More than one-third (37%) of disabled jobseekers have been discriminated against during the recruitment process, according to new research.
In addition, 82% of disabled candidates reported having a negative experience with a recruitment consultancy, something that they attribute to a lack of knowledge surrounding disability issues.
There is also a significant disparity between candidates’ and recruiters’ perceptions in terms of the provision of “reasonable adjustments” that are made to accommodate disabled jobseekers – a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010. Despite eight in 10 (82%) recruiters claiming that reasonable adjustments are made to cater for disabled jobseekers, more than half (58%) of candidates maintain that no such adjustments are made.
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Kate Headley, director of the diversity consultancy Clear Company, which conducted the survey on behalf of the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI), said: “It is evident that a lack of awareness and knowledge is continuing to have an adverse effect on the recruitment of disabled people. When around one in every 18 jobseekers has a disability, this inevitably means that employers are missing out on a rich pool of talent.”
She continued: “Many employers and recruiters are afraid of getting it wrong, but there are some inspiring instances of companies that are pioneering the inclusion of disabled people and we can certainly learn from their experiences.”
Mark Harper, minister for disabled people, said: “For those disabled people wishing to enter the workforce or progress their careers, the recruitment process itself can be a barrier. I am delighted to see that the recruitment industry is taking the lead on raising awareness of the barriers experienced by disabled people and is sharing best practice to start breaking them down.”
The research comes as the RIDI Awards opened for entries.