Strong human capital strategies are pivotal
to maintaining a competitive advantage. Having the right talent at
the right place at the right time is critical. Meet your business
goals and objectives by expanding your recruiting, hiring, and retention
strategies to include employees with disabilities. Businesses profit
from this talent pool.
Based on the labor projections from the Department
of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers can expect a
workforce shortage within the next five years. According to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 79%
of companies reported a big gap in their talent pipeline. Many
employers are finding success with an often overlooked talent pool — candidates
with disabilities. Forward-looking employers are developing proactive
sourcing plans to create a recruiting pipeline that includes candidates
Companies seeking talent from entry-level to senior management can
increase success by hiring skilled and valued employees with disabilities.
For example, employers seeking qualified candidates are expanding
into talent pools such as students with disabilities and disabled
veterans. Nearly 2.2 million (11%) of emerging
college students have a disability. There are over 24 million
disabled veterans, including more than 180,000
from the recent war on terrorism – a number that continues
of replacing employees, including those who acquire a disability,
are high, ranging from 93 to 200% of an employee’s annual
salary; retaining them makes good business sense. This not only
meets ongoing staffing needs, but also reduces costs such as disability
liability, workers’ compensation, and staff training.
and survey research indicate that employees with disabilities
may be less likely leave a company than their nondisabled counterparts.
For example, Hire Potential found that their placements stayed
on the job an average of 50% longer than those without disabilities
and Marriott employees hired through their Pathways to Independence
Program experienced a 6% turnover rate versus the 52% turnover
rate of their overall workforce.
When leveraging the strengths of a person with
disabilities, you can increase your hiring pool, keep valuable and
trained employees, and earn tax advantages. Fortune
magazine reported that after Carolina Fine Snacks, a
small business in Greensboro, NC, started hiring people with disabilities,
employee turnover dropped from 80% every six months to less than
5%; productivity rose from 70% to 95%; absenteeism dropped from 20%
to less than 5%; and tardiness dropped from 30% of staff to zero.
of employers who used the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) show
that 50% of all accommodations cost from $0 to $50 and 88% of all
accommodations cost less than $1,000. Most employers surveyed also
reported that dollar benefits far outweigh dollar costs, and some
of the main benefits reported include:
- 86% of employers surveyed indicated they were able to hire and
retain qualified employees.
- 56% of employers surveyed experienced increased productivity
of all employees.
- 39% of employers surveyed reduced workers’ compensation
and insurance costs.
Besides being inexpensive, most accommodations are very simple.
For example, as showcased in the film America’s Strength,
IBM accommodated a travelling salesman experiencing vision loss by
providing additional cab fares, thereby retaining a top performer
who closes deals valued from $10,000 to $36 million.
Tax incentives can provide an added benefit
for employers by offsetting costs associated with accommodating an
employee or making their businesses accessible. These
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit – up to $2,400 per year.
- Small Business Tax Credit – up to $5,000.
- Tax Deduction to Remove Architectural and Transportation Barriers
to People with Disabilities and Elderly Individuals – up
to $15,000 per year.