Promoting workforce diversity: how MEGT works with DES providers to attract and employ people with disability
Australian not-for-profit MEGT (Australia) Ltd (MEGT) places an ongoing priority on employing people from diverse backgrounds, including people with disability.
One of the strategies MEGT adopted to achieve this was to complete a 12-month partnership with the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator (NDRC), the employer engagement service of JobAccess.
Through the partnership, MEGT tapped into a wide range of practical resources, expert advice and tailored support to remove barriers for people with disability in the workplace. It included establishing connections and working with Disability Employment Services (DES) providers.
DES is the Australian Government’s employment service that helps people with disability find work and keep a job.
Patricia Sullivan, Manager Talent Management at MEGT, explains their gradual approach to building a multi-level DES providers engagement strategy. “Through our initial work with JobAccess and the NDRC, we developed a distribution list to share our vacancies with DES providers and to communicate to providers that we are an open and inclusive employer.”
The next step was hosting an information session between DES providers and MEGT. “The DES Information session was a very positive experience that allowed us to understand their process, hear their passion, learn about any barriers in our recruitment process, and build mutual trust to gain further insight,” adds Patricia.
With country-wide operations, MEGT went on to widen their approach by engaging DES providers with a national footprint. In liaison with these DES providers, a quality assurance filtering and advocacy process was established. This supported high-quality and competitive candidacy while complying with their non-discriminatory approach to recruitment.
“DES providers have responded positively to our quality assurance process. Once they identify suitable candidates, we advocate for candidates on their behalf with the hiring manager.”
MEGT has also put together a tip-sheet to help guide DES recommending candidates. “Some of the tips are very simple, such as putting forward quality candidates who meet the selection criteria. It allows us to review the application, look for any gaps and support suitable candidates on behalf of the providers. More importantly, it avoids disappointing the candidate.”
Image: Patricia Sullivan, Manager Talent Management at MEGT
How to establish strong employer-DES connections
Patricia believes the starting point for any strong employer-DES relationship is to acknowledge the underlying objective is the same – placing the right person in the right job.
“From there, discuss and understand the talent needs of the organisation and skills of DES candidates. Establishing a robust process is vital to see results – right from providing tip-sheets to reviewing applications and advocating for DES candidates. We also provide feedback to DES Case Managers on their candidates’ applications. That 360-loop is crucial to improve the overall quality of applications that come through.
Large organisations with dedicated teams focussed on diversity, access and inclusion have the resources to build a framework and infrastructure to facilitate this process. For smaller companies, a one-to-one relationship will be more positive and worthwhile. It’s a long journey, so don’t forget to recognise the wins along the way.”
For more information on working with DES, contact JobAccess on 1800 464 800 or visit www.jobaccess.gov.au.