Monday, February 1, 2010

The Business Case for Hiring Persons with Disabilities

One of the biggest groups overlooked in the typical recruitment process are persons with disabilities. About 1.85 million people in Ontario have a disability. That's one in seven people. So what is the business case for hiring persons with disabilities?
  1. The market is relatively untapped. Under utilized talent sources will be at an advantage in the future race for talent.
  2. With the sheer size of the population people with disabilities represent a large consumer group with significant spending power. Enabling this group to earn and spend is good for the overall economy.
  3. With an ageing workforce, the number of young people and immigrant candidates will be insufficient to meet demand.
  4. Hiring more diverse workforce increases employee morale. Workplaces that are sensitive to their employees are better, more energizing places to work and more profitable in the long run.

  5. Creates a brand as an employer of choice. In a competitive employment market employee loyalty is like gold. And turnover is expensive.

  6. Having a company or product that is open to persons with disabilities will also attract their friends and families – a huge share of the overall market.

  7. Uniqueness breeds unique ideas. Having people of diverse backgrounds at the table brings more creativity and broader range of thought.

  8. According to John Izzo (Values Shift: The New Work Ethic) making your workforce diverse can result in a 8% increase in shareholder value.

  9. People who want to work should be given the opportunity to work regardless of disabilities.

  10. Beyond the benefits to business, employers have a legal requirement to ensure that workplaces are accessible and free of discrimination. Complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission can be both expensive and can earn your company a bad reputation.

Bottom Line: Creating a diverse workforce is good for business. Welcoming persons with disabilities onto your workforce will increase your profitability and create a better working environment for all.

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