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How to Build the Best Process for Hiring People With Disabilities

When you aim to build a truly diverse and inclusive company, that admirable goal begins with creating a hiring process that invites and attracts applicants from all backgrounds, genders, and life experiences. And that includes building a disability-friendly hiring process. 

Hiring people with disabilities isn’t just the right thing to do – it can also have significant economic benefits for your company, as these employees tend to have higher rates of job satisfaction, motivation, and loyalty. 

So how can you create a hiring process that attracts and pays attention to the needs of people with disabilities? Here are a few essential components. 

Educate Your Hiring Managers

Your hiring managers may not be experienced in interviewing and hiring people with disabilities, so it’s vital to educate and enable them before the hiring process begins. 

This education may include prepping them with common questions that people with disabilities may ask during the interview process, such as what accommodations are available and how many other people with disabilities are in the organization. The Job Accommodation Network has an excellent toolkit on disability etiquette in the workplace that can help managers feel more comfortable interacting with people with disabilities. 

Hiring managers should also be familiar with the rules of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), especially being aware that they cannot ask disability-related questions to a candidate before an offer is made. 

Use Recruiting Resources

There are many resources available to help your company in your efforts for hiring people with disabilities. 

  • The Employment Assistance Referral Network (EARN) is a national resource from the US Department of Labor that helps employers locate candidates with disabilities for any open position. 
  • Disability:IN is a non-profit that partners with employers to provide customized disability inclusion consulting. 
  • The National Business & Disability Council (NBDC) and Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provide a variety of resources for disability hiring best practices for your business. 
  • Job boards such as disABLEDperson, abilityJobs, and One More Way offer access to disabled people seeking a wide variety of jobs, and can be a great addition to your talent pools. 

Using one or more of the resources available can help you proactively reach out to disabled candidates, and ensure that you’re complying with the ADA as well as creating a welcoming and inclusive workplace. 

Have an Unbiased Application Process

Creating an unbiased job application process takes careful thought, as biases are common and often unconscious. That’s why traditional recruitment processes, where humans review resumes and select which ones move forward, tend to contain significant unconscious bias against a variety of groups, including disabled people.  

Hiring technology that uses AI to review your applicants at the top of the recruitment funnel can eliminate these human biases and determine who truly fits the requirements of the job so you’re not filtering out qualified candidates, which is essential when hiring people with disabilities. Cangrade’s Pre-Hire Assessment technology can assist your business in this process. 

Provide Accessible Office Spaces

If you’re conducting in-person interviews with potential candidates, providing office spaces for those interviews that are accessible to people with disabilities is essential. And under the ADA, reasonable accommodations like a disabled-accessible interview space, a sign language interpreter for a person who is deaf, or a reader for a person who is visually impaired, may be required for employers. 

Proactively providing these accommodations can assure candidates that your organization is truly committed to a welcoming and inclusive workplace for all employees. 

Conduct Standardized Interviews

Another way to eliminate bias from the recruitment process is to conduct standardized or structured interviews. During these kinds of interviews, the interviewer asks a predetermined set of questions in a specific order. This process allows the interviewer to gather and evaluate similar types of information from applicants consistently, and ensures no candidate is at a disadvantage. 

Learn how Cangrade’s Structured Interview Guides can help you create your own custom standardized interview to eliminate bias when hiring people with disabilities.