5. Advertising and Recruitment
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.
People with a learning disability are often unsure about applying for jobs. Pre-employment support will help to make them more confident.
Support given before applying for a job should be clear and accurate.
Advertising only on NHS Jobs might not reach everyone who might be able to do the job.
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.
The Equality Act 2010 says you can take positive action to encourage applications from under-represented groups.
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.
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.
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:
- 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
- think about giving the questions ahead of time
- only ask questions about the job they have applied for
- do group exercises
- have someone with a learning disability on the interview panel.
Getting to the Interview
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
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.
Additionally, managers can offer job trials or internships to help unsuccessful candidates build up their skill base.