Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Employing People with Disabilities: Small Business Concerns and Recommendations for Human Service Providers

Generally, employers rely heavily on person-to-person referrals for new hires. Employers reported using newspapers (52%), employee referrals (40%), and family or friend referrals (24%) to recruit and hire new employees.

Employers want to know from other employers about their successes with hiring individuals with disabilities. Human service workers need to develop a network of employers who have successfully hired workers with disabilities who are willing to become a resource for other employers.

Identify employers who have successfully employed individuals with disabilities and ask them if they would be willing to 'tell their story' to other employers via electronic communications or business association meetings. These employers would be available to respond to employers' questions about hiring and employing individuals with disabilities and convey the benefits of hiring qualified individuals who represent an under utilized resource of human capital.

Develop a public relations campaign identifying those companies that have taken a leadership role in the community. Designate a spokes person from each company to highlight the positive contributions of employees with disabilities. Provide opportunities for successful employees with disabilities to communicate with small businesses about their employment experiences.

Qualities Employers Look for in employees

The qualities that employers valued the most in an employee were: a strong work ethic (47%), followed by experience and skills for the job (36%), and communication skills (10%).

In the planning process with individuals with disabilities, human service workers need to understand worker needs as well as employer needs. Identification of specific capacities, interests and work environment needs will enhance an individual's successful work experience. On the other hand, human service workers need to have a clear profile of employer needs on both a practical level as well as identify the qualities an employer values most in an employee. It is critical to find on the match between employer and employee needs. Also, providing employers with resources and information through the internet ( e. g. matching workers to jobs) may create a more efficient process.

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posted by AtWork! at


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