Purple View Point
Purple believes that building a Disability Confident workforce is about seeing the talent, not the disability, challenging perceptions and attitudes and building understanding about how to access a huge pool of untapped talent.
Purple’s disability confident training programme tackles the myths and perceptions and explores the barriers often created in the recruitment and retention journey because of a ‘one-size fits all’ approach. It also builds participants’ understanding about the cultural, commercial and employment opportunities of recruiting and retaining disabled talent.
Purple believes that it makes business sense to reflect your consumer base in your workforce.
- Disability is a business leadership issue and you need to make the case for change to your Board focused on the cultural, commercial and employment opportunities of recruiting and retaining disabled talent.
- Start your journey from where you really are now rather than where you would like to be – some of the most basic issues about language, etiquette and access are often neglected because of fear and false perceptions
- Line managers are critical to your journey – they are big influencers on the culture and the shape of the workforce, and yet are the people most likely to think a disabled person cannot do the job. Build their confidence and capacity to see the value of disabled people in the workplace.
Advice & Guidance
- Be proactive in building line managers confidence and capacity to see the value of disabled people in the workplace. This will involve a training and wider development solution.
- Consider the impact of your organisation’s communications with external audiences – what perceptions do they create for disabled people seeking work. Many talented disabled people will deselect themselves from the recruitment process as a result of poor access or poor reputation.
- Dispel the myths about time and cost involved in making adjustments – the average cost of reasonable adjustments is £180 – focus on how you draw the talent out the employee.
- Review your current recruitment and retention processes and consider what interventions and changes you need to make to increase access to disabled candidates.
- Consider how accessible your recruitment process is through the eyes of disabled people. Use your current disabled staff to test your approach and materials.
- Make sure your adverts have encouraging messages about welcoming applications from disabled people
- Recognise that some disabled candidates will not have had the conventional career journey and that there may be gaps in their CVs. Find alternative approaches to teasing out whether they have the prerequisite competencies.
- Ensure disability language and etiquette awareness is part of any training offered to hiring managers as part of their training and development
- As line managers, consider if your team meetings and 1:1 sessions are sufficiently inclusive for all team members to contribute
- Ensure training and development and career opportunities are inclusive to all staff including those with different impairments.
- Don’t be afraid to have the conversation with a disabled person. The individual will be more offended if you swerve the interaction than if you engage but don’t get it right first time. For 99% of disabled people, it is all about context. Don’t let your actions be dictated about the concerns of the 1%.