A Path to Unity: Celebrating December Holidays and Human Rights for a More Inclusive Year-Ender 

Thanksgiving has passed, and there’s another celebration worth highlighting: Human Rights Day.

This resource will discuss this monumental day and how it synergizes with holiday celebrations. Through this article, we hope you embrace various holidays that can be a powerful platform for promoting understanding and respect.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

The international community commemorates Human Rights Day every year on December 10. In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This helps protect human rights, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, disability, and other statuses.¹ Here are the 30 articles listed in the UDHR:

  1. All human beings are born free and equal.  
  1. Everyone is equal regardless of race, color, sex, language, religion, politics, or where they are born. 
  1. Everyone has the right to life and to live in freedom and safety.  
  1. Everyone has the right to be free from slavery.  
  1. Everyone has the right to be free from torture. 
  1. Everyone has the right to be recognized before the law.  
  1. We are all equal before the law.  
  1. Everyone has the right to seek justice if their rights are violated.  
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile.  
  1. Everyone has the right to a fair trial. 
  1. Everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.  
  1. Everyone has the right to privacy and freedom from attacks on their reputation.  
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and to be free to leave and return to their own country. 
  1. Everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution.  
  1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.  
  1. Everyone has the right to marry and to have a family.  
  1. Everyone has the right to own property. 
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.  
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.  
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.  
  1. Everyone has the right to take part in government and to have equal access to public service.  
  1. Everyone has the right to social security.  
  1. Everyone has the right to work, equal pay, protection against unemployment, and the right to form and join trade unions. 
  1. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure.  
  1. Everyone has the right to a decent standard of living, including food, clothing, housing, medical care, and social services. 
  1. Everyone has the right to education.  
  1. Everyone has the right to participate in and enjoy culture, art, and science. 
  1. Everyone has the right to a social and international order where the rights in this Declaration can be fully realized.  
  1. We have a duty to other people, and we should protect their rights and freedoms.  
  1. Nobody can take away these freedoms and rights from us.  

Human Rights Day: An Impactful Day of Celebration This December 

The theme for the 75th anniversary this 2023 is “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All.”² Celebrating Human Rights Day is important, and here is why we celebrate it every year:

To Raise Awareness

Every human being has their personal rights that need to be protected. This serves as an opportunity to educate people about their rights and those around them, creating a supportive and respectful environment for everyone.

To Promote Equality

It helps promote the idea that everyone is equal and should be treated with dignity and respect. We can take this time to celebrate diversity and recognize contributions from different walks of life.

To Advocate for Change

Many around the world are still suffering. By advocating for our rights, we establish awareness against various forms of abuse and demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.

To Honor Human Rights Defenders

Human Rights Day helps honor the works of those who defended people’s rights in the past. Some people may have risked their lives to protect their rights and everyone around them. On this day, we recognize their courage and stand with them as we look into a brighter future that these brave individuals once sparked.

Emphasizing Human Rights: Activities to Enjoy This Season 

This holiday season, remember the people around you by celebrating the beauty of our humanity and honoring our rights. Here are some activities you can take part in at work:

1. Set up a free expression wall for the whole organization.

For this activity, you can set up a giant piece of paper or canvas against a massive wall and encourage employees to write about what human rights mean to them. This can allow them to bring forward their ideas, concerns, and feelings about their situation.

Encourage employees to read what their peers have written to help them understand what others think and what their lived experiences are.

2. Start a social media campaign.

You can encourage your employees to talk about their struggles and how they sought justice.

You may ask them to choose a format they will be comfortable sharing their story through, such as Facebook Live, social media posts, stories, or email newsletters. Remember to use related hashtags to help your posts appear on the feeds of interested people. You can use hashtags like #HumanRightsDay, #StandUp4HumanRights, or #UDHR75.

3. Arrange a networking event to boost connections.

This is to bring people from different organizations closer. This event allows people to share ideas and collaborate on initiatives. It would be best to choose a venue that’s easily accessible to the people you’ll invite to ensure most of them can attend.

Prepare activities encouraging attendees to connect, like icebreakers, group discussions, and workshops. You can invite speakers to share their experiences and insights on human rights issues.

You can encourage them to connect by providing opportunities to communicate by setting up an area where attendees can exchange business cards and contact information.

4. Host human rights conferences.

If you wish to educate your employees about the issues we face today, you may organize human rights conferences where they can gain access to various topics and discussions. Here are some subjects you may discuss:

5. Organize an activism summit.

Statista surveyed 3,227 Gen Z respondents about which social issues they consider important.³ Here are a few related to human rights that were highlighted:

  • 88% guaranteeing quality education for every child
  • 86% preserving individual rights and freedoms
  • 85% ensuring greater access to healthcare
  • 78% addressing systemic racism
  • 74% safeguarding the rights of vulnerable populations

Help your employees put their values into action by organizing an activism summit. You can invite leading activists to discuss their advocacies and inspire your members. Encourage discussions to teach your employees to speak up about what is important to them and help them develop actionable plans.

Humanity deserves celebration this Human Rights Day 

The UDHR started a global initiative, and we can help the progress continue through commemorations and education.

This Human Rights Day and holiday season, take this time to talk to your colleagues and loved ones about their rights and how to protect them and others.

CELEBRATE HUMAN RIGHTS BEYOND DECEMBER WITH THE HELP OF PEAK PERFORMERS

Human rights can be commemorated and celebrated from Human Rights Day and beyond. You can do this by hiring inclusively and welcoming diverse candidates into your organization. Let Peak Performers help you by connecting you with top candidates with disabilities.

We have 28 years of experience and 99 percent customer satisfaction in matching the right people with their best employers. Let us know if you need to fill temporary, direct hire, or executive roles in engineering, technology services, government, or finance.

Get in touch with us today and start expanding your teams.

References 

1. “Title.” Amnesty International, www.amnesty.org/universal-declaration-of-human-rights. 21 Nov. 2023.

2. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Turns 75.” United Nations, 2023, www.ohchr.org/en/get-involved/campaign/udhr-75.

3. “Thinking about the Kind of America in Which You Want to Live, How Important Are the following Issues to You Right Now?” Statista, 13 Oct. 2023, www.statista.com/gen-z-perspective-on-social-issues-us.

Wake Up Call: 8 Ways to Avoid Unconscious Bias in Hiring 

Unconscious biases can sneak in without us knowing. While we want hiring to be fair, these biases can lead to unintentional discrimination and hurt our goal of creating an inclusive and dynamic workplace, especially during the hiring process.

In this blog, we’ll look at common unconscious biases in recruitment and where we need to keep our eyes focused on maintaining a fair and equal process.

What Are Unconscious Biases in Hiring? 

Unconscious bias, or implicit bias, refers to the subtle, automatic judgments and stereotypes people feel about others based on race, gender, age, disability, and ethnicity. These biases often stem from societal and cultural influences, which can manifest in hiring decisions without the recruiter or hiring manager’s knowledge.

Types of Unconscious Biases in Hiring 

Often, our brains unconsciously rely on personality, background, or experience to make hiring decisions, which can lead to unintended and unfair results. Here are several ways we can exhibit hiring bias without even realizing it:

1. Confirmation Bias

Think about those moments when you’ve formed an initial impression of a candidate. Have you ever noticed that you tend to seek out information that confirms your initial thoughts?

This is confirmation bias in action. It can manifest when interviewers unknowingly seek out evidence that supports their initial impression of the candidate while ignoring evidence that contradicts it.

For example, suppose an interviewer believes that candidates from a particular university are more capable. They might subconsciously focus on the achievements and qualifications of applicants from that institution, ignoring better-qualified candidates in others.

2. Affinity or Similarity Bias

If you’ve noticed that you’re drawn to candidates who share your traits or characteristics, you’re not alone. Similarity bias is a natural tendency to prefer individuals who resemble us in background, experiences, or interests.

3. Disability Bias or Ableism

Disability bias is when people with disabilities face unfair treatment. With this bias, people with disabilities are perceived as less capable, less skilled, or less intelligent than those without disabilities.

Read more: Everything you Know about Disability Inclusion is WRONG 

4. Halo and Horn Effect

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. However, sometimes, these can overshadow a candidate’s overall qualifications. The halo effect occurs when a single positive trait outshines all others, while the horn effect involves one negative feature affecting the perception of an otherwise strong candidate.

5. Contrast Effect

The contrast effect occurs when interviewers evaluate candidates relative to those they’ve interviewed before. If previous candidates were underqualified or overqualified, the perception of the current candidate may be skewed based on the previously reviewed candidates.

6. Paternalistic Attitudes

Some recruiters may display a paternalistic attitude towards candidates with disabilities, viewing them as needing help or sympathy rather than treating them as equal professionals. This can lead to patronizing behavior and undermine the candidate’s professional dignity.

7. Attribution Bias

This involves attributing certain behaviors or outcomes to inherent traits or characteristics rather than situational factors. In the context of hiring, this bias can manifest as attributing a candidate’s success or failure to their innate abilities or personality traits while disregarding the impact of external factors.

For example, interviewers might think confidence equals competence, overlooking the candidate’s efforts. While confident candidates can be competent, recruiters must also consider the practice and preparation candidates pour into job applications.

8. Accessibility Bias

This occurs when the hiring process itself is not accessible to people with disabilities. For instance, if an interview location is not wheelchair accessible or if application materials are not available in formats accessible to visually impaired candidates, it can prevent qualified candidates from fully participating in the hiring process.

9. Beauty Bias

This bias is the inclination to prefer attractive candidates over less attractive ones. Research from the University at Buffalo revealed that individuals deemed more physically appealing are more likely to get hired and receive better evaluations.¹ This gives an unfair privilege to people who are perceived as attractive.

10. Bias in Job Requirements

Sometimes, job descriptions include requirements that unnecessarily exclude people with disabilities, such as physical demands that are not actually essential to the job. This can prevent candidates with disabilities from applying, even if they can perform the core functions of the role.

Impacts of Unconscious Biases in Hiring 

Although they can be unintentional, unconscious biases can affect the growth of an organization significantly and lead to:

1. Reduced Diversity and Stifled Innovation

When unconscious biases influence recruitment decisions, qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds are often overlooked, resulting in a homogeneous workforce.

In an organization where everyone thinks and acts similarly, there is less room for out-of-the-box thinking that drives groundbreaking discoveries and developments. Diverse teams are more likely to generate innovative solutions and products.

2. Impact on Company Reputation

In today’s interconnected world, news of discriminatory hiring practices can spread quickly. A reputation for biased hiring can have long-lasting negative consequences for an organization, reducing customer trust, tarnishing employer brand, and creating difficulty in attracting top talent.

3. Reduced Employee Engagement

When employees perceive that their organization’s hiring process is biased, it can erode trust and reduce employee engagement. Employees from underrepresented groups may feel undervalued, leading to lower morale, decreased productivity, and higher turnover rates.

Related Article: Redefining Employee Retention and Engagement in Today’s World of Work 

8 Practical Ways to Reduce Hiring Biases 

Here are proactive steps you can take to foster an environment that centers on equality, reducing biases and discrimination during recruitment:

1. Educate Yourself

The first step in addressing unconscious biases is to acknowledge their existence. Through training and workshops, open dialogues, and continuous learning, you can educate yourself and your team about the biases that can arise during the hiring process. This heightened awareness can be an encouragement to make necessary improvements.

You can also make yourself aware of what biases you hold that may be subtly affecting your hiring decisions. You can use tools such as Harvard’s Implicit Bias Test.²

2. Standardize the Hiring Process

Another way to minimize the influence of biases is to standardize the hiring process. This involves establishing clear, consistent criteria for evaluating candidates. When all candidates are assessed against the same set of standards, it becomes difficult for biases to affect the decision-making process.

Standardization can begin with creating a job description that outlines the qualifications, skills, and experience required for the role. This document should serve as the foundation for evaluating all candidates. Additionally, structured interview questions and scoring rubrics can help ensure all candidates are assessed fairly and consistently.

3. Blind Resume Screening

Blind resume screening can also be an effective strategy to mitigate biases early in the hiring process. Research by Zippia shows that only 20 percent of job applicants who fall outside the categories of being white, male, or having attended an elite school manage to pass the initial resume screening.³ However, when blind hiring practices are implemented, 60 percent of applicants who do not fit these criteria successfully make it to the selection process.

To practice blind screening, remove information that personally identifies candidates, like names, photos, and addresses, to eliminate potential biases unrelated to the candidate’s ability to perform the job.

Read More: Hiring Outside the Industry Brings Fresh Perspectives 

4. Diverse Interview Panels

If everyone on the interview panel shares the same background and experiences, they might have similar biases. But when you have interviewers with different backgrounds and perspectives, it’s more likely that you’ll get a fair evaluation of a candidate’s qualifications.

5. Implement Structured Interviews

In structured interviews, all candidates are asked the same predetermined questions related to the job and evaluate their skills, qualifications, and experience. This makes it less likely for interviewers to ask biased questions, ensuring a fair assessment for everyone.

6. Leverage Technology

In today’s digital age, technology can be a valuable ally in the fight against unconscious bias in hiring. Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools can assist with candidate selection and screening, providing an additional layer of objectivity. These tools can assess resumes and applications without being influenced by personal biases and can help identify candidates who closely match the predetermined job criteria.

However, it’s essential to use these technologies thoughtfully and monitor them for potential biases in their algorithms to ensure they are not perpetuating or introducing new biases into the process.

7. Establish Clear Diversity and Inclusion Goals

Consider setting clear diversity and inclusion goals to promote equitable hiring practices. These goals can include targets for underrepresented groups and timelines for achieving these objectives.

8. Encourage Inclusive Language and Job Descriptions

According to a study by LinkedIn, definitive words like powerful, strong-willed, and confident resonate positively with both men and women.⁴ Women also prefer subjective and open descriptors like likable and supportive.

It’s essential to ensure that the language used in the hiring process remains inclusive and does not discourage certain groups from applying. Take time to review and adjust job descriptions regularly to foster an inclusive hiring environment by eliminating biased or exclusive language to make jobs more appealing to a broader range of candidates.

INNOVATION, PRODUCTIVITY, AND CREATIVITY THROUGH DISABILITY HIRING

If you’re looking to improve your workforce diversity, disability hiring is a great solution. Many people fear that individuals with disabilities may face limitations in the workplace. However, this fear is often rooted in unconscious biases.

At Peak Performers, our goal is to find roles that align with professionals with disabilities and to organically diversify our clients’ workforce by placing qualified individuals in appropriate positions. You can rest assured that you’ll be working with a trusted staffing partner.

Contact us today to kickstart your journey toward building a more inclusive and diverse workplace.

References 

  1. Tu, Min-Hsuan, et al. “Is beauty more than skin deep? Attractiveness, power, and nonverbal presence in evaluations of hirability” Personnel Psychology, 27 May 2021, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/peps.12469.
  1. “Preliminary Information.” Harvard Edu, implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatouchtestv2. 21 Nov. 2023.
  1. Flynn, Jack. “15+ Shocking Hiring Bias Statistics.” Zippia, 16 May 2023, www.zippia.com/hiring-bias-statistics.
  1. “LinkedIn Language Matters Report.” LinkedIn, business.linkedin.com/Linkedin-Language-Matters. 15 Oct. 2023.

Navigating People-First and Identity-First Communication 

Addressing a person with a disability is much like engaging with any other individual. Such interactions lay the foundation for comfortable conversations that foster rapport and respect.

This article delves into the dialogue surrounding people-first and identity-first languages. People-first language prioritizes the person before their disability and emphasizes their humanity. Meanwhile, identity-first language acknowledges and, in some cases, highlights disability as a significant part of a person’s identity.

We’ll explore both perspectives and the intricacies of language selection in pursuit of more inclusive, disability-affirming communities.

 

Disability Inclusive Communication 

Disability-inclusive communication is all about recognizing and respecting diverse human experiences while ensuring that communication is open and welcoming to all. This approach to communication goes beyond just addressing people with disabilities; it benefits everyone.

Related Reading: People with invisible disabilities are everywhere 

 

The Complexity of Language Choices in Disability-Inclusive Communication 

Choosing the right words in disability-inclusive communication isn’t always straightforward. While some phrases are clearly disrespectful, others fall into a gray area. This ambiguity comes from the person’s age, background, how they feel about their disability and personal preference.

Sometimes, people will even use words considered offensive to refer to themselves or those with similar conditions, a process often referred to as “reclaiming” or “reappropriating” language. Also, people with disabilities may use ableist language because it is culturally commonplace to do so. Individuals with mental health conditions might use terms like “insane” to describe situations, and those who are blind may casually say they “see your point.”

Finally, many people with disabilities often feel that others are overly cautious when interacting with them, leading to awkward exchanges or a lack of inclusion altogether. “Walking on eggshells” like this stifles open communication, and many people with disabilities prefer you saying the wrong thing and correcting yourself instead of saying nothing at all.

In this intricate language landscape, engaging in open conversations about inclusive language is essential. Language is constantly evolving, and we are all learning. Communicating with empathy and respect, coupled with a readiness to apologize and improve when mistakes are made, is the key to fostering more disability-inclusive communities.

 

Creating an Inclusive Environment for All 

Just like anyone else, individuals with disabilities have the same desire to communicate and form meaningful relationships. It’s essential to recognize them as friends and peers who share the exact social and emotional needs as everyone else. This approach encourages open, unbiased dialogue.

Here are some tips for creating a disability-inclusive communication environment:

 

1. Embrace Open Communication

Welcoming individuals with disabilities into conversations requires a commitment to open and respectful dialogue. The key is to approach everyone, regardless of their disability status, with kindness and respect. Treat them and communicate with them as you would anyone else.

Related Reading: Disability Inclusion Starts with You 

 

2. Prioritize Ongoing Education

Inclusive language keeps changing to be more respectful and inclusive of persons with disabilities. It’s essential to keep learning and adapting. Educate yourself on topics such as person-first vs. identity-first language, avoiding stigmatizing or derogatory words, and learning more about the lived experiences of people with disabilities.

 

3. Observe Nuances in Language

Language choices can be intricate and nuanced. Some phrases that may seem disrespectful in one context are commonly used by individuals with disabilities themselves. Language is a powerful tool, and even well-intentioned words can sometimes perpetuate stereotypes or inadvertently offend people.

Here are some common phrases and words to avoid, as highlighted by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) and their recommended word choices to be more respectful and inclusive.¹

Use Avoid
“People/Individuals with disabilities” “The disabled”
“People with disabilities/specific disability” “Handicapped”
“People with intellectual or cognitive disabilities” “Mentally defective”
“Individuals who are hard of hearing” “Deaf and dumb”
“People with physical disabilities/mobility challenges” “Crippled”
“People who are unable to speak/use synthetic speech” “Dumb” or “mute”
“People with epilepsy/seizure disorders” “Epileptic”
“Wheelchair user” “Wheelchair bound”
“People living with” or “individuals who experience” “Afflicted by”

4. Overcome Fear of Offense

Many people with disabilities experience the feeling that others are “walking on eggshells” around them, which can lead to awkward or strained interactions. To address this, we seek to create an environment where disability is normalized and accepted, and people with disabilities are seen the same as their peers without a disability.

However, realize that mistakes will be made. When this happens, apologize and seek to learn from your mistakes. Build a culture of openness and grace where mistakes are used as opportunities for growth.

Related Reading: Everything you know about disability inclusion is WRONG 

 

FOSTER INCLUSIVE COMMUNICATION WITH PEAK PERFORMERS

Discover more about disability-diverse communication with Peak Performers. Explore our blog, share insights with your peers, and start a path of continuous learning. Let’s foster discussions that support our friends, colleagues, and bosses with disabilities at work.

If you’re seeking employment opportunities, or if you’re an employer looking to build an inclusive workplace, get in touch with us to explore how we can collaborate.

 

Reference 

1 “Person-First and Identity-First Language.” Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN), https://askearn.org/page/people-first-language. Accessed 25 Oct. 2023.

 Exploring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Today’s Workplace 

Having a robust Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program is crucial for the modern workplace. It allows employees to feel more included and valued, leading to a happier and more productive workforce.

In this resource, we examine DEI in organizations: how it’s impacting them currently, the challenges they’re feeling DEI programs, and where we’re going with the modern diverse workforce.

The Fight for Inclusivity Isn’t Over: The Current State of DEI 

Most organizations are pursuing a state in their workplace where everyone can thrive equally.  In a recent study by WorldatWork, they found that 83 percent of organizations had DEI initiatives in 2021.¹

However, Gartner found challenges in DEI efforts.² Through employee surveys, they found that 44 percent find out that their coworkers feel alienated by these efforts, and 42 percent view these efforts as divisive or resented by their peers as a result of these efforts.

Despite the pushback, the need for DEI programs remains critical. One out of ten people with disabilities experience discrimination at work after five years of passing the ADA, resulting in a third of these respondents leaving the workforce indefinitely.³

Despite the pushback, the need for DEI programs remains critical. In a survey of 12,000 US adults by the Pew Research Center, the overwhelming majority of those surveyed said that various minority groups consistently face at least some discrimination at work.

 The Value of DEI in the Workplace 

Here are the benefits of DEI in the workplace:

1. Helps Develop Empathy

Organizational diversity allows people of different backgrounds to work together and share diverse experiences. Through continued collaboration, people exposed to various work environments can see from the perspectives of those with a different lived experience, whether that experience is due to race, gender identity, or even disability.

Related Reading: Set the Right Foundations: What is Belonging in the Workplace? 

2. Improve Creativity and Innovation

When you have a wider variety of lived experiences among your team members, you have more perspectives to filter ideas. Additionally, these varied perspectives offer unique sources for ideas and creativity.

This innovation can also allow you to reach wider audiences and address specific needs and perspectives of less visible market groups.

3. Improve Employee Satisfaction

Great Place To Work found that employees, when treated better by their employers, despite their gender, sexual orientation, race, or age, tend to put in more effort in their work, which can result in higher retention as well.⁴ Here are the results of the study where employees are:

  • 5.4 times more likely to stay longer with their employer
  • 6.3 times more likely to take pride in their work
  • 9.8 times more likely to want to go to work

4. Fosters Safer Environment

Employees who can bring their authentic selves to work without fear of being treated adversely are happier and more engaged. Creating a psychologically safe environment also enables people from various underrepresented groups to request the resources they need to be comfortable and productive.

5. Help Organizations Outperform Their Competition

McKinsey found that companies with greater representation can highly outperform others that don’t have this kind of team composition. Organizations with over 30 percent female executives were more likely to perform better at 48 percent than those with fewer female executives.⁵ This can be due to the unique perspectives and leadership styles that female executives bring by having a different lens in understanding the market.

Change Strategies Before People: Addressing Employee Pushback 

According to Gartner research, not everyone can support an organization’s DEI efforts, and some may not appreciate these efforts. Here are some steps to address employee pushback.

1. Look around for threats to individual and social identities

The pushback comes from when a person feels that their personal and social identities are being threatened.

Individual Identity Threat 

Members of dominant groups may feel shamed or blamed for the DEI-related challenges in the organization. This can lead them to become defensive and push back to restore a positive sense of themselves.

Social Identity Threat 

Employees can feel a positive sense of self due to the groups they are part of. DEI efforts may be seen as threats by people from dominant groups. They may fear that DEI efforts can smear their reputation of virtue.

An example is that men may be seen as sexist. Dominant social groups may push back when they experience “reverse discrimination” against their historically advantaged groups.

2. Identify DEI pushback through the language of denial, disengagement, or derailment

While DEI efforts are designed to elevate the employee experience, disadvantages remain. People may deny what’s happening, disengage from the issue, or derail into problems unrelated to DEI.

Denial 

When employees are in denial, they may not acknowledge the existence of class, caste, or race. This can lead to discrimination or bias. They may say that racism didn’t exist until it was brought into conversations by other people.

Disengagement 

Disengagement is a person’s unwillingness to participate in supporting DEI efforts. People in this situation acknowledge the structures and the inequalities that may come with them, but they are uncertain of how to take action due to fear of saying or doing something wrong.

Derailment 

This shifts the focus to the dominant groups’ problems from marginalized groups’ experiences. An example of this is how some people may argue that “All lives matter” instead of agreeing with and supporting the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

3. Communicate transparently

In creating your efforts, clear communication is vital to obtaining more support. Explain to your employees what your efforts are for and what goals you are trying to aim for. Create a communication strategy and anticipate threats ahead of time to address them.

4. Build awareness and foster empathy

Not all employees have the skills to sensitively engage in DEI, and a lack of empathy can increase threat perceptions. You can build a learning space for members of dominant groups that is expert-moderated to allow them to openly ask questions and learn about the situation of marginalized people.

5. Invite employees to be a part of your DEI efforts

Employees who don’t fully understand their role in your efforts may push back. Try to make the most of people’s skills and assign them roles they prefer. You can also explain to them the importance of their role and what the organization can achieve with their help.

PURSUE YOUR DEI EFFORTS WITH THE HELP OF PEAK PERFORMERS

If you are looking to hire more inclusively, Peak Performers can help you find diverse talent, starting with candidates with disabilities. We have 28 years of experience and are dedicated to meticulously matching the person with the right skills to the right job.

We can help you find talent in Engineering, administrative Services, information technology, and finance. We can help you fill temporary, direct hire, or executive roles.

Get in touch with us today to find talent and bolster your DEI efforts.

References 

1. “More Than 80% of Organizations Have Taken Action on DE&I Initiatives in 2021.” World at Work, 28 Sep. 2021, worldatwork.org/more-than-80-percent-of-organizations-have-taken-action-on-dei-initiatives-in-2021.

2. Rai, Trisha, and Caitlin Dutkiewicz. “How to Navigate Pushback to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts.” Gartner, 10 May 2022, www.gartner.com/how-to-navigate-pushback-to-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-efforts.

3. Harris, Sarah Parker, et al. “Research Brief: Experience of Discrimination and the ADA.” ADA National Network, 2019, adata.org/experience-discrimination-and-ada.

4. Bush, Matt. “Why Is Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Important?” Great Place To Work, 25 Aug. 2023, www.greatplacetowork.com/why-is-diversity-inclusion-in-the-workplace-important.

5. Dixon-Fyle, Sundiatu et al. “Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters.” McKinsey & Company, 19 May 2020, www.mckinsey.com/diversity-wins-how-inclusion-matters.

The Key to Job Fulfillment: Learn to Evaluate Company Culture 

Finding the right job is more than just finding the right compensation package. Discovering long-term happiness in a job also means identifying a company culture that resonates with your values and what matters most to you.

In this article, we examine the importance of company culture and also provide you with tips to evaluate the work culture of perspective future employers.

The Importance of Company Culture 

In a Gallup report, employees who were quietly quitting were surveyed about what they would change about their current workplace.¹ These three were the top answers:

  • 41% Culture or Engagement
  • 28% Pay and Benefits
  • 16% Well-being

Based on these results, better culture and engagement is the most desired change! While we may often be attracted to a job based on its pay and benefits, ultimately culture and engagement determine whether we stick around.

According to Great Place to Work, there are three main criteria.² Here is how a company culture can affect an employee’s career:

Credibility

A solid company culture starts with trust, and that trust begins with you. You’ve got to believe that your leadership’s actions align with their words. It’s all about honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior. When you trust your leaders and find them credible, the effects are significant.

Your job satisfaction skyrockets, motivation peaks, and your commitment to the company strengthens over the long run.

Fairness

Fairness means fostering equal opportunities and just compensation. When you trust your organization maintains a level playing field with equitable recognition and compensation, your experience turns notably positive. Equity cultivates a deep sense of justice and equality, elevating employee satisfaction and engagement.

Workplaces supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives often create more opportunities for individuals with disabilities, contributing to a more inclusive and enriching work environment.

Respect

Respect is more than acknowledgment; it’s a genuine appreciation for you as an individual with a life beyond work. A culture based on respect values your contributions, welcomes your perspectives, and provides flexibility in your work arrangements.

When you encounter respect, trust, and the support to pursue your professional goals while balancing your personal life, your engagement, dedication, and commitment to the company flourish. Respect creates a nurturing and empowering work environment where diversity and inclusion thrive.

Related Article: Set the Right Foundations: What is Belonging in the Workplace? 

Make Sound Career Decisions: How to Evaluate Company Culture 

Now that you understand the importance of company culture, let’s look at the steps you can take to assess the culture of any potential employer. Here are five practices you can apply.

1. Identify what you are looking for in your next job.

In finding your next job and getting to know a potential employer’s organizational culture, you must first identify your priorities. Ask yourself what you are looking for in your next job. Create a list and use that to research potential employers.

According to Gallup, there are common things that most employees look for in their next jobs.³  What matters most to you?

  • 61% Better work-life balance and personal wellbeing
  • 58% To be able to do what they do best
  • 53% Greater job stability and security
  • 42% Diversity and inclusion

2. Learn about the company’s reputation.

Once you have identified your priorities, research the company’s culture and how it aligns with your priorities. Start by connecting with people in your professional network who currently work for or have previously worked for the company.

You can do online research on sites such as Glassdoor, Google Reviews, and Indeed. These platforms will have various tools for you to research a company and hear what other employees past and present think of them.

Related Article: Improve Your Job Search Online, Look Beyond Job Titles! 

3. Assess how the company presents itself.

You can further assess a company’s values and priorities by reading its mission statement and “about us” page online. You can follow this up by reviewing their social media and press releases. Look for their tone, the causes they support, and their stated priorities.

For instance, their commitment to diversity and inclusion. An inclusive company will often explicitly state its values regarding diversity, equality, and inclusion in these documents. They may highlight their efforts to create a workplace where everyone is seen, valued, and appreciated, regardless of their differences.

4. Observe their work environment.

Being invited to an on-site interview is an excellent way to learn about an employer’s company culture. During the interview, pay attention to the atmosphere in the office.

  • Are the employees interacting with each other?
  • Do they greet you when you pass by?
  • Are there smiles on their faces?
  • Do the people look frustrated or tired?

While you may only be getting a very limited snapshot of a company in this way, this can help give you an idea of if you’d like to work there.

5. Ask the right questions during your interview.

You can also assess a company’s work culture by asking questions during the interview:

  • What is the best part of working here?
  • What are the company’s ways of supporting professional development and growth?
  • What are the leaders’ management styles like?
  • How do you observe the company’s core values within the company?
  • What nonprofits and philanthropic causes do the company support?

6. Evaluate the hiring process.

Gauge your experience during the hiring process.

You can ask yourself:

  • How quickly did they get back to me?
  • Were they professional in their conduct?
  • Were they transparent in their communication?
  • Were they eager to answer my questions?

This can offer insights into the company’s efficiency, communication style, and their commitment to fostering a positive candidate experience.

7. Listen to your instincts.

Ultimately, trust your instincts when assessing a company’s culture. During interviews and interactions with current employees, pay close attention to how you feel:

  • Are you excited about the prospect of working there?
  • Do you feel engaged and aligned with your values?

First impressions often convey a lot about what to expect. Your intuition can be a valuable compass in your job search.

FIND A MEANINGFUL AND REWARDING CAREER WITH PEAK PERFORMERS

A great company culture cultivates an environment that supports career growth. Peak Performers can help you find a temporary or permanent job that aligns with your own values and priorities. Since 1994 we’ve been helping job seekers find careers and helping clients find great talent.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our career opportunities.

References 

1. “State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report.” Gallup, www.gallup.com/state-of-the-global-workplace. 13 Oct. 2023.

2. Hastwell, Claire. “The 8 Elements of Great Company Culture.” 8 June 2023, https://www.greatplacetowork.com/resources/blog/elements-of-great-company-culture.

3. Wigert, Ben. “The Top 6 Things Employees Want in Their Next Job.” Gallup, 21 Feb. 2022, www.gallup.com/top-things-employees-next-job.

Hiring Outside the Industry Brings Fresh Perspectives 

In today’s rapidly evolving job market, employers are regularly asking themselves: should they stick with hiring from within their industry or open the doors to candidates from different industries? This article explores the pros and cons of hiring outside your industry.

Navigating Post-COVID Work: The Cross-Industry Hiring Dilemma 

In the world after COVID-19, work has changed. Remote and hybrid work is now more common. Hiring managers may find that boundaries separating people geographically are less of an issue. Many employers are finding talent outside their immediate geography and industry with the move online.

A McKinsey report found that 87% of top executives said they were having trouble finding people with the right skills for their workforce or expected to have trouble soon. But interestingly, fewer than half of them knew how to solve this problem.¹ Because of this shortage of workers in their industry, many employers are rethinking their talent pools and wondering if they should focus on hiring people outside their industry.

Advantages of Hiring Outside the Industry 

In today’s job market, it’s not just about changing jobs. It’s about changing industries. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 48 percent of employees who switch employers are also venturing into different industries.² Here are six advantages when looking at candidates outside your industry.

1. You can gain access to varied soft skills

Soft skills are traits and non-quantifiable skills that help a person excel in a job. Certain soft skills are more pronounced among workers depending on the job and industry. For example, retail workers often have a strong drive for results and focus on customer satisfaction. Financial professionals may have a strong focus on being detail-oriented.

Recruiting people from outside your industry can often bring candidates with different kinds of traits that may, in turn, help your team. This can often lead to:

Adaptability 

Professionals who’ve navigated various industries may be more adaptable to the changing needs of the business.

Innovation and Creativity 

Individuals stepping into your industry for the first time can bring a fresh perspective. They can leverage their different work experiences to offer new ideas.

2. You can help people find their first professional jobs

Hiring people with transferrable skills from outside your industry can give them better opportunities by assisting them in finding their first job in a professional setting. For example, you can provide better wages and new experiences for people coming in from the fast-food industry, allowing them to expand their skills and grow their careers.

Related Reading: 4 Essential Interview Questions for Finding Your Ideal Hire 

3. You can improve engagement and retention

It may be an additional responsibility, but you can train new employees and provide them with personal training development, allowing them better career growth. Employees with developmental opportunities can be more committed and passionate about their work. This urges them to stay with you longer, improve your organization’s retention, and increase profitability through having highly engaged employees.

4. You can widen your talent pool

Expanding your recruitment strategy beyond your industry allows you to access more candidates. If you’ve been struggling to find the right professionals within your field, this approach helps you find more candidates, unlike those you’ve seen before.

5. You can diversify your candidate pool

When you hire candidates from different industries, you are often attracting more diverse candidates. Niche industries get caught in the trap of only hiring other people within that industry, and these people may be very similar to those you already employ. For example, the overwhelming number of engineers in the United States are white males. In fact, 69.7 percent of men receiving engineering degrees were White.³

When you recruit from other industries, you may attract candidates from different socio-economic backgrounds, different races and ethnicities, people with different sexual orientations, and people with disabilities.

6. You can expand your networks

Hires from other industries can introduce your team to new networks and connections that may benefit the company. Expanding the company’s reach can open opportunities for growth and collaboration, which can improve the company’s potential.

Challenges to Manage When Hiring Outside the Industry 

While hiring from different industries can bring value, it’s important to consider some of the challenges you may face along the way.

1. You would need to prepare different interview questions

Broadening your talent pool can save so much time in your recruitment process. However, you may need to prepare entirely different questions for candidates from other industries. Instead of asking about their hard skills, you would need to screen them for their transferrable skills and experience.

If you wish to make the screening and recruitment process more accessible, you may consider teaming up with a staffing firm specializing in inclusive hiring to streamline the process further. This collaboration ensures well-screened candidates who contribute to your diversity objectives.

2. Current employees may be resistant to change.

Introducing employees from different industries can sometimes cause resistance from your existing workforce, especially if they perceive the new hires as less capable than they are. Integrating these newcomers into your team may require you to spend time aligning with your current employees and showcasing the value they bring with their unique perspectives.

Related Reading: What Makes a Job Good: 4 Empowering Takeaways for Employers 

PEAK PERFORMERS CAN HELP YOU FIND EMPLOYEES WITH FRESH PERSPECTIVES

If you are looking to hire people from other industries or are looking for those who can bring your business fresh perspectives, Peak Performers can help you connect with these types of candidates. We help you find diverse candidates from various industries, experiences, and educational backgrounds.

We can find expert employees who can fill temporary, direct hire, and executive roles. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services.

References 

1. Agrawal, Sapana, et al. “To Emerge Stronger from the COVID-19 Crisis, Companies Should Start Reskilling Their Workforces Now.” McKinsey & Company, 7 May 2020, www.mckinsey.com/to-emerge-stronger-from-the-covid-19-crisis-companies-should-start-reskilling-their-workforces-now.

2. Kochhar, Rakesh, et al. “Majority of U.S. Workers Changing Jobs Are Seeing Real Wage Gains.” Pew Research Center, 28 Jul. 2022, www.pewresearch.org/majority-of-u-s-workers-changing-jobs-are-seeing-real-wage-gains.

3. “Representation in Engineering.” NSF Engineer Study, nsfengineerstudy.org/Among-all-men-receiving-engineering. 31 Oct. 2023.

Disability Awareness and ‘Movember’: Breaking Stigmas, Building Movements 

Movember is the time of the year when men grow their mustaches. However, it’s not just about the beards.
We’ll dive into the meaningful intersection of Movember and National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), highlighting the importance of raising awareness, encouraging men to talk about their health, and sharing several activities that can help promote men’s health and advocate for individuals with disabilities.

Why Is Movember Celebrated? 

In 2003, Australian friends Luke Slattery and Travis Garone had two things in mind: to bring back the mustache or the “Mo” in recent trends and make a campaign on men’s health and prostate cancer, inspired by their friend’s mother, who was then fundraising for breast cancer.¹

According to the American Cancer Society, as of 2023, there are around 288,300 new cases of prostate cancer, and 34,700 have passed away due to the disease.² It is currently one of the leading causes of death in American men. Additionally, about 1 in every 250 men may develop testicular cancer.³ Although it isn’t as common as prostate cancer, men can get diagnosed with the disease at the average age of 33.

The Movember movement, celebrated every November, was officially formalized in 2004 to shine a spotlight on men’s health challenges when 30 Mo Bros grew their mustaches for a cause, encouraging men to take charge of their physical and mental health beyond just growing a mustache.

Each mustache grown costs 10 dollars, and the same rules apply today. The campaign has grown internationally since 2007 and has now broadened to focus on four issues related to men’s health: poor mental health, testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and physical inactivity.

Men’s Mental Health Matters 

Mental health affects everyone, and men are no exception. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that one in ten men grapples with depression or anxiety disorders.⁴ Despite these challenges, less than half of those surveyed with these disorders seek help. Mental health affects longevity as well as quality of life. Mental Health America underscores that men frequently avoid seeking assistance for issues like depression, substance abuse, and stress.⁵

It’s crucial to recognize that men face unique hurdles when seeking support. Stigma plays a significant role in preventing men from discussing their mental health openly and leaves many struggling in silence. This can have fatal consequences, too, with men being four times more likely to die by suicide annually than women.

Movember and Disability: Breaking Barriers for Inclusive Health  

Cultural attitudes can act as a barrier, discouraging men from seeking help. Men may feel embarrassed about discussing mental health and going to the doctor for regular exams. Archetypal male constructs may lead some to think that it is “unmanly” to do so.

Part of Movember is about breaking these constructs and letting men know that it’s acceptable to look after themselves and seek help when they’re unwell. Here’s a look at the challenges to men’s health that we need to know of.

Increased Loneliness

Loneliness can affect every individual as it is a macro societal trend; however, some may argue it affects men more.

Related Reading: Loneliness at Work 

Conflicting Expectations

Men with disabilities may struggle to reconcile societal expectations of masculinity, emphasizing strength and self-reliance, with the perceived “weakness” or “dependence” often associated with disabilities.

We can help men by promoting conversations in the workplace that challenge traditional views of masculinity. Movember can be part of that by talking openly about physical and mental health as well as what can be done to mitigate men’s diseases.

Reshape the Workplace: 5 Activities to Organize This Movember 

You can help raise awareness at work by gathering your team members and asking for their help to organize activities you can all participate in. Here are some ideas for you to consider.

1. Encourage everyone to move

To stay healthy, part of our efforts should encourage people to stay active. Urge your team to participate by having team walks or arranging your meetings outdoors.

According to a study by the Harvard Medical School on 1,000 individuals, people who walked at least 20 minutes a day for five days a week reported 43 percent fewer sick days than individuals who exercised less.⁶ In cases they did get sick, it was only for a short duration and with milder symptoms.

Walking is also a great way to mitigate the symptoms of various disabilities acquired later in life. Additionally, walking helps build friendships at work, making your employees feel more connected to one another.

2. Organize a healthy lunch out

Food can be more satisfying when shared with others. This Movember, treat your team to a healthy lunch they can enjoy. A balanced diet leads to increased physical and mental health. Eating well together can be a way to raise awareness about its importance. You can also take this time to discuss what Movember is all about. If they’re comfortable, encourage the men in your group to share personal stories about physical and mental health.

3. Have a Best Mo contest

Since the main idea of Movember is to help raise awareness about men’s health, why not have a fun mustache contest at work?

During this time, many will recognize Movember by growing mustaches. From short to bush to curly, it’s an excellent opportunity to have fun and express themselves. At the end of the month, you can have a contest to recognize and celebrate all the unique mustaches.

4. Organize a wellness fair

Organizing a health and wellness fair is a great way to foster employee well-being. Invite wellness coaches and experts to educate and assess your employees on various health-related topics. In the spirit of Movember, you can center the fair around relevant themes, scheduling sessions on:

  • Testicular Cancer Awareness
  • Prostate Cancer Awareness
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Mental Health Exercises and Interventions
  • Stress Reduction Training
  • Work-Life Balance Training

5. Raise funds for charity

Fundraising for a charitable cause during Movember is a fulfilling endeavor. Begin by selecting one or two charities that support individuals dealing with mental health issues, testicular cancer, or prostate cancer, aligning with the Movember theme.

Fundraising activities may include bake sales, trivia nights, or sports tournaments. You can leverage your company’s social media platforms, email, and other communication channels to promote your fundraising efforts and raise awareness about the importance of men’s health.

SHOW YOUR MOVEMBER ALIGNMENT WITH PEAK PERFORMERS

Join us in the spirit of Movember as we work together to foster a workplace that values health for all. At Peak Performers, we understand the importance of raising awareness about men’s health. In partnering with us, you not only find qualified candidates with disabilities, some of which include men with mental health disorders or men who currently or previously have had cancer.

Reach out to us today to align your organization with Movember values. Together, we can build a more inclusive, healthier, and thriving workplace.

References 

1. “Movember’s origin story: in 2003, two mates were having a quiet beer when they began to joke about bringing the mustache back.” Movember, 30 Dec. 2015, us.movember.com/story/view/id/11213.

2. “Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer.” American Cancer Society, Updated 12 Jan. 2023, www.cancer.org/prostate-cancer/key-statistics.

3. “Key Statistics for Testicular Cancer.” American Cancer Society, Updated 12 Jan. 2023, www.cancer.org/testicular-cancer/key-statistics.

4. “Men’s Mental Health.” Anxiety & Depression Association of America, https://adaa.org/find-help/by-demographics/mens-mental-health. 24 Oct. 2023.

5. “5 Minute Guide to Men’s Mental Health.” Mental Health America, www.mhanational.org/infographic-mental-health-men. 24 Oct. 2023.

6. “5 Surprising Benefits of Walking.” Harvard Health Publishing, 25 Aug. 2022, www.health.harvard.edu/5-surprising-benefits-of-walking.

Efficiently Bridging Gaps: How Staffing Agencies Facilitate Government Job Placements  

Aside from private companies in a wide variety of career fields, many government agencies use staffing agencies too. As demand for skilled candidates continues to grow, more and more government agencies are turning to staffing agencies specialized in public sector recruitment.

In this article, we’ll uncover why working with a staffing agency benefits both private and public sectors, and how government agencies benefit from partnering with staffing firms.

Obstacles Encountered by Government Agencies 

The Great Resignation and baby boomers retiring have left many organizations struggling to find talent, including local, state, and federal government agencies. Like the private sector, they were also affected and are in need of talented individuals within their organizations.

According to Mission Square Research Institute, more than half of public sector employees considered leaving their jobs to change jobs, retire, or leave the workforce entirely due to burnout and lack of competitive benefits.¹ Adding the recent economic downturns, employees are experiencing many obstacles in their personal and professional lives that eventually led to the great resignation.

Bridging this gap is a top priority for leaders in the government. For our part, we have seen the demand for staffing within government agencies grow substantially over the last decade. A 2019 report found that the federal government spent $1.7 billion on temporary help service contracts in 2018, a giant leap from the $812 million spent in 2016.²

Related Article: Quiet Quitting: Advice for Employers 

How the Government Uses Staffing Agencies 

Due to high attrition rates, talent shortages, and layoffs, the public sector turned to staffing agencies to find specialized workers. Here are some of the reasons why the government chooses to work with a staffing firm in filling job posts:

1. Cost-Effective Staffing Solution

Many think that partnering with a staffing agency costs more. However, partnering with staffing agencies can actually be more cost-effective in the long run. Staffing agencies have a vast pool of potential candidates in their database and can fill a position quickly and efficiently. This allows the government to save time by sourcing candidates quicker and reduce costs by not investing in full-time recruitment specialists. Here are some of the most notable cost benefits of working with a staffing firm:

  • Advertising jobs on job boards is handled by the staffing firm
  • Compensation; benefits are provided by the staffing agency
  • Reducing the risk of hiring the wrong employee, candidates are pre-screened by the staffing firm
  • Quickly scaling workforce up or down, allowing you to respond to fluctuating labor requirements
  • Reduced requirements of onboarding, this is handled by the staffing firm

2. Streamlined Employment Processes

The government’s hiring process can be complex and extensive, and filling a single post may take too long. According to Workable, it takes an average of 40.9 days for a government body to fill an open position.³

Staffing agencies look for skilled individuals to fill their talent pool. They have vetted their candidates beforehand, saving time and effort, reducing risk and shortening the process. When it’s time for the government agency to conduct necessary interviews, they won’t have to go through hundreds of applications. They can simply choose from the staffing agency’s recommended personnel.

3. To Test Candidates Out First

Recruiting is not cheap—however, bad hiring can be costly. Many organizations fail to consider the cost of a bad hire. According to the US Department of Labor, a bad hire costs an organization 30 percent of an employee’s earnings for the first year.⁴ In a survey by CareerBuilder, 74 percent said they hired the wrong employee and lost an average of $14,900 in the process.⁵

Staffing agencies offer access to temporary and temp-to-hire employees. By having the time to assess employees, government organizations can take time before finally accepting an employee full-time. It serves as an additional time to determine if an employee truly has the soft and hard skills needed to thrive in the organization. The government leverages this opportunity offered by staffing agencies to lessen the risk of a bad hire, allowing organizations to allocate funds strategically.

4. Temporary Assistance

Temporary employees can fill government positions that only require a specified time to accomplish. It can be to finish a one-time project, to fill a temporary role due to absences or employee time-offs, to provide assistance for new tasks, or to fill in for peak seasons in an industry.

This allows organizations to scale up or down quickly and focus their efforts on growing the business. With this efficient process, there’s flexibility to adjust the workforce based on an organization’s needs, and it requires less time to find a new candidate, which can effectively decrease overall productivity.

Related Article: Contracting and Temporary Staffing: What Every Employer Needs to Know

5. Expedite the Hiring Process

Filling a job post can be tedious and time-consuming, especially for government agencies. This can be shortened by partnering with a staffing agency, and organizations don’t need to fully commit their time and resources to recruitment.

Employers can still review candidates and do their own assessments. However, since these candidates are already vetted, the time needed to allot will not be as long as hiring internally, allowing government bodies to shift their resources to areas that require more focus and effort.

6. Access to Latest Tech and Systems

Most staffing agencies invest in advanced programs and software, such as an applicant tracking system and premium job board subscriptions that cost tens of thousands of dollars per year.

These tools aid staffing agencies in reaching more talented individuals in areas standard tools can’t achieve. These tools are great for tracking and managing candidates, which allows staffing agencies to find ideal candidates more effectively and efficiently.

EXPEDITE YOUR HIRING PROCESS EFFECTIVELY WITH PEAK PERFORMERS

Recruitment is crucial to human resources, so finding the right people puts you one step closer to achieving your goals.

Peak Performers helps professionals find fulfilling careers. We carefully analyze each candidate’s skills, competence, and experiences before recommending them to our clients. Our vision is to prioritize skilled individuals with disabilities and chronic illnesses. With nearly three decades of experience, our expertise can provide efficient and cost-effective hiring solutions, matching you with the most talented individuals.

Contact us today and learn how we can help!

References

  1. “More than Half of State and Local Government Employees Contemplating Leaving Their Jobs Due to Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.” Mission Square Research Institute, 27 Jan. 2022, research.missionsq.org/state-and-local-government-employees-contemplating-leaving-their-jobs-due-to-covid-19-pandemic.
  2. “Federal Government Spent $1.7 Billion on Temporary Help Services Contracts Last Year, Driven by Healthcare Services.” Staffing Industry Analysts, 19 Jun. 2019, www.staffingindustry.com/Federal-government-spent-1.7-billion.
  3. Bika, Nikoletta. “What is the Average Tiem to Hire by” Workable, resources.workable.com/time-to-hire-industry. 21 Sep. 2023. 
  4. Schooley, Skye. “How to handle a Bad Hire.” com, 23 Mar. 2023, www.business.com/cost-of-a-bad-hire.
  5. “Nearly Three in Four Employers Affected by a Bad Hire, According to a Recent CareerBuilder Survey.” Career Builder, 7 Dec. 2017, careerbuilder.com/Nearly-Three-in-Four-Employers-Affected-by-a-Bad-Hire-According-to-a-Recent-CareerBuilder-Survey.

 

NDEAM 2023: Debunking 18 Common Myths About Allyship  

October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a time when we celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities and acknowledge the importance of creating inclusive workplaces. A significant aspect of fostering inclusivity is allyship, which involves individuals using their privilege to support marginalized colleagues.

In this article, we’ll debunk common myths about allyship in the workplace for individuals with disabilities to help you be a better ally.

Debunking 18 Myths on Allyship 

Myth 1: Allyship is Only About Being Supportive

While support is a key aspect of an allyship, allyship goes beyond offering a sympathetic ear. Allyship involves taking steps to challenge and change the systemic barriers individuals with disabilities face in the workplace.

Allyship is using your influence to advocate for accessible facilities, promote inclusive policies, and lobby for equitable hiring practices. Allyship is not just a passive gesture; it’s an ongoing commitment.

Myth 2: Allyship Means Speaking for Others

One of the most counterproductive myths about allyship is that allies should speak on behalf of individuals with disabilities. This assumption can inadvertently silence the voices of people with disabilities and perpetuate the misconception that they need to be spoken for.

Effective allyship involves amplifying their voices, not speaking over them.

Instead of assuming what people with disabilities need, engage in open conversations, listen to their experiences, and encourage them to speak out. Learn from them and collaborate on solutions to build a more disability-inclusive workplace.

Related Article: ‘Ally’ Is a Verb: 8 Ways to Practice Allyship at Work 

Myth 3: Allyship Requires Grand Gestures

Allyship doesn’t require grand displays of activism. While public demonstrations and campaigns can be impactful, everyday actions matter just as much.

Simple acts like using people-first language, respecting personal boundaries, and creating accessible work technology contribute to a more inclusive workplace.¹ Consistent, small actions build the foundation of trust and respect, demonstrating to individuals with disabilities that they are valued.

Myth 4: Allyship is a One-Time Effort

Effective allyship is an ongoing journey. Initiating change and creating an inclusive environment requires sustained effort and continuous learning.

Seek to educate yourself about the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and stay updated on best practices for inclusion. Periodically check in with your colleagues to ensure your actions are helpful and respectful.

Myth 5: Allyship is Always Comfortable

Allyship often involves stepping out of your comfort zone. Addressing discrimination, bias, and ableism can be uncomfortable, but it’s necessary for progress.

Challenging colleagues or superiors when they make inappropriate comments or exclude individuals with disabilities requires courage and some risk to your reputation. Allies are willing to speak out, despite the risk, to ensure that the workplace becomes an inclusive and supportive space for everyone.

Myth 6: Allyship is a Selfless Act

Allyship is not solely selfless; it’s also about mutual benefit to people without disabilities. An inclusive workplace fosters creativity, drives innovation, and amplifies diverse perspectives. When individuals with disabilities are empowered to fully participate at work, the entire team enjoys the rewards.

Myth 7: Allyship Requires Perfection

Allyship is a learning process, and nobody is perfect. When beginning your disability inclusion journey, you will periodically say or do the wrong thing. How you respond to feedback and focus on doing better next time matters. Take responsibility, apologize when necessary, and seek to rectify your mistakes.

Myth 8: Allyship is Limited to Individuals with Disabilities

Allyship extends beyond specific identity groups. The principles of allyship can be applied to various marginalized communities. By understanding and advocating for the intersectional nature of discrimination, you can become an ally to multiple groups. For example, being an ally to individuals with disabilities also involves addressing issues related to gender, race, sexual orientation, and more.

Myth 9: Allyship Doesn’t Impact Company Culture

Allyship has a significant impact on company culture. When employees witness colleagues actively engaging in an allyship, it sets a precedent for inclusivity. It encourages open dialogue, empathy, and a sense of belonging. Conversely, the absence of allyship can perpetuate a culture of exclusion, leading to lower morale and decreased productivity.

Related Article: Set the Right Foundations: What is Belonging in the Workplace? 

Myth 10: Allyship Is a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Allyship is different for every person. The needs and preferences of individuals with disabilities vary greatly, and effective allyship requires flexibility.

What is appreciated by one person may not be appreciated by another. It’s crucial to engage in open conversations and ask for guidance on how you can best support your colleagues. Tailoring your approach to each person ensures your efforts are genuinely supportive and impactful.

Myth 11: Allyship Requires Formal Training

While formal training on diversity and inclusion can be beneficial, allyship doesn’t require a certificate or college degree. It begins with a genuine desire to understand and support individuals with disabilities.

Watching disability inclusion videos, reading articles by people with disabilities, and engaging in conversations with coworkers who have disabilities enables you to learn about their experiences. What matters most is your willingness to listen, learn, and apply your knowledge to seek positive change.

Myth 12: Allyship Is About “Fixing” Individuals with Disabilities

Allyship is not about viewing individuals with disabilities as broken or needing fixing. They are whole, capable people who are seeking normal work and life experience. You don’t know what’s best for them. While often well-meaning, recommending a “fix” for their condition will often be perceived negatively.  Focus on listening, exercising empathy, and building an environment at work where they can feel included and heard.

Myth 13: Allyship Is Too Time-Consuming

Effective allyship doesn’t require a significant time investment. Small, consistent actions make a difference. Practice empathy with coworkers and advocate for accessibility and disability inclusion when given an opportunity.   Over time, these actions accumulate and contribute to a more inclusive workplace.

Myth 14: Allyship Is Only for Leaders

Allyship is not exclusive to those in leadership roles. Every individual within an organization can play a role in creating an inclusive environment. Whether you’re a manager, colleague, or intern, your actions and perspective impact the workplace culture. Empathy and advocacy can go a long way in making someone feel valued and respected.

Myth 15: Allyship Is a “Trend”

Allyship is not a passing trend; it’s a fundamental shift towards equity and inclusion. As society becomes more aware of the importance of diversity, allyship becomes increasingly relevant. However, genuine allyship goes beyond performative actions driven by trends. It’s about sustaining efforts to create lasting change in how we perceive and treat individuals with disabilities.

Myth 16: Allyship Is Exclusively Emotional Support

Emotional support can be part of an allyship. After all, we would like an empathetic ear when we’re having a bad day. Effective allies go beyond empathy and work to dismantle barriers, push for changes, and advocate for equal access to opportunities. A well-rounded ally provides both emotional support and tangible actions that lead to systemic improvements.

Myth 17: Allyship Is Just About Being Nice

While kindness is expected, allyship requires more than just being nice. It involves confronting biases, acknowledging privilege, and advocating for meaningful change. Being an ally might involve uncomfortable conversations and difficult discussions. These are necessary steps to challenge the status quo and create a fairer workplace.

Myth 18: Allyship Guarantees Instant Results

Allyship is a long-term commitment, and change doesn’t happen overnight. While your efforts as an ally can lead to favorable shifts, remaining patient and persistent is important. The impact of your actions might not be immediately visible, but your consistent support contributes to a gradual transformation in the workplace culture.

The Real Meaning of Being an Ally 

Ultimately, allyship in the workplace for individuals with disabilities is not about fulfilling a checklist; it’s about embodying principles that promote fairness, respect, and inclusion.

By actively challenging misconceptions, we can pave the way for change and foster environments where everyone can thrive. Allyship is a continuous journey of growth, learning, and advocacy—a journey well worth taking.

BE A TRUE ALLY TODAY WITH PEAK PERFORMERS

Your journey as an ally starts here—with a team that values diversity and amplifies many unique perspectives. By partnering with a staffing firm that’s committed to disability hiring like Peak Performers, you’re working to create a professional landscape that’s more inclusive, equitable, and welcoming for everyone.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you advance your DEI goals.

References 

1. “People First Language” GCDD, gcdd.org/people-first-language. 20 Sep. 2023.

2. “Intersectionality and Multiple Discrimination” Council of Europe, www.coe.int/intersectionality-and-multiple-discrimination. 20 Sep. 2023.

Seal the Deal: Crafting the Perfect Response to “Why Should We Hire You?”  

Among the many interview questions that you’re likely to encounter, one that often causes candidates to pause and ponder is the classic, “Why should we hire you?”

This seemingly straightforward question can make or break your interview. In this article, we will help you craft a response that resonates with employers and showcases your genuine potential.

Why Hiring Managers Ask, “Why Should We Hire You?” 

When employers ask this interview question, they want to:

  • See if you’ve done your homework about the company.
  • Verify that you understand the role you’re applying for.
  •  Gauge how confident you are in your abilities.
  • Understand how well you align with their culture, values, and company.

This is an invitation to pitch yourself, summarize why you’re an excellent fit for the position, and what unique value you bring.

How to Prepare, Craft, and Answer This Question? 

The key to crafting a successful response to this interview question is through preparation, understanding the company’s needs, showcasing your unique value, and delivering your answer confidently and authentically.

1. Align your response with the job requirements

Begin by studying the job description. Identify the essential skills, qualifications, and attributes the company seeks. Your response should emphasize how your background, experience, and skills align perfectly with these requirements.

For instance, if the job requires strong project management skills, you could highlight a successful project you led that showcases your ability to manage teams and deliver results within deadlines.

2. Showcase your accomplishments

Think about your professional journey and highlight your most significant accomplishments. These could be projects you’ve completed, awards you’ve received, or challenges you’ve overcome. Frame these accomplishments in a way that demonstrates your skills.

You may have accomplished many things throughout your career, however, not all of these can be used to highlight your skills. Focus on the ones that directly relate to the job you’re interviewing for.

3. Highlight your unique skills and strengths

What makes you unique from other candidates? Find the answer to this question and showcase what sets you apart. It could be your diverse combination of skills, depth of industry knowledge, or fresh perspective that you bring.

Share anecdotes illustrating these strengths and how they can contribute to the company’s success. If you’re an excellent problem solver, provide an example of a complex problem you tackled and the positive outcomes that resulted from your solution.

4. Back your claims with evidence

It’s also essential to provide evidence and concrete examples to make your response more credible.

Instead of merely saying you’re a great communicator, share an example of how your communication skills led to improved teamwork, clearer project instructions, or better client relationships. Try to frame this in the form of a story that will be easy to remember and then, if available, use specific numbers to quantify that success, such as “had 15% higher than average customer service reviews.”

5. Focus on problem solving

Employers often seek problem solvers or individuals who can identify issues, develop practical solutions, and drive positive change. You can look at different angles, like the industry or the company’s needs, challenges, goals, and recent achievements. You can use this information to tailor your response and show how your skills can directly address their needs. This demonstrates that you’ve done your homework.

If you’re unsure, ask the hiring manager or recruiter about the company’s goals and recent challenges. They might just tell you.

6. Keep practicing

Practicing your response multiple times will help you deliver it confidently during the interview. Ask the help of a friend or family member to conduct mock interviews and provide feedback. Pay attention to your tone, body language, and delivery of your response.

7. Express enthusiasm

Passion is contagious—express excitement for the role and the company. Enthusiasm makes you a more appealing candidate. If you’re genuinely excited about the company’s products or services, let that shine through in your response.

Additionally, if the company has a mission statement, read this ahead of time and express your alignment and personal connection with their mission.

Additional Tips and Best Practices to Help You Ace Your Interview 

Here are a few other things to keep in mind when going through an interview:

1. Be specific and quantify your achievements

Rather than speaking in vague terms, provide specific examples of your achievements and quantify them whenever possible. Numbers and specific results add credibility to your claims.

Instead of saying, “I improved team efficiency,” say, “I implemented a new process that reduced project turnaround time by 30%.”

2. Be concise and focused

Keep your response concise and focused. Rambling or going off on tangents can dilute the impact of your message. Aim to deliver your response within 2-3 minutes while maintaining the key points.

3. Focus on yourself instead of the other candidates

Focus on highlighting your strengths and achievements rather than comparing yourself to other candidates. The goal is to present yourself as a unique individual who brings value in your own right.

4. Practice humble confidence

Confidence is important but be sure to balance confidence and humility. Instead of sounding arrogant, emphasize your abilities while acknowledging your eagerness to learn and grow within the role.

5. Stay authentic

While preparing and structuring your response is critical, don’t lose sight of your authenticity. Be genuine in your enthusiasm, examples, and stories. Authenticity is what truly connects with interviewers and sets you apart from others.

6. Manage Body Language

If you can, maintain eye contact with the interviewer and use positive body language.¹ A confident and engaged demeanor further reinforces the credibility of your response. If you have a virtual interview, sit in the center of the screen and focus on the camera. If you’re doing a phone interview, speak a little louder and more clearly than what feels natural, and make sure you’re in a quiet space.

Related Article: Virtual Interviews: Essential Tips and Tricks for Jobseekers 

7. Listen and adapt

Pay attention to the interviewer’s reactions as you speak. If they seem particularly interested in a specific aspect of your response, you can choose to elaborate further on that point. Likewise, if they appear to have concerns, be ready to address them with explanations.

8. Prepare follow-up questions

After presenting your response, be ready to ask insightful follow-up questions. This demonstrates your genuine interest in the role and allows further discussion. Thoughtful questions can also give you more insight into the company’s needs, allowing you to tailor your responses accordingly.

Related Article: Asking questions in an interview 

Putting It All Together: Sample Responses You Can Use as a Template 

Let’s bring it together with a few sample answers tailored to different scenarios and job roles.

1. Project Management

“I’m confident that my track record of effectively managing complex projects, combined with my natural leadership abilities, aligns perfectly with the requirements of this position. I recently led a team through a challenging task that required quick decision-making and resource allocation.

As a result, we met the deadline and exceeded client expectations, resulting in a 15% increase in customer satisfaction. My strong communication skills and ability to manage stakeholder expectations will enable me to ensure the seamless execution of projects at your organization.”

2. Marketing

“I believe my experience in digital marketing, coupled with my strategic mindset, makes me a strong candidate for this role. In my previous position, I successfully executed a data-driven marketing campaign that resulted in a 40 percent increase in website traffic and a 25 percent boost in conversion rates.

I’m excited about the opportunity to leverage my creativity to develop innovative marketing strategies that align with your brand’s vision. My passion for staying ahead of industry trends and collaborating cross-functionally will allow me to contribute positively to your team’s growth.”

3. Software Engineering

“My passion for coding and problem-solving has led me to thrive in software engineering roles. In my previous job, I was responsible for developing a critical module that significantly improved the performance of our application, reducing loading times by 50%.

I have a strong foundation in multiple programming languages and a proven ability to collaborate seamlessly with cross-functional teams. Your company’s reputation for innovation aligns perfectly with my desire to tackle challenging coding projects and contribute to developing cutting-edge software.”

READY TO TEST YOUR SKILLS AND ANSWER HARD QUESTIONS?

If you’re looking for the right organization to work for, Peak Performers is here to help!

We understand the challenges you face in today’s competitive landscape and are here to help. Whether you’re seeking accounting, IT, or marketing, we’ll connect you with opportunities that align with your skills, aspirations, and values.

Contact us today  to start a conversation.

References 

1. “Positive Body Language with Examples” Harappa, 6 Jan. 2021, harappa.education/positive-body-language-with-examples.

50 Years of Empowerment: Celebrating the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and NDEAM 2023  

This year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) holds a special significance as we celebrate not only NDEAM but also the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Join us as we celebrate 50 years of progress and empowerment in supporting and advocating disability rights and fostering inclusive workplaces.

In this post, we’ll look at the progress of disability inclusion over the past five decades. Join us as we reflect on how disability diversity has improved lives and how you can further support disability inclusion.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Igniting the Journey 

The Rehabilitation Act began 50 years ago when individuals from the US fought for civil rights and sought equal treatment for people of different ethnic backgrounds and races. This sparked the connection between the similarities of oppression between racial minorities and people with disabilities.

The United States of America witnessed a transformation in pursuing disability equality and inclusivity through the Rehabilitation Act. It was enacted on the 26th of September 1973 to eliminate discrimination of disability under programs funded by the federal government. This act created vocational rehabilitation services to help connect people with disabilities to services needed to find employment and prohibited discrimination based on disability.

The Rehabilitation Act is just one of the many legislations geared toward disability. Besides this act, other statutory laws and regulations were enacted to further advocate for people with disabilities, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).¹

Celebrating Inclusivity Through the National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) 

NDEAM 2023 observes and celebrates employees with disabilities in the US every October, acknowledging the contributions of employees with disabilities through advocating for employees with disabilities and exercising inclusive practices.

NDEAM’s roots go back to 1945 when Congress enacted Public Law 176, inaugurating every October’s first week as the “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week,” and was renamed “National Employ the Handicapped Week” in 1962 to be more inclusive of people with all types of disabilities.² Two decades later, Congress expanded it to a month and changed the name to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.”

The NDEAM serves as a reminder that inclusivity should be practiced and observed indefinitely. Through NDEAM, we celebrate the contribution of American workers and organizations who employ a diversified workforce, fostering positivity and inclusion.

5 Unique Ways of Celebrating NDEAM 2023 

There are a lot of ways to celebrate and observe the NDEAM. Here are some National Disability Employment Awareness Month ideas you can try this year.

1. Start an Employee Resource Group (ERG)

A great way to show participation in this year’s NDEAM is by giving employees with disabilities access to peer resources.

If you don’t have one, you can start an Employee Resource Group (ERG) that can be a resource group for people with disabilities, a support group, and a place to advocate within your organization for inclusion and accessibility.

If you already have a disability ERG, ask them for help planning events throughout the month. There’s a high chance they’re knowledgeable about disability-related issues and can help bring awareness and change from your awareness events.

2. Post and Publish Blogs and Articles

Many of us are on social media, so why not use it to celebrate inclusivity? Writing about NDEAM on social media accounts can spark interest and motivate readers. It also helps spread awareness, bringing more people to be more inclusive in their own lives. Some hashtags to use right now include:

  • #disability
  • #inclusion
  • #disabilityawareness
  • #invisabledisability
  • #disabilitycommunity
  • #NDEAM
  • #NDEAM2023

You can even start a trend by including an NDEAM hashtag or posting creative photos with your team.

3. Host Workshops About Disability Inclusion

One of the best and most informative ways of celebrating NDEAM is by holding interactive events to educate about disability inclusion. You can invite guest speakers on-site or have someone hold a meeting via Zoom to talk about topics like the history of disability, the progress of different legislations, firsthand experiences with a condition, and Q&A at the end.

Related Article: Set the Right Foundations: What is Belonging in the Workplace? 

4. Participate in Disability Mentoring Day

One of the best ways to indulge in the observance of NDEAM is by participating in the disability mentoring day. Disability Mentoring Day is a large-scale program that promotes career development for job seekers and students through internship, mentorship, and career exploration.³

Held every third Wednesday of October, you can show support and form connections among peers and like-minded people, building relationships and learning more about people with disabilities.

5. Hire Someone With a Disability

Hiring people with disabilities promotes inclusive company practices, accessibility, and a diverse working environment . Celebrate the limitless creativity and talent of people with disabilities by adding them to your team.

Read More: Everything You Know About Disability Inclusion is WRONG 

HONORING 50 YEARS OF EMPOWERMENT WITH PEAK PERFORMERS

Peak Performers celebrates this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month with you, and we want you to know that we support people with disabilities. We value diversity and inclusivity; it’s why we do what we do.

Since 1994, we’ve been matching skilled people with disabilities and organizations who are looking to fill vacant positions. Whether you’re an organization looking for talented individuals or an applicant seeking the right company to work with, we’re here to help.

Contact us today to get started

References 

1.“What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?” ADA National Network, https://adata.org/learn-about-ada. 29 Aug. 2023.

2.“National Disability Employment Awareness Month: A Commemorative Observances Legal Research Guide.” Library of Congress. 20 Sep. 2023. guides.loc.gov/national-disability-employment-awareness-month.

3. “Disability Mentoring Day.” Kansas Office of the Governor. kcdcinfo.ks.gov/disability-mentoring-day. 20 Sep. 2023.