The Benefits of Hiring Individuals with Disabilities
Published: January 11th, 2018
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Let’s face it, this protected group is only protected to a certain degree. There is no protection against the perceptions surrounding a disability. The stigma seems to be that a disability is an inability verses an impairment. This is not the case. 

A disability, is in fact an impairment, as it states in its definition under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Though the definition supports disabled individuals being capable, the unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities in 2016 was 10.5 percent. Why is this the case when the 2016 average unemployment rate was 4.9 percent? Let’s talk five benefits of hiring an individual with a disability.


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1. It’s the Right Thing to Do

If the individual is qualified, they should be considered fairly and impartially. There is a stigma that hiring individuals with disabilities will cost too much money. There is evidence out there that shows that employing from this untapped pool does not cost any more than employing people without a disability. Building and uplifting communities is a good reputation to have.

2. Tax Incentives

There are many tax incentives for hiring disabled individuals. One program with huge significance is the Work Opportunity Credit. The Work Opportunity Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. An employee with a disability qualifies if the appropriate state/government agencies have certified the individual as disabled.

3. Diversity and Inclusion

Individuals with disabilities are the largest diversity population. Diversity and inclusion are added values to your reputation. You want your organization to be known for its vibrant pool of diverse winners! Diversity and inclusion must also be a part of your business strategy if the goal is success.

4. Innovation

Hiring individuals with diverse abilities drives innovation. This untapped pool of talented individuals has developed the motivation to work hard, often times, facing adversity. In addition, they have passion and amazing problem-solving skills. You will gain new perspective within your organization that can lead to product advances and competitive advantages.

5. Turnover

Loyalty is key when considering turnover. A three-year study was conducted regarding employee turn-over rates. Washington Mutual, Inc. found that there was an 8 percent turnover rate for disabled employees. This study found that the turnover rate for non-disabled employees was 45 percent.

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The biggest barriers preventing hiring of individuals with disabilities are attitudes and perception. Employment is a fundamental part of adult living. Self-sufficiency and well-being are just as important to individuals with disabilities. This untapped pool of amazing and qualified candidates; want to work, contribute to society, and contribute to their communities.

A study conducted by the Kessler Foundation, found that 69 percent of those surveyed with disabilities, work an average of 35.5 hours a week. It’s time for the assumptions to stop. It’s time we look toward this untapped pool of qualified candidates to fill open positions. A disability is not an inability.

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About Veronica Castillo, M.S HRD:  Veronica Castillo is a disabilities advocate with passion for Human Resources; specifically, employment law as it relates to ADA and FMLA. A blended background of investigation, legal, and HR has led her to her current work as an Independent Human Resources Specialist. She believes that employees are the greatest asset to every organization and is passionate about creating a culture that proves it. Her interests include HR policy, compliance, and training development. Find her on LinkedIn here.

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Talent Hack was founded by Lindsay Mustain, #asklindsay. I am a recruiter by trade and a humanist by condition. The existential question that drives me is "How can I help you?" Marrying together my expertise in talent acquisition and candidate experience this question becomes "How can I help you find your dream opportunity?"

My vision is to one day help organizations realize the impact of valuing human beings as people and not as pieces of paper. Until that time, I share unapologetic advice and job search strategies that work within the current system. Learn more at: www.talentparadigm.co/services

I help to bridge the gap between job seekers and employers through branding, the candidate experience and journey, along with disruptive talent acquisition strategies. My journey at Amazon led me to becoming their most visible employee by speaking on talent attraction, candidate experience (CandX), and humanizing the talent acquisition process.

I launched Talent Paradigm in 2017 with the goal of leveling the playing field for candidates in the job seeking process. My organization provides coaching, resume writing, branding, and consulting services and products to help improve candidate outcomes.
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