If you own a restaurant or hotel and are interested in attracting workers with disabilities, you've made a wise decision. By embracing a diverse workforce, you are committing to greater inclusivity. Additionally, research published in the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation suggests that companies that hire workers with disabilities benefit from greater employee loyalty, reduced worker turnover, and greater profits. While you may be clear on the benefits, you may be unclear on how to best attract and hire a more diverse workforce.
Take care of basic tasks needed to hire workers with disabilities
Before you start recruiting, take care of some housekeeping items. First, if you don't have one, get an employer identification number, which is an important step as you set up a new company. The EIN is assigned by the IRS and you'll need it for payroll. Second, make sure your workspace accommodates disabled persons. For example, you may want to add a wheelchair-friendly bathroom and useful technology, like screen readers—which help persons with visual hurdles. Finally, provide disability awareness training for existing employees, preparing them for the changes ahead.
Institute flexible working arrangements if possible
According to Allianz Care, another way you can make your workplace more friendly to people with disabilities is with flexible working arrangements. For example, you might allow people to work remotely. This can make your business more appealing for persons with mobility hurdles, for example. Of course, not all jobs lend themselves to telecommuting. In this case, offering non-standard working hours or intermittent flexibility if you can't commit to a full-time remote schedule is helpful.
Establish a benefits program that takes people with disabilities into account
When it comes to attracting top talent, you need to think about more than salaries. This is especially for people who are disabled. A benefits package that speaks to your target audience can make a big difference. There are many different types of benefits you can implement to attract workers, such as health insurance, retirement planning support, transportation assistance, and child care. One way to figure out what kinds of benefits workers would appreciate is to ask them outright.
Revamp your recruitment processes
Once you have the basics in place to make your workplace friendly for the disabled, it's time to start recruiting. MIUSA offers tips for writing relevant job ads, such as promoting disability inclusion and noting that you have a budget for reasonable workplace accommodations.
Develop an inclusive onboarding and career development program
Once you've hired your new employees, the work doesn't stop. Make sure to include them in a detailed onboarding program. Start by ensuring easy access on their first day and leaving plenty of time to introduce them to the office. Then, make sure you have the technology on hand to accommodate their needs. Share training materials in multiple formats if needed, from written guides to videos. As your new workers settle in, make sure to touch base with them regularly to discuss career planning, so you can support their further development.
Reflect inclusivity throughout your brand
When including workers with disabilities in your business, you want to ensure that your brand reflects this inclusivity. You should share it at every stage, internally and externally, ensuring a clear reflection of your business’s diversity and inclusion values. For example, you want to make sure your marketing efforts are just as inclusive as your hiring efforts. This could involve doing things like making sure your website is compatible with assistive devices and using diverse images of people in your marketing materials.
Creating a more inclusive culture in your business by hiring workers with disabilities benefits all involved. The above article provides some tips to guide you through the process. | Martin Block