In our previous blog article, we covered five external ways of recruiting deaf and hard of hearing job candidates by targeted job advertising, creating videos about the job position, sponsoring an event, hosting a workshop, and attending a job fair. In this blog, we offer five new ways of recruiting this group. While external efforts are important, internal efforts are equally important. There are several internal efforts that your organization or company can do to attract deaf and hard of hearing applicants. It starts with a job posting.
The next time you write or update a job posting with the intention to hire deaf or hard of hearing individuals, be sure to write a description that specifically targets them. While many job postings now include a declaration of being an “equal opportunity employer,” very few employers mention the accommodations that will be made for applicants with disabilities, or how they will, specifically, help a deaf or hard of hearing employee succeed in the role. Below are details on how to attract deaf and hard of hearing talent to your organization or company.
1. Include accommodations in your job posting. Deaf and hard of hearing job seekers know they will need specific tools to succeed in a position, and they are much more inclined to apply for one where they know those tools are encouraged and provided. If you are utilizing text phones or providing videophones at your organization or company, make sure to mention it in the job ad. If you have a staff interpreter onboard or are committed to providing an interpreter or CART capabilities, be sure to include that in the posting. Anything you do that shows you are actively equipped to accommodate a deaf or hard of hearing employee succeed will encourage prospective job seekers to apply.
2. Add welcoming language to your job posting. Deaf and hard of hearing applicants know the difference between boilerplate legal jargon and the language that is truly proactive, so make sure you include the latter in your job posting. Saying something like “We encourage deaf and hard of hearing people apply” or “we provide accommodations and materials in alternative formats upon requests” will demonstrate that you are committed to finding and supporting talent within the deaf and hard of hearing workforce. Never use the term “hearing-impaired” in your job posting or anywhere else. This term is not appropriate.
3. Make your recruiting inclusive. If you want to attract deaf and hard of hearing talent, you must demonstrate that you have the tools to succeed in your organization or company. Your website, brochures, and posters should include images of deaf and hard of hearing employees interacting with the rest of your staff and working with the tools they need to succeed. Also, quotes from deaf and hard of hearing employees commenting on your inclusion efforts and how they feel accepted and encouraged in their role goes a long way to show the community that you are committed to hiring a deaf or hard of hearing employee.
4. Make sure your screening process is inclusive. The pre-screening processes used by organizations and companies are useful, but they can also be exclusionary. It is critical to utilize a screening process that offers options for deaf and hard of hearing job candidates to participate, by using technology like videophone for direct communication or via relay services if screening is taking place over the phone. The Human Resources representatives and hiring managers must receive training on how to use relay interpreters when placing calls. Ensuring that your screening process is inclusive will strongly encourage deaf and hard of hearing applicants to pursue the position.
5. Provide accommodations during the interview. Keep in mind that not only you are interviewing deaf or hard of hearing candidates, they are also interviewing you to see if your organization or company is a good fit for them. Be prepared to provide reasonable accommodations to deaf and hard of hearing candidates upon request for interviews. Once you schedule an interview date, ask them for types of accommodations they need because not all deaf and hard of hearing applicants require the same accommodations. Some may require sign language interpreters, and some may require a captioner to provide CART services or another type of accommodation. A deaf or hard of hearing candidate knows what works the best for them, let them tell you what they require for the interview.
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