Businesses missing out

31 July 2018

More than half of Australian businesses are missing out on an untapped pool of talent by overlooking candidates with disability during the hiring process.

The new Building Employer Demand – Research Report released on the 27th of July 2018 shows that while the majority of Australian employers are open to hiring people with disability (77 per cent), a much lower percentage (35 per cent) demonstrate behavioural commitment to doing so.

Most employers recognised the value that people with disability bring to the workforce, however many are unsure about what is involved in the disability employment process at a practical level.

77 per cent of businesses believe it is important for their workplace to reflect the diversity in the community by including people with disability. However, of the estimated 2.1 million Australians aged 15-64 living with disability, only 53% participate in work, compared to 83% of people without disability.

The research tells us businesses want more help to transition from ‘willing’ to ‘hiring’.

The most commonly perceived barriers holding employers back from hiring are their concerns about integrating people with disability into the workforce, reported by 44% of all open employers, and a lack of awareness and understanding of disability employment (37% see employing a person with disability as ‘a step into the unknown’).

Leading disability confident employers are already utilising these services and reaping the benefits, but we are urging more employers to get on board.

One organisation echoing that sentiment, joining the Australian Government’s Employ their Ability campaign, is PwC Australia.

With a workforce of more than 7,000 staff, PwC Australia is committed to workplace diversity, and has been named Australia’s most desirable employer for two years running.

Nicole Vongdara, Senior Manager, Diversity and Inclusion at PwC Australia said considering a person with a disability often leads them to the best person for the job.

“I’ve seen first hand that employees with disability bring valuable new perspectives, skills and diversity to our team,” Ms Vongdara said.

PwC has utilised JobAccess to obtain partial funding for equipment such as iPads, and captioning services.

“For an organisation of our size, and with such varied capabilities, we’d be restricting our view or ability to attract talent if we weren’t employing people with disability,” Ms Vongdara said.

She said building a workforce which genuinely reflects and represents their customers and communities had multiple benefits and made good business sense.

“It’s win-win. That diversity strengthens our workforce, and at the same time, we’re helping to ensure more Australians with disability are given the opportunity to enjoy the personal, social and financial benefits that come with being employed and part of a team,” Ms Vongdara said.

“Right now, there are around 1 million Australians with disability looking for that opportunity, and we want to be part of a movement that helps turn those numbers around.”

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