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Free Employer Toolkit

The toolkit offers a variety of informative tools. Learn about the skills people with disabilities bring to the workplace and use our ‘how-to’ resources, that provide practical tips and strategies on successful recruitment, hiring, inclusion and retention of people with disabilities.

COVID-19 Tools

COVID-19 has significantly impacted Canadian businesses, forcing many employers to adapt. The value of diversity and inclusion has never been as important as it is today. Employers seeking to recover from the pandemic will be looking to their teams for resilience and adaptability. Once the world shifts back to normal, businesses that foster an inclusive workplace and hire with diversity in mind stand to benefit the most!

Visit our new COVID-19 tools for further information on how hiring people with disabilities will translate into overall business success after the pandemic.

COVID-19 Tools

Adaptability, Resilience and Recovery – Disability and Inclusion During a Pandemic

COVID-19 is a public health crisis that has had a tremendous impact on Canadian businesses. The challenges are significant for many businesses and the ability to adapt operations, work locations, job descriptions and employee engagement strategies have become a survival skill for employers.

While many businesses are scaling back their diversity and inclusion initiatives, Hire for Talent sees this strategy as counterproductive to the development of key crisis management strengths such as adaptability, clarity and agility. Diversity and inclusion are critical for business resilience and recovery! Hire for Talent has created this series of resources to provide information, tools and tips aimed at building employer confidence to leverage diversity and inclusion at a time when our workplaces need it most.


A Word About Disability (It’s Diversity)

People with disabilities are one of the most commonly misunderstood diversity groups – and one with whom businesses consistently underperform in terms of awareness, capacity and recruitment.

While disability is often misinterpreted as a lack of ability, this misconception could not be further from reality. 90% of employees with disabilities perform as well as, or better than, their coworkers. Research clearly indicates that including workers with disabilities generates measurable improvements to workplace culture, morale, staff retention, safety and innovation. Disability-inclusive companies are poised to recover from the pandemic and outperform their competitors!

One critical impact of disability inclusion in the workplace is often overlooked: this diversity demographic helps build employers’ capacity to improve cultural competencies in the workplace. Hiring people with disabilities teaches workplaces how to ‘do inclusion’ and hiring workers with disabilities during COVID can build your business’s capacity to adapt, remain resilient and recover.

Don’t assume that ‘disability’ means having an obvious physical condition. Many employers are surprised to learn that they already have direct experience with workers or customers with disabilities. Many disabilities are invisible (mental illness, learning disabilities, autism and other forms of neurodiversity, etc.). In a recent study, 62% of workers with disabilities said that unless they disclosed their condition, most people had no idea they had a disability.

Learn more about disabilities in Hire for Talent’s Employer Toolkit: Tool #2: Disabilities 101


Inclusion Matters

As Canada’s population ages and leaves the workforce, we must contend with this demographic shift.

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Due to our low birth rate, retirees will be primarily replaced by immigrants and underrepresented diversity groups, including First Nations members and individuals with disabilities. Hire for Talent is focused on including workers with disabilities as this group can have profound impact on building employers’ capacity for diversity and inclusion – an essential aspect of business adaptability, performance and crisis recovery.

In summary, the coming workforce changes mean that workplace diversity and inclusion will help future-proof your business. Hiring practices built around diversity will strengthen your resolve and allow you to overcome challenges like the pandemic to become an 'employer of choice'.


Mindset Matters

We all have beliefs about ourselves, our workplaces and current or prospective employees, and we all have unconscious cognitive biases at work. These are often reflected in ‘decision-making shortcuts’ that we aren’t even aware of. These shortcuts may be the path of least resistance, but they don’t create the best results or open our minds to new ideas and people. Factor in the persistent threat and stress of COVID-19 and we are even more inclined to rely on subconscious biases. For us to be more open to learning new things and to be more inclusive, it is helpful to recognize and challenge our biases. Here are some important tips for developing a more inclusive mindset.

  1. Growth mindset – the belief in your ability and the ability of your team to learn new things and to improve skills – will make those things happen, especially if you express this belief openly.
  2. You can’t always see or understand the barriers you personally don’t face – but that doesn’t mean those barriers aren’t real for others who do experience them.
  3. Try to see other people’s perspectives; slow down, don’t assume – and be sure to ask questions.
  4. Diversity isn’t enough – the environment has to be welcoming and ‘psychologically safe’ in order for people to share what they have to offer. Inclusion matters!
  5. We improve by doing, not just by thinking. Select disability inclusion strategy options that work for your business and put them into practice. Doing something is better than doing nothing.

For more information on how hiring people with disabilities can benefit your business, please consult Hire for Talent’s Employer Toolkit: Tool #1 Business Case




Sources

  1. “Diversity still matters.” McKinsey & Company, Diversity still matters (mckinsey.com). Accessed 16 December 2020.
  2. “Bias, Diversity and Inclusion.” NeuroLeadership Institute, (Mis)Understanding Others: Three Biases that Affect How We Communicate (neuroleadership.com). Accessed 16 December 2020.
  3. “Hiring People with Disabilities.” Government of Canada, Hiring persons with disabilities - Canada.ca. Accessed 16 December 2020.
  4. “MentorAbility.” Canadian Association for Supported Employment, CASE | MentorAbility | Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities (supportedemployment.ca). Accessed 16 December 2020.
  5. “Hiring People with Disabilities.” Government of Alberta, Hiring Persons with Disabilities: Getting Started - alis (alberta.ca). Accessed 16 December 2020.
  6. “B2B Untapped Talent Guide to Innovative Hiring and Retention.” Accessible Employers, B2B Untapped Talent Guide – Accessible Employers. Accessed 16 December 2020.
  7. ”Rethinking Disabilities in the Private Sector.“ Government of Canada, Rethinking Disability in the Private Sector – Canada.ca. Accessed 16 December 2020.


Disclaimer:

Hire for Talent has made every effort to use the most respectful words possible while writing these materials. We realize, however, that the most appropriate terminology may change over time. We developed these materials with the intent to respect the dignity and inherent rights of all individuals.




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Facts & Stats

Growing your business requires the ability to attract talent in a shrinking market. Workplaces with a diverse, healthy, inclusive culture are becoming employers of choice.
Hire for Talent is focused on workers with disabilities because this talent pool, and the support services attached, have profound impact on workplace inclusion.
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Canada’s projected worker to retiree ratio will be 2:1 within 15 years. Recruitment from diverse talent pools will be essential!
The inclusion of people with disabilities generates measurable improvements in performance, innovation and company image.