I am pleased to share this post by guest blogger, Jenny Wise.
Employers cannot legally discriminate against job candidates with disabilities, yet the reality is that many people with disabilities feel as though they’ve lost opportunities as a result of their disability. But it’s not just the job candidate’s loss in this case; employers stand to benefit in several ways by hiring qualified candidates with disabilities.
- Hiring an Employee with Disabilities Provides Marketing Benefits
According to Think Beyond the Label, hiring an employee with a disability can enable you to attract the large number of Americans who report that they prefer to do business with companies who hire people with disabilities. Not to mention, having people with disabilities on your staff can lead to innovative thinking resulting in more productive working methods.
For instance, tools such as free conference calls, which allow recording, might initially be used to make it easier for people with disabilities to transcribe important meeting notes later, but you’ll likely find that many such tools better enable your workforce as a whole.
- Financial Advantages of Hiring an Employee with Disabilities
Businesses also stand to gain financial benefits when they choose to hire an employee with a disability. You may be able to take advantage of tax credits to help offset the costs of any accommodations the company implements for employees with disabilities or the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which the IRS explains is “a tax credit up to 40 percent of the first $6,000 of first-year wages of a new employee if the employee is part of a ‘targeted group.’”
Additionally, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 offers a Special Employer Incentives Program which reimburses companies up to half of the Veteran’s salary to cover any production losses, training expenses, or supplies and equipment required while the veteran undergoes training during the first six months of employment.
- Hire Qualified Talent from a Larger Candidate Pool
If you operate a small business, you may struggle to find qualified workers when you don’t have the ability to offer the lucrative wages and robust benefits packages large enterprises use to attract top talent. A larger talent pool, of course, increases your odds of finding the perfect employee to supplement your team and help your company achieve greater success.
- Reduced Training Costs Due to Improved Retention
According to Employment & Training Resources, retention rates are higher among workers with disabilities than the overall average, meaning you can cut down on training costs by hanging onto the talent that you’ve already invested in. Plus, a diverse workforce can foster a collaborative, positive company culture, which can boost employee loyalty and retention across the board.
- Improve Productivity and Morale
Often accommodations for employees with disabilities cost nothing. In an article for Forbes, contributor Judy Owens explains that common accommodations are simple such as relaxing dress code requirements, allowing an employee to stand or sit when the opposite is the norm, or scheduling flexibility. Some companies may choose to simply offer the same accommodations to all employees, resulting in a more relaxed, accepting atmosphere that promotes a collaborative team environment – which just so happens to be the ideal work environment today’s emerging workforce is seeking.
Hiring an employee with a disability is a smart move for many companies. Not only do they gain a valuable contributor to their team, but they can take advantage of a variety of benefits for employers who embrace diversity.
Jenny Wise is a stay-at-home mom and home educator. She and her husband decided to homeschool when their oldest was four years old. During their journey, they’ve expanded their family and have faced many challenges. But they’re happy to have overcome each one. Jenny writes about her family’s experiences and homeschool, in general, on her new blog, SpecialHomeEducator.com.
Image via Pixabay by janeb13