During the War for Talent, Hire for Disabilities

As you may know, after a lot of thought, shared ideas and conversations, we have recently rebranded our employee resource group (previously the PDARG) to ADAPT – Abled and DisAbled Advocates Partnering Together. As the proud Executive Sponsor of this group, our mission is to recruit and retain more employees with disabilities at D&Z by being able to better identify the right jobs for their abilities.

We’ve started off strong in 2022. After our rebranding, we got involved in community outreach with the Special Olympics NJ Summer Games in Lawrenceville, NJ  this month, and we hosted a roundtable on Mental Health, attended by over 100 D&Z employees. The next topic we’re looking ahead to in 2022 is hiring for disabilities, during the war for talent.

The phrase 'war for talent' was coined back in 1997 by Steven Hankin of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. It refers to an increasingly competitive landscape for the recruitment and retention of talented employees. In the war for talent, we need to open up to new sources of talent, including a highly underutilized talent pool that is individuals with disabilities.

There is simply no better time to look for ways to hire more folks with disabilities. Check out this article from Forbes on Seven Reasons Why Hiring People With Disabilities Is Good For Business. As the author states, “Disability is diversity, and therefore a key component of workplace diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.” 

By opening up to this underutilized talent pool, we not only expand our pool of talent, but we give ourselves a competitive edge, demonstrate our commitment to inclusion, create a culture of diversity, meet workforce needs, foster creative business solutions, and more. 

Now that we understand the importance of why we should recruit for disabilities, the next question becomes how. How can D&Z work on targeting our hiring initiatives towards individuals with disabilities? I’ll tell you three ways:

  1. Providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities. We need to re-think every job opening and how the job description can be more inviting to individuals with disabilities.
  2. Incorporating new diversity strategies to attract people with disabilities by partnering with DisAbility Solutions and utilizing the DisAbilityconnect.com job board platform
  3. Identifying additional opportunities to partner with other ERG’s (like the Veterans and the Caretakers ERGs) with a goal towards identifying synergies and opportunities to advocate with a common purpose

We can all be advocates for those with disabilities. If you’re reading this, then you can help us carry out our mission of recruiting and retaining more employees with disabilities. You can make a difference by:

  • Joining our events and spreading the word about our group to increase membership
  • Finding D&Z leaders willing to participate in our group events. Their attendance will provide incentive/drive others to join! 
  • Keeping us in the loop about any outside partnerships you have or are building with other organizations that serve a common purpose with ADAPT

With your help, and by following the steps above, we can create an inclusive culture, broaden talent practices, foster awareness, and prioritize access for all. These are positive steps that move towards creating an inclusive company for disabled individuals to not only work, but thrive.  

Thanks for reading. Feel free to let me know in the comments any ideas you have on how we can further transform our ERG and accomplish our goals!