The Benefits of Hiring a Qualified Person with a Disability
When you’re going through the hiring process, it can be difficult to find someone who’s both qualified and will mesh well with the culture of your company, especially when you have multiple qualified candidates. But you don’t want to accidentally miss someone who could help make your company even more successful. Surprisingly, many qualified candidates are often overlooked and not hired if they have a disability.
Despite the achievements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, over the years, the employment rate for people with disabilities is only 19.3% compared to 66.3% for those without disabilities.
Many workers with disabilities are also often self-employed since many employers might believe the stereotype that employees with disabilities won’t add any value to their business. And that is not true at all. People with disabilities have the potential to offer the same or even more than those without disabilities. These are some of the benefits of hiring someone with a disability.
1. Increased hiring pool.
Many people with disabilities are looking for work right now and unable to use their skills. If you offer them job opportunities along with other candidates, you’ll have more employees with different skill sets.
2. Enhanced staff morale.
By having more employees with disabilities, the rest of your staff will be able to work with them and have the opportunity to learn things they wouldn’t normally be able to. They will learn to have a more open mind and view the world from a different perspective. In the long run, this could help your staff be more open minded to new ideas for your company.
3. Appeal to an aging workforce.
About half of the disability community is age 65 and over, about three times larger than those without a disability. That makes people with disabilities even more prone to discrimination and not being able to find a job since some employers might not want to hire older candidates, even if they’re qualified. You could be helping a large group of people who normally have a hard time finding work and you could end up finding an extraordinary employee who might have been overlooked by other companies.
4. Increased work ethic/dedication.
Since many people with disabilities haven’t had the chance to work and want to, they are more likely to work harder than others to prove they belong there. Some people might believe the stereotype that those with disabilities are lazy which isn’t true at all. Many people with disabilities will work as hard as they can so they won’t be seen that way.
5. Potential reduced cost of employee benefits.
Many people with disabilities can’t risk losing their benefits through the state they live in, so they have to make sure they don’t earn more than the income limit. By hiring someone with a disability, you most likely won’t have to give them employee benefits since they have to use state insurance to cover everything they need. You will have a hard-working employee without having to worry about covering their insurance.
6. Increased brand awareness, likeability and trust.
When you have a diverse team of employees that includes workers with disabilities, people will notice. They will know you are a company that does not judge people by how they look, so they will like you and trust you more. More companies and employees will want to work with you which will help your business become more successful. You can also reach a wider audience since the disability community will be connected to your company.
7. Increased employee retention of existing employees.
If an employee is comfortable and loves the company they’re working for, they won’t want to go anywhere else, especially employees with disabilities. It can be hard to find a company that is accepting and flexible. So, when someone with a disability finds that, they won’t want to work for anyone else.
8. Potential preference in Government Contracting and more.
In the world we live in now, companies are required to be equal opportunity employers. When a government agency looks at a contractor, they want to know that the company is truly an equal opportunity employer and if they see you have hired multiple employees with disabilities, they’ll know for sure you are. Although it does look good for PR to hire people with disabilities and other minorities, it’s still important to hire them for the right reasons.
9. Increased diversity that builds creativity and problem solving.
Many people with disabilities have to learn early on how to creatively solve problems since many things are inaccessible. Sadly, many things in the world, including many buildings, are inaccessible and people with disabilities are used to figuring ways around it. As mentioned above, employees with disabilities can help other employees learn to be more open minded to ideas and learn how to creatively solve problems that arise in your business.
10. ROI – Tax and other financial incentives including productivity benefits.
Any business that has employees with disabilities can qualify for certain tax credits and deductions. By accommodating and hiring people with disabilities, you could receive the disabled access credit, barrier removal tax deduction, and work opportunity tax credit. If you hire disabled veterans, you might also qualify for even more tax credits or deductions. This could help your profit stay above what you’re spending, and you’ll have a hard-working employee on top of it.