When developing a role profile it is important to consider a wide range of potential applicants.
Firstly, think about what is being asked for. It can be useful to focus on the desired outputs rather than the way in which you expect the task to be carried out. People with a variety of impairments may have adapted their approach to how they work, and the application process should account for this.
Secondly, it is helpful to include a person specification so the applicant knows what the employer is looking for. Some roles are advertised without a list of qualities and skills that applicants will be assessed on. This adds more time for the applicant and the employer to communicate about what the expectations are, and in some cases applicants will skip over the advert altogether. It can take a bit of confidence to approach an employer to discuss your skills before applying if you have been receiving knock backs. Also, certain websites may make it more difficult to contact the employer directly.
Thirdly, we would recommend writing the role profile in plain English and avoid the use of jargon. There are apps and websites which can help you determine how “readable” your document is. Making sure the role profile is clear is a benefit to everyone, the applicant has a better idea of what is expected and in turn you are more likely to have applicants who really fit the role.
Finally, there are some skills that are commonly listed in person specifications that may exclude some disabled people. Please consider whether it is a genuine occupational requirement of the role before including points such as the following
These are a few aspects of role profiles that have been raised with us through our work with interns. There are likely other possibilities. It may be helpful for someone involved in the recruitment process to take some Disability Equality Training so that they can assess role profiles with access in mind.
So you have finished your role profile and are ready to advertise. Here are some things to consider at this stage.
Application processes can vary between employers, but there are general tips that can be applied to make sure that disabled people can submit their application. Certain types of applications may present barriers to disabled people and are highlighted below.
CV and cover letter
Ask the applicant for their preferred contact method. That way you can ensure that any communications with them are by a means that is accessible to them. For example, a deaf person has a mobile phone but only accepts texts. The employer calls them and can’t get through. Had the candidate had the opportunity to state they preferred email contact this confusion could have been avoided.
This will be important for inviting candidates to interview, and more detail on making this part inclusive is available in the interviews section.