Supporting Persons With Disabilities Through the HR Life Cycle

About the author : Karen Dutton

Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Sodexo

Published on : 1/12/23
  • Twenty-five percent of the population is living with a disability, making this the largest minority group and a substantial talent pool for sourcing employees. However, persons with disabilities are often at a disadvantage before they even make it through the hiring process.

    Sodexo has a long history of championing equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

    Recently, I had the privilege to present alongside Sodexo professionals in a panel discussion with the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) about the high-impact strategies leaders can use to source, recruit and hire individuals with disabilities. I’m excited to share this reflection on that discussion — and invite you to attend Part 2 of the discussion later this month.

    Watch Part 1 of the panel discussion in its entirety.

    Register for Part 2 of the panel discussion on Thursday, January 19, at 11 a.m. ET.


    Key Takeaways for HR Professionals Hiring People With Disabilities

    • Put practices in place to take away the fear of hiring disabled persons. This starts at the pre-interview phase. Prepare the right interview questions to determine what an individual can truly bring to the organization, regardless of disability status.
    • Listen to the needs of the disabled person and they will be successful. In 2018, the Sodexo Workforce Initiative was launched, which partners with organizations providing job readiness and workforce development. The largest percentage of partners in the initiative today are serving individuals with disabilities who are thriving in their roles.
    • It’s important that disabled persons see people like them in the workplace and know that they belong, especially considering that in the U.S. alone, 61 million people are living with disabilities.
    • Ensure all candidates are provided an interview process in an accommodating way, regardless of disability status.
    • Assess your website’s accessibility. About 70% of legally blind people are unemployed. It is critical that your website is usable for all visitors — including those with disabilities, impairments and limitations — so that it is accessible to the largest talent pool possible.
    • The strongest workforces are made up of teams of people with multiple perspectives and experiences. A study by Harvard Business Review found that companies with greater diversity are 70% more likely to capture more markets.
    • Meet individuals where they’re at and work to their strengths. It’s extremely rewarding for the individual, for the leader and for the entire organization.

    Learn more about Sodexo’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Programs and Initiatives.

    To partner with Sodexo, contact us today.

    Join us for Part 2 of the panel discussion on Thursday, January 19, at 11 a.m. ET, in which we’ll discuss best practices and strategies for supporting individuals with disabilities, from onboarding through long-term retention. To register for that live discussion, please send an email to Ren Lovegood.