October is National Disability Awareness month and a great time to remind employers of the many benefits of hiring a qualified person with a disability. People with disabilities represent the single largest and most diverse minority in the US and are an untapped source of qualified candidates. So why are employers missing out on hiring from such a vast pool of qualified talent? Experts in the field of workplace disability believe it’s because employers are unaware of the range of their skills or do not know how to identify the individuals as potential employees.
Studies have shown that workers with disabilities have equal or higher performance ratings compared to workers without disabilities and that workers with disabilities have the lowest attrition rates of any employee group in the country. Not only do these employees get the job done, but they stay on the job. Employers can find qualified applicants to fill open positions, and there are sound business reasons and benefits to hiring from this untapped talent source:
• Diversifying your workforce will appeal to a diverse customer base. Companies that embrace diversity and incorporate it into their core day-to-day operations will be the companies that will attract the next generation of leaders. One in five Americans has a disability, representing $1 trillion in purchase power. • Increase workplace innovation. Employees with disabilities bring unique experiences and understanding that transform a workplace and enhance products and services. As part of your team, employees with disabilities help build your business and can lead your company to the future. • Increase productivity in work groups. People with disabilities motivate other employees. • Receive tax credits by hiring individuals with disabilities.
There has been a strong push by the federal government to employ individuals with disabilities, especially with the recent OFCCP regulations for federal contractors which establish a 7% utilization goal for the employment of qualified individuals with disabilities in each job category of the federal contractor’s workforce. Regardless of whether you are a federal contractor or not, there is no better time than now to grab up some talent to take the first step toward further diversifying your workforce. Make a connection with an organization like Abilities, Inc. (Viscardi Center), recruit individuals with disabilities, and watch your business grow. **********
This article is intended for general information only and should not be construed as legal advice.