Focusing on abilities rather than on disabilities 

Focusing on abilities rather than on disabilities was a key sentiment enforced by Work BC and many speakers at yesterday’s disability employment event. With 53% of the population of Canada either living with a disability or related to somebody with a disability, it is imperative that we facilitate disabled individuals in the workforce.

By 2025, it is predicted that there will be 1 million vacant jobs in British Columbia. In fact, we are already at a deficit in 2018 with more people leaving the workforce than entering it. Currently, there are 334,000 people with disabilities in BC that are eager to work but are struggling to find an inclusive employer. This is an untapped market which, with willingness and support from employers, can simultaneously get those with disabilities back in to steady employment while helping to fill the urgent needs of employers.


Taking Innovative Approaches

Many inclusive employers out there take innovative approaches when it comes to making their selection process accessible to those with disabilities. Take multinational software corporation SAP for instance – instead of using the traditional question and answer interview process to recruit for developers and coders etc., they ask candidates who are on the autism spectrum to take part in a robot building contest. This tests a candidate’s problem-solving skills as well as their teamwork ability and has been hugely successful for their onboarding and retention model.

What Are the Benefits of Being an Inclusive Employer?

According to the latest inclusive employer’s survey by Deloitte, companies are six times more likely to be innovative and twice as likely to meet financial goals, as well as generating 1.4 times more revenue, if they are an inclusive employer. As an added bonus, 90% of consumers are more likely to support an inclusive business.

What’s Stopping Employers Becoming Inclusive?

There are many barriers which prevent employers from taking the steps to becoming an inclusive employer. 35% these barriers come down to employers not knowing where to find candidates, while 33% claim there is not enough support and knowledge. Additionally, 18% of employers claim this is due to safety and risk and 14% due to time.

Organizations such as WorkBC, Marco Pasqua Consultation, PosAbilities, Rick Hansen and Open Door Group each have interventions and procedures in place to help reduce such barriers.

Being an inclusive employer is so important in today’s tight talent pool market and with 20% of job seekers having some sort of disability, can you really afford for your company not to be inclusive?