Top 10 reasons to hire a person with disability

Did you know just 53.4% of people with disability are employed, compared to 84.1% of people who do not identify as having disability?

Employment is an important part of life for all of us. It provides a sense of self-empowerment, independence and overall positive wellbeing. Like anyone else, people with disability can and want to work – it truly can be life changing.

That’s why we want to help change this statistic!

So, without further ado, here’s our top 10 reasons why WE think you should hire a person with disability to fill your next vacancy.

    1. Expand your talent pool

1 in 6 people in Australia have a disability – that’s a whopping 4.4 million people!

By cutting people with disability out of the recruitment process, you’re cutting off a huge talent pool filled with skilled and knowledgeable people who may be perfect for the job. Barriers in your recruitment process may be unintentional, which is why it’s important you ensure your job application process is accessible. Here’s an article on how you can ensure you have an accessible recruitment process.

Taking efforts to consider EVERYONE during your recruitment process will show your business is taking active steps to foster inclusion in the workforce. And who knows, the perfect candidate may be just around the corner!

    2. People with disability are dedicated employees

There’s a big three factors which people with disability generally score higher in than other employees:

  • They take less days off
  • They take less sick leave
  • And stay in their jobs longer!

Giving a person with disability a fair go is sure to provide your business with a loyal and dedicated employee. Better yet, this attitude may rub off on the rest of your workforce and encourage a positive workplace culture.

    3. People with disability may perform just as well as other employees

If you’re worried that an employee with disability may not be as productive as other co-workers, worry no more!

This misconception has been broken through a number of cases showing that, in the right job, people with disability have comparable productivity rates to a company’s general workforce. With some initial support and perhaps a few tweaks to the process or facilities to ensure they’re accessible, you’re likely to have a productive member added to your workforce.

    4. Improve your customer’s loyalty

In the growing oversaturation of competition in this day and age, customer loyalty is key!

It’s shown that people with disability are able to build strong connections with customers and here’s the reason why.

With a number of your customers either having disability, or knowing a family, friend or neighbour with disability, showing that you have an inclusive workplace provides a personal connection that makes you stand out against less inclusive businesses. This has the benefit of not only encouraging loyalty, but also increases corporate social responsibility for your wider brand.

    5. Gain insights on an untapped market

Remember when we told you 1 in 6 people have disability? Now consider that, for many, our world does not cater to the needs of people with disability. This makes it necessary for many to seek out unique solutions to their problems – which sometimes may not exist.

An employee with disability may be the key to understanding the needs of a consumer base you didn’t consider previously. From product development to accessibility on the web, there are a number of consumer insights your employee can share to help improve your product or service and provide solutions to your customers with disability.

This equals valuable insights to an untapped market!

    6. Boost staff happiness

We don’t need to tell you how important workplace culture is to an organisation’s success. And at the end of the day, it all comes down to how happy people are in their workplace.

The bottom line? Reports have shown that “diverse workplaces create more happy workers.”

Inclusive businesses will find that both their levels of engagement and productivity will improve, along with team collaboration efforts.

    7. Financial assistance is available

There’s a number of financial scheme’s and supports available to assist you to employ a person with disability. From wage subsidies, to government assistance to make your workplace more accessible, your business may be eligible to financial assistance to help you provide meaningful employment to a person with disability. Read a full list of available resources here.

Need a bit of help connecting to these opportunities? A Disability Employment Service (DES) provider, like Mai-Wel, can help direct you.

    8. Increased corporate social responsibility

A lot of companies say that inclusion, diversity or accessibility are important core values – but how do you actually implement this in your business practice?

Hiring a diverse workforce will show the community you’re serious about fostering all three of the above. By simply giving a person with a disability a fair go, you’re increasing your corporate social responsibility, and by extension, your organisation’s image in the eyes of the community in which you operate.

With 66% of customers in over 60 countries stating they would spend money on a brand that used corporate social responsibility practices, employing a diverse workforce just makes business sense.

    9. Break the stigma

Disability means a lot more than what some people think it does. You may already have staff who have disabilities but haven’t opened up about it – that’s because not all disabilities are visible!

Help break the stigma of what it means to employ a person with disability. By showing you’re a supportive employer, you may give your staff the confidence to come forward with suggestions on how to make their work more accessible when before you didn’t even know they were experiencing such barriers.

Innovation, staff wellbeing, and showing the community that stereotypes are meant to be broken – win, win, win!

    10. A DES provider can help you

If you’re convinced but not quite sure where to start, you can look to a Disability Employment Provider (DES) for support.

As an example, as a registered DES provider, Mai-Wel works with businesses to connect them to employees with disability that fit their needs. We can:

  • Help create a job position suitable to our job seeker pool that will free up your workforce for more complicated tasks
  • Provide qualified workers who have completed training in your industry
  • Offer post-placement support to you and your employee, so we can make sure your businesses needs and the needs of your employee are being met
  • Connect you to financial schemes, accessibility opportunities and more!

You can find a list of DES providers in your area by visiting the Australian Government Department of Social Services website.