In recent years, there have been many positive developments towards increased recruitment inclusivity in Ireland. According to the 2022 Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Policy, “Everyone is entitled to enjoy a prejudice–free working environment that rejects any form of discrimination”. Despite this policy, there is evident disability discrimination in hiring. According to The European Commission Country Report for Ireland 2022, Ireland has one of the highest disability unemployment rates in Europe. The EU’s average employment rate for people with disabilities hovers around 51%. However, in Ireland, it is only 32.6%.
Despite these legislative efforts, putting such policies into practice still remains a challenge. Shockingly, the minimum employment target for people with disabilities in the public sector is a mere 3%. With no mandatory quota system, it’s up to individual employers to take the lead. Some companies step up disability inclusion policies voluntarily, but the lack of a standardised approach might be a factor in Ireland’s high disability unemployment rates.
Recruitment processes become arenas for these inequalities. Discrimination, whether blatant or subtle, continues to hinder the professional journeys of those with disabilities. Barriers stretch beyond the workplace, including public perception, rigid work conditions, inaccessible hiring processes, and physical environments.
4 tips for inclusive recruitment:
Employers can dismantle these barriers by embracing inclusive hiring. Prioritising inclusive processes can make a huge impact, such as:
- Creating accessible workplaces
- Offering reasonable accommodations
- Disability equality training to workplace
- Upgrades and investment in assistive technologies like screen-reading software, closed captioning, and voice recognition.
To make hiring more inclusive, consider remote interviews, alternative response formats, sharing questions in advance, live transcription for captions, and providing more time to process questions. For further information on disability inclusion, visit Disability Federation of Ireland’s website here. For more information on their recent blog, “‘New evidence of “ableism’ – prejudice and discrimination faced by people with disability according to ESRI report”, click here.
As Ireland’s economy continues to grow, we need to ensure that our workplace is taking every step to ensure disability inclusivity is a priority. Not only is it important for businesses that could be benefiting from a diverse workforce, but it also matters to society as a whole, as we strive for a collective commitment to equal opportunities. As Ireland tackles the challenge of reducing unemployment among individuals with disabilities, a joint effort is crucial. From policymakers creating solid legislation to businesses fostering inclusive workplaces, breaking down barriers requires society’s commitment to providing equal opportunities for all.
Get in Touch
If your organisation is seeking assistance in inclusive hiring, contact our Director of Talent Management, Fergal O’Sullivan. 2into3 are an equal opportunities employer who believe that diversity is a strength in the workplace. We therefore welcome applications from suitably qualified candidates, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, colour, belief, religion or sexual orientation. At 2into3, we endeavour to make all reasonable accommodations to facilitate the participation of candidates with disabilities in the recruitment process.