Hiring For Ability

By Stephanie Marcovitch, Employment Consultant, Thornhill Employment Hub

Today’s employers have tried to develop various methods of strategic hiring practices to ensure a successful placement.  These methods may include profiling, behavioral interviewing, panel interviews, multi-level interviews, and even adopting new technologies (such as, web based interviews and questionnaires).   As employers learn and grow so does the skills and backgrounds of their current and future workforce and team dynamics.


Hiring can be a very stressful and costly venture. Smaller businesses often feel they even have more pressure, due to the costs and the impact of an unsuccessful placement can have a negative impact on workload, bottom line impact, and team moral.


The truth is no matter what size the company or strategic hiring methodologies are in place, there is always hesitation, collaboration, and having made sure due diligence is done.  Now enter the term “disability”, which can make any employer - no matter how savvy - scratch their heads asking, “What does that mean?” “Who is that?”, “What is considered a disability?”, and “Why should I?”. More importantly, “Does that make me more vulnerable to Human Rights issues and being sued if the candidate does not work out?”.


If you are asking yourself all those questions, understand that you are not alone and it’s good that you are even asking.  Corporations and small business alike are ever changing environments and in today’s business world that would include people with disabilities.  It is true that the word itself can be intimidating to potential employers, since many of them think in the “tradition sense” that a disability means that the individual is incapable or has restricted ability.  Most employers also do not understand that many many issues fall into the category of someone with a disability (visible and invisible), including Crohn’s and Colitis, A.D.D, and reduced vision. As well as, there are the more apparent disabilities, such as those in wheelchairs, blind, and deaf.


As workplaces continue to diversify at an accelerated rate, it is important for employers to look at a wide variety of means of expanding their talent as well as their environments.   As a country, we have learned to integrate new cultures and languages, thus the logical next step would be to “push through” our ideas and stereotypes of potential candidates with disabilities.  Fear, misunderstanding, and overall a lack of education is the greatest barrier to this being successfully achieved.  The Thornhill Employment Hub has access to a vast network of community partners and support programs to assist in both education, financial assistance to employers hiring persons with disabilities, and other various employer support programs.  We would be happy to assist you with this at any time! In addition, all our services to both employers and candidates are always free of charge.


When considering your workforce planning, consider that recent labour studies and statistics have shown that hiring those with a disability actually has a substantial positive affect on the workplace.  Persons with disabilities have shown an increase in loyalty to companies, a higher output of work while bringing a new level of understanding, and talents to teams.  In many cases, those with disabilities have taken less personal/sick days. 


The most important thing to remember is that a disability does not mean that a person does not have the ABILITY to be a productive and wonderful addition to your team/company.  It is also important to note that hiring a person with a disability can be a supported process by those who have experience and expertise.  The Thornhill Employment Hub is here to assist with all of this and more and look forward to being of your growing business.