Are You Missing Out on Key Talent On Campus?

Jan 16, 2018

There are 4.7 million college students with disabilities, but only 25% are employed. Here’s 6 tips to recruit students with disabilities on campus: 1. Prepare your recruiters; 2. Create Alternative Applications; 3. Showcase Disability Inclusion; 4. Target On Campus Activities; 5. Tap Existing Networks; 6. Build Partner Relationship; National Organization on Disability logo

The race for talent is on. With the retirement of baby boomers and the increasing importance of knowledge workers in the economy, demand for skilled talent is at an all-time high.

College students and graduates with disabilities comprise a talent pool that can fill the gap for employers seeking skilled, motivated employees. An estimated 4.7 million college graduates nationwide have a disclosed disability, yet only 25% of them are employed—compared to 76% of their non-disabled peers (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015).

Avoid missing out on these candidates by fine-tuning your recruitment practices to target this group. Practices to consider:

  • Prepare Your Recruiters. Do your front-line staff know how to communicate with a computer science student who is deaf and her interpreter or understand respectful body language when speaking with an engineering student who uses a wheelchair? Invest in training on disability etiquette and disability employment needs for your recruiters to give students a positive experience when interacting with your company.
  • Taking Applications? Make sure your company’s online applications and your jobs website is Section 508/WCAG 2.0 accessible.
  • Showcase your commitment to disability inclusion. Feature people with disabilities and accommodations resources available to employees in brochures, leave-behind materials, and on your website.
  • Target your on-campus activities. Collaborate with campus career and disability student services offices to sponsor recruiting events and career workshops targeted to students with disabilities.
  • Tap into existing networks to reach candidates. Share employment opportunities through existing communications channels reaching students with disabilities, such as the disability services office’s email list or student-led disability advocacy groups.
  • Build relationships with partners. Establish relationships with partners, like National Organization on Disability’s Campus to Careers program that is connecting college graduates with disabilities to hiring employers. NOD’s Professional Services can provide the guidance and support to help your company advance its disability inclusion strategy.

Welcome to the NOD Leadership Council site where members enjoy exclusive access to leading disability inclusion resources, tools and events.

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