NHS Scotland learning disability employment: tools and guidance - easy read version

Easy read version of tools and guidance to support NHS Scotland to increase the number of the people employed with learning disabilities.

5. Advertising and Recruitment

A woman wearing a name badge looking thoughtful. There is a thought bubble coming out of her head with a question mark in it

To get your organisation ready for hiring people with a learning disability, it is helpful to start thinking about how you advertise and employ people.

A man looking at job adverts in a paper and looking worried and unsure

People with a learning disability are often unsure about applying for jobs. Pre-employment support will help to make them more confident.

An information sign, a happy face and a thumbs up symbol

Support given before applying for a job should be clear and accurate.


NHS Jobs logo with a question mark next to it

Advertising only on NHS Jobs might not reach everyone who might be able to do the job.

A man looking at a board with ‘Jobs’ written on it and lots of small pieces of paper stuck to it

Some examples of other ways to advertise jobs could include going to jobs fairs or sharing the advert with local organisations who work with people with learning disabilities.

Positive Action

A hand holding a document with ‘Equality Act 2010’ written on the cover

The Equality Act 2010 says you can take positive action to encourage applications from under-represented groups.

A sheet of paper with pictures of nine people on it. All of the people look different from each other. A hand is pointing at one of the people

At the point of making job offers, employers can also take positive action to pick candidates from a certain group. However, candidates have to be as qualified as each other.

Accessible Applications

A hand holding a Job Application Form. Under it there is a happy face and a thumbs up symbol

Applications need to be available in an accessible form. The main things to keep in mind are:

  • make easy read job descriptions and application forms – use clear simple language
  • have clear descriptions of the job and tasks that need to be done
  • do not ask for qualifications that are not directly related to the tasks of the job
  • be flexible in how candidates apply – offer alternative application formats.

Selection Process

A woman wearing a name badge looking thoughtful. There is a thought bubble coming out of her head with a question mark in it

You will need to think about your selection process to make sure that you are giving applicants the best chance to show their skills for the job. This may not be the usual interview-only format.

Some examples of different process are:

A person sitting in front of a desk. Behind the desk are a man and a woman wearing name badges. Everyone looks happy and relaxed

  • use a centre where candidates can try different parts of the job
  • have an friendly atmosphere with a small panel
  • take more time for interviews
A man holding his hand up and speaking. There is a speech bubble coming from his mouth, with a question mark in it
  • think about giving the questions ahead of time
  • only ask questions about the job they have applied for
A diverse group of staff are sitting at a table, chatting and looking happy
  • do group exercises
  • have someone with a learning disability on the interview panel.

Getting to the Interview

A hand holding a sheet of paper with ‘Your Interview’ written at the top of it. The piece of paper also symbols and a map on it

Give clear instructions for how to get to where the interview is going to be in an easy read format. Tell the candidate who to contact when they arrive.

Feedback if Unsuccessful

A woman reading a letter and looking thoughtful. Under this is a hand filling in a Job Application form

It is good to give feedback to unsuccessful candidates so they can do better in future. For many people with learning disabilities this may be their first job interview. To stop them from losing confidence to apply for jobs again in future, give them positive and specific feedback on areas they can do better.

A young woman with a name badge, standing next to a man who is pointing at a board with ‘Training’ written on it

Additionally, managers can offer job trials or internships to help unsuccessful candidates build up their skill base.


Email: emma.weedon@gov.scot

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