What are best practices for recruiting and retaining employees with disabilities?

In a study by Erickson, W. A., Schrader, S. von, Bruyère, S. M., & VanLooy, S. A., best practices reported to increase hiring people with disabilities included:

  • offering internships for people with disabilities
  • having strong management commitment
  • including people with disabilities in organizational goals
  • actively recruiting people with disabilities
  • including people with disabilities in a diversity plan

If companies recruit and hire people with disabilities, more applicants with disabilities may apply for future jobs. Employees with disabilities can help to recruit people with disabilities, support a disability-focused employee network, and create partnerships with disability-related advocacy organizations. The employer could create a centralized accommodation fund in order to ensure that departments hiring an individual with a disability do not bear the financial burden if accommodations are required. Employers should also provide a formal process for requesting and receiving accommodations, and otherwise ensure an inclusive culture.

Find more information about the study in Erickson, W. A., Schrader, S. von, Bruyère, S. M., & VanLooy, S. A. (2014). The Employment Environment: Employer Perspectives, Policies, and Practices Regarding the Employment of Persons With Disabilities. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 57(4), 195–208. https://doi.org/10.1177/0034355213509841

You may also wish to consider reading these related knowledge base articles: What strategies are companies using to recruit employees with autism spectrum disorder? And Why should a company hire a person with a disability?