WISE Employment finds great ability in disability

STANDARD recruitment practices are continually getting sub-standard results today, according to experts in the field at WISE Employment.

All too often, standard recruitment practices act against consideration of highly qualified and experienced applicants – who can offer enormous value to a business – because they may have a disability, according WISE. 

“Quite often, the standard recruitment process of online resume submission, phone screening and panel interviewing either doesn’t allow for a true reflection of a candidate’s skills, or becomes overwhelming for someone with a disability who may be the perfect fit for the role,” WISE Employment Victorian regional manager Doreen Micallef said. She said WISE was a not-for-profit employment agency specialising in assisting people with a disability and it monitored the market closely.

“As a hiring manager you will always be looking for the best fit and this certainly still applies,” Ms Micallef said. She often asked the question, “Have you taken the time to consider whether your hiring process could be improved for the better by taking into consideration how people of different abilities can get their skills across to you in the best way?

“We often find that employers are not aware of the benefits of bringing candidates from both the Disability Employment Services (DES) and (Department of Employment) ‘jobactive’ programs into their workforce,” Ms Micallef said.

“Job seekers with a disability are very enthusiastic about gaining meaningful employment, and will often have a lower rate of sick leave and a higher engagement and dedication to the job.

“Having an employee with a disability on your team can also affect positive change on other staff members, creating a great working environment. Employers also report similar benefits for candidates employed under the ‘jobactive’ program, which caters for the long term unemployed, mature age and refugee job seekers amongst others.

“Just the simple act of gaining employment can really change job seekers’ lives, with increases in self esteem and confidence leading to job satisfaction and improved retention rates.”

WISE Employment National Disability Employment Sales Manager Souzan Asfour said a point often raised by employers was the potential cost of employment of a job seeker who may need higher levels of assistance, or workplace modifications, to complete their job. She said these issues were catered for through the government programs.

“Under both the DES and jobactive programs, we support both the employer and the job seeker in the preparation of the workplace for their employment, at no cost to either party,” Ms Asfour said.

“The support continues once employment has commenced, until both parties are happy to go it alone.

“This could be in the form of personal support, funding for modifications and training or simply just a check in process with both parties,” she said. “Whatever support is required in each individual situation, you know WISE will be with you every step of the way.”

Ms Micallef said she always reassured employers that candidates were not asking for preferential treatment, “or for you to change the inherent requirements of the role, but to be given the opportunity to showcase their suitability in a way which will allow them to truly shine”.

As a not for profit, WISE Employment offers its services “completely free of charge to employers” Ms Micallef said.

WISE opened its doors in West Melbourne in 1992 and Ms Micallef said today its highly-trained and dedicated staff provided cost-free advice, training and other support to assist more than 10,000 eligible job seekers into jobs each year.

WISE Employment operates through  at 40 main offices and 57 part-time and outreach offices across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory




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