Hiring Tips and Trends

Selling the Facts Many employers who have had no experience employing people with disabilities (or had a single negative experience) demonstrate a high degree of 'caution' with regard to bringing someone with a disability into their work environment. They worry about everything from accommodation costs, to reliability issues to customer perceptions.

As Supported Employment Professionals, it's our job to educate these cautious employers and make our case by providing some hard facts which support workplace inclusion for people with disabilities (from a business perspective.) We can do this verbally during meetings with employers and we can develop 'fact-sheets' or 'employer information' brochures in order to share data, study results etc. A friendly but professional, relationship-based approach combined with some persuasive data and facts is an unbeatable combination.

Check the 'News" section of this web-site for the study on Consumer Attitudes Towards Companies That Hire People with Disabilities for some persuasive information. As well, The New Brunswick Premiere's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities posts a great facts and myths page on their web-site (see the address below.)

http://www.gnb.ca/0048/DAW/hiring-e.asp May 2006
Relationship-Based Marketing Something that has been really effective for our Employment Service is 'relationship-based marketing.' Essentially, the premise of this methodology is that building rapport, trust and familiarity with a targeted business or employer will lead to a greater willingness on their part to work with us. We've also found that over the long run, relationship-based services foster greater job retention for the individuals we're serving - as well as a desire on the part of employers to hire more people with barriers.

Some tips to implement relationship-based services:

* Set up an information tour of the business. Ask about their operations, personnel needs and rate of staff turnover but don't try initially to 'sell' them on hiring - just tell them what you do and why you're interested in learning more about them.) * Call to arrange a face to face follow-up chat - bring your marketing package and keep things brief (10 - 20 minutes) to demonstrate your understanding of how busy the employer is. Ask if you can check in with them regularly regarding possible job openings and mutually beneficial placement opportunities. * Always be friendly, congenial and ask questions about the business. People feel most comfortable talking about the things they're familiar with. These brief conversations and your level of interest will help build a relationship Dec. 2005 The Job-bank Alternative... Create a simple excel spreadsheet to track employer contact information. Track the basic things such as e-mail, phone and address - but also track how receptive they were to your organization (try colour coding for hot, warm or cold.) As well, track the employment / industry type - general labour, retail, office clerical, food service, etc.

As new clients develop career goals - these goals can be cross-referenced by your job developer against the data-base. At first, there will be more misses than hits, but as time passes and the data-base grows your job developers may find that the time it takes to place someone in the career of their choice has dramatically decreased. Don't be afraid of Excel - pick up a copy of Microsoft Office XP For Windows the Virtual Quickstart Guide By Steve Sagman (Peachpit Press) .

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