While persons with disabilities (PwDs) in Singapore are gaining access to higher education and training opportunities from social service agencies and corporations, statistics from the Ministry of Manpower showed that less than 30% of PwDs of working age were employed in 2020. Not only is this discriminatory and hinders PwDs from dignified and independent living, it also means that there is a largely untapped population of skilled and talented workers in Singapore.
In addition to their technical skills and knowledge, inclusive hiring can benefit your organisation by adding diverse perspectives, inculcating empathy and adaptability in the workplace, and creating an opportunity for learning about different life experiences in a collaborative setting.
PwDs are just like everyone else - they bring along their unique capabilities and challenges.
At Make The Change, we practice inclusive hiring through various platforms including Younite, our network of freelancers with disabilities, and as members of our main staff. Here are 3 tips to maximise the benefits of inclusive hiring, and to make the experience smooth-sailing for both your organisation and the staff involved.
1. Understanding their Capabilities & Needs
Even among persons with the same medical conditions, the specific experience and impact on a person’s capabilities and needs are different. It is important to understand each person’s specific capabilities and needs to know their strengths and weaknesses - so we can fully utilise their talents while providing support that is most essential for them to excel. Discuss this openly and honestly with potential employees to set the right expectations for both parties, and allow them to suggest scopes or ways of working that they can thrive with.
2. Finding a Suitable Arrangement
After understanding their capabilities and needs, find an arrangement that is suitable for both parties. Alternative work arrangements that help to overcome their difficulties will allow them to work in an environment that is most comfortable for them. At the same time, tasks that utilise their capabilities and expertise are likely to be completed well. Some common alternative work arrangements include remote work, flexible work hours, or adjustments in the workplace to make the environment more accessible.
3. Tap into their Unique Life Experiences & Perspectives
It has become increasingly important to make events and initiatives accessible to all groups of people, especially in our rapidly aging population. If your work involves interacting with or serving persons with diverse needs, consult staff with similar needs. They are likely to have life experiences and perspectives that can improve on the way you phrase something in a write-up, or suggest ways to make an event more inclusive.
We highly encourage you and your organisation to consider inclusive employment practices, and diversify your work family. If that is not an option, but you still wish to support such causes, reach out to us! Every time you engage Make The Change and our services, we support such causes both in our operations, and by channeling profits to meaningful programmes. Do contact us here if you have any enquiries or are interested to know more about Inclusive Hiring.