Apr 14, 2021 2:11:35 PM

    The global coronavirus pandemic has rapidly changed the workplace; swiftly broken down some myths and misconceptions about disability that have lingered for decades; smashed some perceived barriers to employment for people who have a disability; and sparked more conversation about the business benefits of inclusive hiring.

    Research by Deloitte has shown that companies with inclusive cultures are eight times more likely to have better business outcomes. And these are closely tied to employee performance and productivity. Businesses can’t succeed if their employees don’t. And for all employees a key part of being productive and successful is satisfaction. Inclusive hiring leads to employee satisfaction and loyalty, when it’s done right. Recruiting and retaining employees who have a disability makes a business stronger. That’s because there’s less turnover, and fewer dollars and less time spent on the hiring process. Statistics show that staff retention rates are 72% higher among people who have a disability. Satisfied staff are dedicated employees, generally.

    Inclusive hiring enables businesses to fill needed roles with skilled, qualified people who are the right “fit.” Industries in Canada and other countries are facing labour shortages and expect these to continue over the next 10 years. In Canada, an October 2019 report by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) noted that 85% of manufacturers have a hard time filling vacancies. And a 2018 study by the Business Development Bank of Canada found 39% of small-to-medium enterprises (SME), which drive the Canadian economy, are having difficulty finding new workers.

    But there is talent available ready to help business owners, hiring managers and recruiting professionals meet the labour shortage head on and shock-proof their businesses. It’s in the disability talent market.

    For the most part, these jobseekers use their personal contacts and networks to find employment. They also enlist employment service professionals for assistance. The talent is there in the disability talent market, but businesses are not always connecting with them. A joint survey by the National Organization on Disabilities (NOD), Harris Interactive and the Kessler Foundation found that only 40% of businesses accessed assistance from employment service organizations when recruiting new employees.

    The talent pool of skilled, qualified people who have a disability can help businesses expand their base of qualified employees, so they’re prepared for the future. But there is “a reality gap.” In its 2017 Global Human Capital Trends Report, Deloitte found that across the board, there’s now more focus on D&I, however “many businesses may be in denial about the reality in their own companies.” Deloitte’s research found that 71% of businesses aspire to have an inclusive culture. But only 12% have reached D&I maturity.

    There’s still a lack of knowledge that’s impeding businesses from capitalizing on the power of inclusion. A survey of small-to-medium-size businesses in 2017 by the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work found, 71% of businesses are not hiring people who have a disability because of a “lack of awareness in skill level.”

    Join to learn how your business can harness the Power of Inclusion! Registration to this event is now open. Early Bird rate is $50.00. Register today by visiting: www.rethinkingdisability.ca. For more information, please connect with ODEN at info@odenetwork.com.