What happens when an employment agency or nonprofit calls your company inquiring about your disability hiring practices? What do you say: are you truthful about your hiring policies or do you disregard the application? There are many benefits to hiring people with disabilities- from the added tax incentives to increased morale in the office; there are ways you can and should make hiring people with disabilities possible in your workplace.
If you work with an employment agency or nonprofit organization to hire people with disabilities, you have the added benefit of flexibility. Every agency and organization is different, but most have the flexibility to conduct the initial interview screening and truly get to know the disabled adult before placing him or her at a job site, or offer different types of employment opportunities for their business partners.
Have you ever considered work team employment at your business? This model changes based on the business need, but the basic idea is the same: several adults with disabilities either meet at the workplace or travel there together with a job coach who works with them directly on site. Work teams are extremely beneficial and popular in the hospitality and retail industries. Adults with disabilities that are not yet ready to work on their own or still need additional training, thrive in a community-based environment working directly on-site at your business. The company only needs to train one person (the job coach) and additional adults with disabilities can join the team if there is a need (i.e.: someone is out sick, and you need a 5-person team to fulfill your business need). This is a great way to employ high-turnover positions with dedicated individuals and cut down on your training costs.
Some employment agencies and nonprofits offer evaluations at the job site. This is where a disabled individual works on site for a period to see if he or she is competitively employable. Competitively employable means: can the disabled adult work with reasonable accommodation? This gives that worker a chance to see what employment opportunities best suit them, and it also gives the employer a chance to see what reasonable accommodations would be expected.
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Your company could also play an integral role in helping an adult with disabilities transition to independent employment. Many individuals who start working on a work team transition to working by themselves after they have built up the skills needed on the job. What an amazing story to share with your stakeholders, not only is your business successful, you are changing peoples lives!
So, now you’re convinced- you want to work with an employment agency or nonprofit partner to hire people with disabilities in your workplace, right? Where do you look now? Every state is different but starts by researching your local government and identifying how they help disabled people find jobs. Do they have a relationship with a variety of employment agencies and nonprofits? It would be beneficial for your company to reach out to those partners right away to get the conversation going! Don’t forget to sign up on national websites like Service Locator, Getting Hired to share job opportunities as well. Once you open your eyes to hiring people with disabilities at your company, the possibilities are endless!