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Diversity Hiring: The Common Pitfalls – Part 3

The usual tendency is to run only peer-level sensitization workshop to orient the immediate team to work with the PWD.…
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Recruitment is one of the most crucial decisions in a company irrespective of the industry or size. Companies make hiring mistakes all the time and the only way to avoid them is being aware of the common pitfalls to avoid falling into them….

For the last three years, we have been successfully running an employability program for Persons with Disability (PwD) as a part of our CSR engagement, wherein we have engaged with a number of corporate & nonprofits. There are some common pitfalls we have seen as a repetitive trend in the PwD Hiring space and wanted to highlight some of them here…

Common Pitfall No. 1: Lack of understanding of the term ‘disability’ and the workplace solutions for the same

And by this, we do not mean the theoretical definition of disability but an actual understanding of the abilities of persons with disability. The lack of awareness of how PwDs can effectively work in various job leads to lack of clarity on where they can be hired within the company. We suggest companies looking to hire PwDs to first spend some time in understanding the various workplace solutions available for various categories of disability. This will also help you get an insight into the various jobs they are already holding in other companies using the same set of workplace solutions. In the past few years, we have placed PwDs in a wide range of roles like – software developer, application support, software testing, recruiting, back-office operations, helpdesk, technical support, etc. This list continues to grow as more and more companies are exploring this field and opening up newer avenues for hiring. Learn, explore, before you hire!

Common Pitfall 2: Job mapping and analysis

Job mapping and analysis are crucial components of the hiring process. These two elements help to identify the right person for the right job. This mantra continues to remain valid for the PwD hiring process as well. At times, we see companies skipping this crucial component and hiring PwDs for basic roles and functions. Though it provides employability to an individual it does not help map the growth prospects of an individual in the organization. A proper analysis will help indicate what role will best fit the individual and the career progression to be expected for that particular profile. Companies should aim to look at the entire process of hiring Persons with Disability in a more holistic way rather than a stand-alone agenda.

Common Pitfall 3: Sensitization of staff at all levels.

JAlso, it is important to run these workshops at all levels – Directors, managers, team, peers, and even house-keeping staff. The usual tendency is to run only peer-level sensitization workshop to orient the immediate team to work with the person with a disability. In an organization, each individual interacts with several different people across levels during their lifetime. Hence, it is important that organizations don’t do this as a check-box activity but rally their people around this effort. This one-time activity has a long-lasting impact on the organization and its people.

About the Author: Devika Nair is the Diversity & Inclusion Lead at Allegis Group India. If you have any questions w.r.t the article, you can reach her at dnair@allegisgroup.com.