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Careers are not always linear

Hiring for humans, not machines

Disability hiring starts with considering all applicants

There are certain patterns you can see in a resume that signal someone is dealing with a disability. Each resume leaves us hints about life events and perhaps what someone is currently going through.

Each resume tells a story both in what is included as well as what is omitted. To be more inclusive in hiring people with disabilities, pause to dig into these resumes further.

Cartoon depicting progress
Career progress is not always linear. People with disabilities will often experience disruptions to their career.

Resumes we see on a regular basis:

  1. A person is seeking employment after a 5 year employment gap. Perhaps they are recovering after an injury or illness?
  2. A person has a series of very short duration jobs that all seem to end abruptly. Are they struggling with their mental health or finding accommodation difficult in their workplace?
  3. A person takes a step backwards in their career into a less prestigious role or perhaps even a part time role. Are they currently dealing with a newly emerged disability? Are they trying to find something that’s less pressure so they can focus on their health?

Any one of these resumes would raise an eyebrow of a recruiter and these people are the first ones to put on the “no” pile. If you want to make your organization more inclusive towards hiring people with disabilities, the first thing you can do is re-consider these applicants.

Take a chance and give them a phone call. Look at their resume a second time. Finally, don’t rush to make any conclusions about their work ethic or “culture fit” based solely on a sheet of paper.

Disability hiring is human hiring. You are not recruiting for a machine–you are recruiting for humans. And sometimes humans (and life) takes a non-linear path.

What’s in it for my business?

Multiple studies have shown that your workforce with a disability is 48% less likely to turn over. Companies that recruit people with disabilities experience a positive brand boost. Also, companies that hire people with disabilities tend to be more profitable due to the diversity and innovation that they attract.

You can read more about this in our whitepaper, the business use case for hiring people with disabilities.

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