Becoming an employer of choice for people with disability at FACS

Mon 27 February 2017

To improve employment outcomes for people with disability, the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) has been awarded Disability Confident Recruiter (DCR) status, after successfully completing the Australian Network on Disability's internationally renowned 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 DCR program provides businesses with tools and resources to help them build their ability to attract and recruit talented people with disability.

Consisting of an eLearning course and tailored consultancy sessions, it identifies and addresses barriers that may inadvertently prevent applicants with disability from applying for roles.

Once FACS had identified areas to improve in their processes, they worked closely with the Australian Network on Disability to find and implement accessible alternatives. For example, they created 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 could answer questions related to workplace adjustments. 

By going through the DCR program, FACS was able to understand their existing recruitment processes better and discover where they were performing well and where they needed to improve.  

“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,” said Kerry.

One of the key learnings from the program was the need to gain support from senior leaders to promote accessible recruitment practices as a priority. The FACS team found it encouraging to reaffirm that there was 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 reflects the diversity of their clients. To do this, they will make the Disability Confident Recruiter eLearning course mandatory 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,” said Kerry.

About the DCR program 

The Australian Network on Disability's (AND) internationally renowned Disability Confident Recruiter (DCR) program builds an organisation’s confidence and capability to attract and support skilled candidates with disability. 

AND will guide your organisation to identify and remove unintended barriers to inclusive recruitment, understand and implement workplace adjustments, understand and test the accessibility of your website, adhere to the DCR Charter, and give your people the confidence to refer skilled and talented candidates with disability to internal or external clients. 

DCR is open to both members and non-members of AND. 

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