical impairments. However, recent years have brought about a shift in this trend.
With the emergence of advanced recruiting sourcing tools, such as talent acquisition software and systems, HR teams are now better equipped to source and hire a diverse range of candidates. The widespread adoption of hybrid/remote working has further accelerated this trend by removing obstacles such as commuting and navigating physical office spaces, which have traditionally posed significant barriers.

A recent Economic Innovation Group (EIG) study using data from the Current Population Survey has demonstrated the tangible impact of this trend. In Q2 2022, individuals aged 25-54 with health conditions were an impressive 3.5% more likely to be employed than before the pandemic. This stark contrast to the 1.1% decrease in employment among unimpaired workers is a testament to the transformative power of hybrid/remote working arrangements.

Companies that adopt flexible work arrangements and leverage talent acquisition software can significantly expand their talent pool and attract candidates from diverse geographic locations, irrespective of physical limitations. This strategy not only boosts diversity and inclusion but also nurtures a supportive and inclusive work culture.

The Advantages of Embracing Physically Impaired Candidates in the Workplace

It can help reduce the stigmatisation.

According to “Disabilities and Inclusion”, a report by the Centre for Talent Innovation, people with disabilities often encounter discrimination in the workplace. About 34% of survey respondents who class themselves as disabled reported experiencing bias or discrimination in their current positions, while others felt excluded by colleagues, either intentionally or unintentionally. By actively seeking to hire these people, companies can help reduce stigma and discrimination while boosting confidence and self-esteem.

It creates a more supportive and inclusive work environment.

Companies that make it a priority to hire physically impaired candidates can establish a truly inclusive and supportive environment, which traditionally presents a better chance of success. This involves not only providing reasonable accommodations to enable optimal job performance but also extending ample training and development opportunities to foster career advancement. In doing so, the candidates can truly thrive, developing their skills and building long and rewarding careers.

It can increase your profit margin.

By tapping into this untapped talent pool, businesses can benefit from a highly skilled and motivated group of individuals who bring diverse perspectives and skill sets to the workplace. The added engagement, creativity and innovation results in a more productive and dynamic work environment that can increase profit margins.

According to a 2018 Accenture study, businesses that proactively seek to employ people with disabilities outperform those that do not. These businesses report 28% higher revenues, twice the net income, and 30% higher profit margins.

It diversifies your company culture.

Employing individuals with health conditions not only benefits a company’s bottom line but also promotes a diverse and inclusive company culture. The added unique perspectives brought can enhance innovation and creativity, leading to a more diverse work environment.

Hiring people with disabilities is a win-win situation. Different people approach business problems from different angles, offering fresh insights that can drive new ideas in product development and customer service.

It increases employee motivation and reduces turnover rates.

In addition to the financial benefits, hiring candidates with different physical abilities can also improve employee motivation and reduce turnover rates.

According to the Accenture study, hiring people with disabilities can lead to six ‘inclusion incentives’:

  • Increased innovation
  • Improved shareholder value
  • Enhanced productivity
  • Access to a broader supplier ecosystem
  • Improved market share
  • An enhanced reputation

When a company demonstrates a commitment to genuine diversity and inclusion, – rather than approaching it on a selective basis – employees tend to feel a greater sense of loyalty to the company and connection to its values and business practices. This, in turn, can lead to a more engaged and satisfied workforce, resulting in lower turnover rates.

How can businesses access the untapped potential of disabled talent in the workforce?

The importance of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace cannot be overstated, and companies that recognise this are at the forefront of innovation and success. In particular, with approximately 1 billion people globally who identify as disabled, representing a staggering 15% of the world’s population, a vast pool of talent can be harnessed if businesses prioritise the recruitment of such individuals.

Despite some progress in recent years, the labour force participation rate for individuals with disabilities remains unacceptably low, with seven out of ten respondents not employed or seeking employment which they attribute to feeling “failed by employers”. To address this issue, talent acquisition partners, recruitment process outsourcing companies, and talent acquisition consultancies can provide crucial support and guidance in sourcing and hiring candidates with disabilities.

By utilising advanced talent acquisition software and systems, businesses can source top talent from this underutilised pool and reap the benefits of a more diverse and inclusive workforce. With the help of talent acquisition analytics, companies can also measure the success of their recruitment strategies and continually improve their approach.

Creating a supportive and inclusive work environment is also essential in unlocking the potential of physically impaired candidates. This involves providing reasonable accommodations and ample training and development opportunities to enable individuals to thrive and build successful careers. Companies that prioritise inclusivity benefit from a more diverse talent pool and stand to gain a distinct competitive advantage by attracting customers and clients who value these principles. In short, improving diversity and inclusivity is not only the right thing to do but also a smart business decision that sets companies apart and drives success.

How to adapt your talent acquisition strategy to unlock the  benefits of diversity

By adapting your talent acquisition strategy to embrace diversity, you can open up the full potential of your workforce and establish a dynamic, forward-thinking organisation that is well-equipped to navigate the challenges of the future. This shift requires a proactive approach to talent acquisition, incorporating strategic change to accommodate diverse candidates, including those with disabilities, in the sourcing and assessment stages.

With Starcircle, you can break free from the constraints of reactive, transactional recruiting and transform into a strategic resourcing change agent. Our innovative tools and technologies empower you to uncover hidden talent and bring it into view, so you can build a more diverse and dynamic workforce that drives business success.

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