Becoming an employer of choice for people with disability

Mon 27 February 2017

To improve employment outcomes for people with disability, the Department of Family and Community Services(FACS), has been awarded Disability Confident Recruiter status, after successfully completing the Australian Network on Disability (AND)’s program.

“The course really brought people together to pursue improvement of employment of people with disability,” said Kerry Lowe, Manager Workforce Acquisition and Inclusion.

The Disability Confident Recruiter program provides businesses with tools and resources to help them grow their ability to recruit talented people with disability.

Consisting of an e-learn with tailored consultancy sessions, it identifies and addresses barriers which may inadvertently prevent applicants with disability applying for roles.

Once FACS had identified areas to improve in their process, they worked closely with AND to find and implement accessible alternatives. For example, creating an interview location accessibility checklist, so the recruitment team could understand the features and barriers of interview sites. They also added ‘preferred method of communication’ to their messaging and appointed a ‘go-to’ person within the team who can answer enquiries about adjustments.    

By going through the program FACS was able to understand their existing recruitment process better and discover where they were performing well and where they needed to make improvements to make it more accessible.  

“There were a few obstacles for us. The main one was being able to change our existing recruitment process. We worked closely with the recruitment team to make sure they understood what was required,” Kerry Lowe, Manager Workforce Acquisition and Inclusion.

One of the key learnings from the program is how important it is to gain the support of Senior Leaders to promote the priority of an accessible recruitment practice. The FACS team found it encouraging to reaffirm that there is already a high level of support from their Senior Executive team.

FACS wants to be an employer of choice for people with disability and develop a workforce that is reflective of the diversity of their clients. To do this they will make the Disability Confident Recruiter e-learn a mandatory course for all hiring managers and recruiters.

“This is just the first step. What we really want is to get more public sector organisations on board,” Kerry Lowe, Manager Workforce Acquisition and Inclusion.

Additional information

If you have any questions about the workplace adjustment process at FACS, please contact the Workforce Acquisition & Inclusion team at WorkforceAcquisition@facs.nsw.gov.au or phone (02) 8879 9115.

The NSW Public Service Commission’s website also has information supporting employment for people with a disability in the NSW Public Sector.

For more information about the DCR program, please contact us.

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