Recruiting people with disability

Successful and unsuccessful candidates

Summary of topics


  • Extending a job offer
  • Asking about requirements
  • Contacting unsuccessful candidates

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Making a job offer to a successful candidate or providing feedback to an unsuccessful candidate should be managed as you would for any potential employee. However, when considering people with disability, ensure your processes are managed sensitively and without discrimination. Making a job offer to a person with disability is the same as you would for any employee. Ensure the person understands the job offer including the terms of the agreement, details about the position, expected conduct and work hours. Just like anyone else, a person with disability has the right to decide whether to accept the role or not. So don't pressure them for an answer right away. You may also wish to use this time to confirm any workplace modifications discussed during the recruitment process. It's important to reassure the employee that any reasonable adjustments requested will be in place from day one. You may also mention what to expect in the first week such as an induction, training and supervision.

So as it actually happens in anyone's career, I had a couple of roles I applied for and I was given feedback that in certain instances I needed more experience in a specific dimension. There was never feedback basically saying, "We're not hiring you because you have a disability." My mind sometimes thought that was the case but I chose not to focus on that. I chose to focus on my own personal development. Increasing my impact by investing in my own self. That's both from a career development perspective and from a mental growth perspective so enhancing my mindfulness abilities, enhancing my emotional intelligence, enhancing my leadership skills and so on and so forth. So by focusing on those I think that really helped me get these negative noises sort of faded back into the background.

Unsuccessful job candidates will often seek feedback from an organisation to help them do better next time. As employers, we may not enjoy telling hopeful candidates that they have been unsuccessful. However, honest and constructive feedback can be of significant value to a person with disability particularly if they've been knocked back time and time again. When a candidate with disability is unsuccessful the situation may require careful handling and sensitivity. Take the time to explain why their application was not successful. While reasons may vary, it would be helpful to identify which criteria were met and why. At the same time, emphasise the positive aspects of the person's application. It's useful to know the areas you consider to be strengths. Convey the process in which the application was considered. Was it given objective and serious consideration? Was it non-discriminatory? If asked, can you honestly say that a person's disability played no part in your decision? For a person with disability, if delivered the right way feedback can really help build confidence. Like anyone, why you didn't get the job can be empowering, not dispiriting.

Recruiting people with disability

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