Innovative and ambitious disabled employees still face discrimination 0

disabled-workers-contributionDisabled employees outperform all other groups in terms of innovation and professional ambition, according to new data from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) in its paper, Attitudes to Employability and Talent. The report, which explores attitudes towards employability and responsibilities for career development in the UK, includes the attributes associated with employment and career success. Individuals with disabilities ranked more highly than any other group in the categories of ‘Brings new and innovative ideas’ and ‘A great desire to develop’. The group also scored particularly highly in the categories of ‘Fits with organisational values’, ‘Good work ethic’, ‘Reliable’, and ‘Positive attitude to work’. However, when quizzed on current approaches to recruiting from diverse workforce groups, only 11 percent of respondents said they actively target individuals with disabilities during recruitment. This is despite the fact that over half (51 percent) currently employ professionals with physical and mental health conditions. 

The findings reflect research by the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) an independent not-for-profit group of employers and recruiters that have come together to drive change for disabled people in the UK jobs market – which found up to 85 percent of disabled jobseekers have faced challenges during the recruitment process, with 56 percent of respondents reporting first encountering challenges at the application stage.

Responding to the latest CIPD findings, RIDI spokesperson, Kate Headley, Director of Consultancy at The Clear Company, said: “The CIPD’s data supports RIDI’s long held ethos – that disabled employees are an incredibly valuable, yet often overlooked, area of the workforce.”

“It’s no surprise that, when prompted, HR professionals recognise that disabled professionals have a knack for innovation and a particularly strong desire to develop themselves. People with long-term or limiting conditions usually have a wealth of experience in finding solutions to challenges and an innate drive to succeed.”

“However, despite this, disabled people continue to be hugely under-represented in the workplace. There are 12 million disabled people in the UK, but according to the latest government statistics, just 47 percent of people with disabilities of working age were in employment between October and December 2015. Among non-disabled people, this figure stood at 80 percent.”

“It seems that while HR professionals understand the benefits of engaging with disabled jobseekers, they may not have the confidence to reach out to them directly. Businesses can become more inclusive by working collaboratively with their recruitment suppliers and seeking advice from other organisations to target this rich, yet largely untapped, talent pool.”

“If your team is taking steps to engage with disabled talent, don’t keep quiet about it – share your story by entering the RIDI Awards today. The awards are free to both enter and attend – submissions close on the 23rd September 2016.”

The CIPD’s findings are based on insight from 1,078 UK-based HR practitioners who were surveyed on their perceptions of specific groups in relation to attributes that define a ‘talented employee’.

Other groups that respondents were asked to rate include; older workers, young people, parents returning to work, migrant workers, ex-offenders and ex-service personnel.