ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted September 19, 2019 by

Employing People with Disabilities Shouldn’t Be a Challenge

(Note: Both interviewees, Paula Golladay and Gerry Crispin, will be panelists at the upcoming College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY on December 12th in New York City.)

While there has been an increased effort over recent years to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce, the focus has been primarily on gender and ethnic diversity. That leaves out a large and important group—people with disabilities. Although the Americans With Disabilities Act became law in 1990, many would agree that employers have failed to live up to the promise of this act.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 29 percent of Americans ages 16 to 64 with a disability were employed as of June 2018, compared with nearly 75 percent of those without a disability. The unemployment rate for people with disabilities who are actively seeking work is 9.2 percent—more than twice as high as for those without a disability (4.2 percent).

Fortunately, a recent study (the first of its kind) has dispelled many of the misperceptions about employing people with disabilities. In fact, the results, as reported by Accenture and the American Association of People with Disabilities, show that companies that hire people with disabilities outperform other organizations, increasing both profitability and shareholder returns. More specifically, revenues were 28% higher, net income was 200% higher and profit margins were 30% higher.

As it turns out, employing people with disabilities is good business.

“Persons with disabilities present business and industry with unique opportunities in labor-force diversity and corporate culture, and they’re a large consumer market eager to know which businesses authentically support their goals and dreams,” said Ted Kennedy, Jr., Disabilities Rights Attorney, American Association of People with Disabilities. “Leading companies are accelerating disability inclusion as the next frontier of social responsibility and mission-driven investing.”

So, how do job seekers with disabilities find opportunities, address their disability with potential employers and advocate for inclusion? We talked to two experts on the subject to answer some common questions. While you’ll find more agreement between our experts than not, there are some differences in opinions, which provides some thought-provoking insights to consider.

1. Should job seekers with disabilities bring these to the attention of a prospective employer and, if so, when and how?

Paula Golladay: This can be a touchy area, and one that’s very personal. Overall, you are not required to disclose the fact that you have a disability, unless hired under the authority of Schedule A. Schedule A refers to a special hiring authority that gives Federal agencies an optional, and potentially quicker way to hire individuals with disabilities. The other exception is if your disability requires a special accommodation. For instance, if you have a mobility issue, you need to disclose this to ensure that you can gain access to and navigate the building. In general, I tell people to wait to disclose their disability until they must do so, because, unfortunately, people still have biases.

Gerry Crispin: Absolutely and fearlessly. It’s better to learn whether acceptance is an issue as quickly as possible. However, timing is essential. If the hiring process will require an accommodation for testing, interviews, etc. then you must make the disclosure upfront. If an accommodation to the job itself will be necessary, then I’d suggest discussing the disability at the end of the interview as a precursor to employment—assuming you’ll be offered the job. If your disability/different ability is not relevant to the job, than it should not be an issue. If you demonstrate that you have trust issues before there is evidence to be concerned, then you’re leading with a negative attitude. Let the employer’s representative, the hiring manager or the recruiter be the one to accept your disability, or not; selecting you based on your ability to do the job alone, and then manage the evidence they present regarding acceptance accordingly.

2. Is it easier for those with disabilities to find career-related employment with some employers than others and, if so, how should job seekers identify which employers are more likely to hire someone with a disability?

Paula: Yes. For instance, the federal government has a mandate to hire a certain percentage of people with disabilities each fiscal year—12% with non-targeted disabilities and 2% with targeted (more severe) disabilities. Of course, some federal agencies do better than others at fulfilling these requirements. And, certain jobs have medical or physical requirements to consider. In addition to the federal government, I would look for a business that owns one or more contracts with the federal government of at least $10,000 annually. These companies must meet similar hiring mandates. Do your research. Disability.gov lists information on user-friendly sites designed for those with disabilities. Also, every public college or university is required to provide career services for people with disabilities.

Gerry: There are many ways to find employers that are more likely to hire those with disabilities. Employers typically want to publicize their commitment to diversity and hiring candidates with disabilities. If you do some research and look at the career section on companies’ websites, you may find evidence such as photos of employees with disabilities, testimonials, videos of employees with disabilities doing their jobs, and employee affinity groups dedicated to mentoring and promoting opportunities and acceptance of people with disabilities. Companies may also display awards they’ve received from national disability organizations or feature case studies. In addition, you may note whether the company is involved with community activism and/or philanthropy that is consistent with the values of people with disabilities.

3. Some employers, particularly those which are small, have little experience managing employees with disabilities and so may be reluctant to extend an offer of employment to a disabled job seeker. What should a disabled job seeker do when they encounter such an employer?

Paula: Technically, that’s discrimination, but it’s usually very difficult to prove. Certain questions are illegal, in which case you are within your rights to say, “You can’t ask that.” For example, an employer can describe the job and ask if you are able to perform the functions, but cannot ask “Are you disabled?” or “Have you ever filed a worker’s compensation claim?” The best thing to do is to be your own advocate and demonstrate that your disability doesn’t affect your ability to do the job. It may not be fair, but it is a reality that disabled persons must often go the extra three miles to prove themselves. Come to interviews prepared to address potential issues. You must sell yourself and your ability to do the job. In truth, your attitude can be your biggest barrier or your greatest asset. Be knowledgeable and confident in your behavior.

Gerry: Ask them “Are you aware if any of your employees have friends or relatives with disabilities—here or, perhaps with a different employer? What have you learned from them about how people with disabilities want or need to be treated?” Their answers will tell you whether it’s useful to move forward.

4. Is there a difference between diversity and inclusion and, if so, what?

Paula: Oh, yes there is! As mentioned in the introduction, employers are making an effort to increase diversity, but when it comes to making people feel included, they often fall short. For example, if there’s a meeting or a company function that an employee with a disability is unable to attend due to accessibility or telecommunications issues, then the company is not being inclusive. It could be as simple as making restrooms accessible, or more complex, such as offering accommodations for those who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, or those with cognitive issues to take part in presentations, meetings, etc. To advocate for inclusion and acceptance, you must own and accept your disability. If you can’t accept your disability, then how can you expect others to do so? Overall, it’s important to be positive and address issues professionally.

Gerry: I’m told there is, mainly by folks who believe that diversity is too aligned with more traditional issues around race and compliance. To me, inclusion tends to point to how we are all diverse…and the same. If there is a difference, then diversity tends to focus on what we can see—observable behavior, gender, skin color, etc., while inclusion offers a path to how we might all behave to ensure we understand, respect and learn from our differences.

Right now, the labor market in the U.S. is very tight, and yet, many people with disabilities remain unemployed. The Accenture analysis reveals a very inspiring statistic: Hiring only 1% of the 10.7 million people with disabilities has the potential to boost the GDP by an estimated $25 billion! Perhaps, once companies begin to realize the economic benefits, as well as the fact that diversity of all types provides fresh insights (especially into developing and marketing products and services that meet the needs of diverse consumers), they will embrace the idea of creating both diverse and inclusive workplaces.

_________________________________________________________________________

Paula B. Golladay

Paula Golladay’ s previous employment was within the profession of a Sign Language Interpreter for over 25 years. Currently, Paula serves as the Schedule A Program Manager for the Internal Revenue Service. She has helped the IRS develop leveraged partnerships nationwide to include, but not limited to, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations vocational rehabilitation centers that foster employment for Individuals with Disabilities (IWD). Paula has developed presentations that encompass all aspects of disability employment. In addition, she has presented on topics such as disability culture and diversity and inclusion. Paula has been recognized by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Department of Labor (DOL) and other federal and private sector organizations as a subject matter expert regarding Schedule A hiring, promotion and retention. She has participated in local and national workshops both within the interpreting field and employment arena. Her expertise regarding how to prepare a federal resume is well recognized by established partnerships.

She has presented previously at Deaf/Hard of Hearing In Government, now Deaf in Government, Amputee Coalition of America, Freddie Mac, Internal Revenue Service national and local conferences. She has been an invited panel member for various college and university disability awareness events. She has presented at Veteran’s Day events, as well as several National Disability Employment Awareness events. Paula is one of the contributors of the development and evaluation of the anticipated OPM Special Placement Program Coordinator training curriculum.

Paula has received several awards in her career as the Schedule A Program Manager. In 2018, she was honored by receiving The Careers and the disABLED Employee of the Year award.

Gerry Crispin

Gerry Crispin describes himself as a life-long student of how people are hired.

He founded CareerXroads in 1996 as a peer community of Recruiting leaders that today, in its third decade, includes 130 major employers who are devoted to learning from and helping one another improve their recruiting practices for every stakeholder…especially the candidate. 

In 2010, Gerry co-founded a non-profit, Talentboard, to better define and research the Candidate Experience, a subject he has been passionate about for more than 40 years. Today the ‘CandEs’ has firmly established itself around the world and establishes benchmarks for employers each year in North America, Europe, Asia and soon South America as a ‘bench’ that shares their Candidate Experience data and competitive practices.

In 2017, Gerry helped launch ATAP, the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals.

Additional Sources:

Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage 2018, a research report by Accenture and the American Association of People with Disabilities

“Hiring People with Disabilities is Good Business,” by Ted Kennedy, Jr., New York Times, 2018.

Join Paula and Gerry, along with your fellow university relations, talent acquisition, and other human resources leaders from corporate, non-profit, and government organizations at the:

College Recruiting Bootcamp on D&I at EY
Organized by College Recruiter and hosted by Ernst & Young
Thursday, December 12, 2019
9:30 AM – 2:30 PM (EST)
Ernst & Young World Headquarters
121 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
GET YOUR TICKETS: www.CollegeRecruiter.com/BootcampOnDIatEY

Posted July 31, 2018 by

Talent acquisition in health care: 7 skills to recruit for and planning a future workforce

 

Where is talent missing in health care, and how can recruiters identify that talent? How can health care talent acquisition leaders plan their workforce to successfully compete and provide great patient care? We got into these questions with Janine Truitt, Chief Innovations Officer at Talent Think Innovations, and with Pam Baker, founder of Journeous. Collectively, Truitt and Baker spent about 30 years in health care and pharmaceuticals, including in HR and TA. They each provided unique insight into how to fill talent shortages, what kind of talent is needed, how to imagine the future of the health care workforce, and how recruiters can survive in this industry.

(more…)

Posted July 26, 2018 by

[white paper] Skills gap? A deeper look at your job ads can help identify more qualified candidates

 

Our latest white paper is specifically for recruiting and talent acquisition leaders who are struggling to attract enough qualified candidates. We teamed up with LiveCareer and combed through their recent 2018 Skills Gap Report. Our hope is that the tips here help you revise your job ads with a fresh lens, and ultimately help you land more of the right candidates faster. (more…)

Posted July 24, 2018 by

Building an internship program at an innovative company

 

What does an innovative company do to recruit and retain interns? I had the pleasure of speaking with Mario Portugal, Head of Recruitment at Beyond Limits, a leading developer of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. They built some strategic elements into their internship program that help them recruit the right talent and retain that talent into the future, all while allowing other employees to benefit from what the intern team has to offer.

(more…)

Posted July 20, 2018 by

A data-driven university selection approach: You can too!

 

At Micron Technology, Dmitry Zhmurkin uses a fantastic method for basing their university relations decisions on data. Zhmurkin is their University Relations Program Manager, and his method helps them decide whether to visit a campus and work with career services, or whether to recruit virtually. College Recruiter’s president and founder Steven Rothberg recently spoke with him about his methodology and said that Zhmurkin “just greatly improved the college recruiting practices at probably dozens, maybe hundreds of organizations.”

Want to know the secret formula? Below we summarize Zhmurkin’s presentation, including a description of his methodology. (more…)

Posted July 03, 2018 by

Preparing young women for gender inequality in the workplace

Career Resources Specialist Laveda Joseph has been noticing that at Wake Technical Community College, her female students are often unaware of the gender inequality that exists in the “real” world. Despite recent momentum toward equal pay, and the #MeToo movement, Joseph doesn’t see awareness increasing on campus. Anne Tomkinson, Senior Manager of Human Resources and Operations at D.C. Public Charter School Board, shares Joseph’s passion for helping young women prepare for the realities of the workplace. That’s not to say they accept status quo. On the contrary—the advice they share here should help young women advocate for themselves, build their confidence, and understand how to react when faced with inequality.

(more…)

Posted June 12, 2018 by

When and how HR tech can engage gig workers in your organization’s culture

If there is one person who knows about how HR leaders can and should choose the right technology tools, it is Sarah Brennan. Brennan is Founder and Chief Advisor at Accelir, where she dedicates herself to improving the impact of technology on people, business and the future of work. She partners with the companies that build the technology and she educates the companies that use that technology. Brennan was also selected to be an official SHRM 2018 blogger. I interviewed Brennan about how she is seeing the impact of the growing gig economy, and how HR leaders should be using (and not using) technology to engage their contracted and gig workers.  (more…)
Posted May 24, 2018 by

Gen Z Talent: Understand Them to Recruit Them [white paper]

 

All of your college recruitment, from now until 2033, will be tapping Gen Z talent. To say that Gen Z will change the workforce is an understatement. At College Recruiter, where we are this close to entry-level talent and swim in the pool of TA trends, we think this generation will transform your workforce.

Gen Z, born after 2000 (some say as early as 1995) will make up 20% of workforce by 2020. We have learned a lot about what makes Gen Z different and how you can recruit them. We teamed up with Door of Clubs to tap into current insights and bring you a white paper full of real tips for recruiters, employment branding specialists and HR leaders.

Read the full white paper to understand how to shift your entry-level recruitment to attract Gen Z candidates

(more…)

Posted May 17, 2018 by

Empowering managers to own employee engagement

 

HR leaders can empower managers to own their employees’ engagement and retention. I spoke with Anne Tomkinson, who is Senior Manager of HR and Operations at DC Public Charter School Board. Not only does her expertise stretch over all aspects of employment relations, employment law, strategic planning and program management, she also knows how to empower managers and give them the tools they need to develop and engage their team members. It’s less complicated than you might think. Tomkinson is an official SHRM 2018 blogger, and you can read more of her insight at HRunderground.wordpress.com. (more…)

Posted May 16, 2018 by

The transformation to HR positive: Interview with HR trailblazers

 

What does it mean to be HR Positive? I spoke with two HR leaders who are blazing their way to a new perception of HR at their own organizations. Cecilia Clark, Senior HR Generalist at Schwan’s, supplements her HR career with a background in Finance, so she is an expert in connecting business and HR strategy to positively affect the bottom line. Chris Orozco, at Win-River Resort and Casino, turned Human Resources into Team Member Relations, which he currently leads. They are both official SHRM 2018 bloggers, and you can read more of their thoughts on Cici’s own HR blog, and Chris’ personal blog “Create: Life and Leadership by Design.” (more…)