As employers look to find and retain talent to fill open positions, one talent pool that should not be overlooked are workers with disabilities. Studies show that people with disabilities have higher rates of unemployment than the general population, but every day they bring their talents and skills to workplaces all across the state.
What’s more, many of the reservations employers may have to hiring a person with disability are unfounded or can be easily solved – often in ways that benefit the entire workforce. Workers with disabilities possess skills and experiences that can offer employers a competitive edge. Here are 4 reasons why hiring a person with a disability can be a great fit for your large or small company.
- People with disabilities have high retention rates – Employee turnover is a major issue for employers as it impacts productivity, wastes time and investment in training someone who then leaves. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, businesses who have diversified their workforce to include people with disabilities reported a 90 percent increase in retention of valued employees and a 72 percent increase in employee productivity. One reason is people with disabilities tend to seek stable and reliable work when searching for jobs.
- People with disabilities help to diversity the workforce – By hiring employees with disabilities, your company is not only making a commitment to diversity, it is also helping to retain workers and increase productivity. Why? Employees who feel included and thought their company valued diversity were 80 percent more likely to say they worked for a high-performing organization, according to a study by Deloitte. It can also help with the bottom line as consumer research shows that people are more inclined to support businesses, and are more loyal to brands, who commit to diversity and equitable outcomes.
- Your business may qualify for incentives and tax credits – Imagine training a new employee and getting reimbursed for 130 percent of their wages during the training period. Trainee wage reimbursement is only one of several services the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) offers to employers to help meet their business needs. The services also include the trial work program where an employer can “try out” the job seeker at no cost before making an employment offer. In addition, BRS may facilitate on the job training and reimburse the business for the time spent with the trainee, and businesses can qualify for federal and state tax credits by hiring a person with a disability.
- Workers with disabilities require little to no additional accommodations – One of the misconceptions to hiring a person with disabilities is the concern about the cost and impact of making accommodations in the workforce, or concerns about violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The reality is less than 40 percent of workers with disabilities require accommodations at work and, if they do, they often cost less than $500. These costs are usually offset by increases in productivity and lower turnover when hiring workers with disabilities. Working closely and in partnership with businesses, Workforce Counselors at BRS take a Dual Customer Approach to meet both the needs of the employee and the business. They also consider Universal Design in any accommodations to help ensure they also benefit the rest of the workforce.
At BRS, we work with businesses of all sizes and from a wide variety of industries across the state and provide an untapped talent pool of candidates with diverse abilities. BRS also provides additional and ongoing services that can help with training, development and retention. One of our regional Workforce Counselors can help answer your questions about our services and incentive programs and get you on the path to finding and retaining great talent. CLICK HERE to find a counselor near you.