Easterseals NJ debuts new Inclusive Hiring Guide to help employers add people with disabilities

Easterseals NJ is urging employers to hire people with disabilities, a too often overlooked talent pool.

The nonprofit, which helps people with disabilities in the state, on Tuesday said it debuted its new Inclusive Hiring Guide to assist employers in recruiting, hiring, training and retaining a diverse talent pool.

Part educational tool and part reference guide, the guide is meant to give detailed guidance for recruiting, interviewing, accommodating and training workers who will bring talent and diversity to the workplace. It is free to all employers (and those who support people with disabilities). It was developed with input from those with disabilities and employers who’ve made people with disabilities part of their winning staff.

In spite of today’s hiring crisis, people with disabilities are both unemployed and underemployed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not even one in five people with a disability was employed in 2021, while nearly two-thirds of people without a disability had jobs.

Moreover, studies show companies that champion people with disabilities outperform others, driving profitability and shareholder returns. In some instances, revenues were 28% higher, net income 200% higher and profit margins 30% higher. In addition to improved profitability, research shows organizations that employ people with disabilities have greater retention, reliability and punctuality, employee loyalty, inclusive work culture and enhanced company image.

“This country is facing the worst labor shortage since the end of World War II. Instead of complaining, let’s take action by recruiting and hiring the thousands of available people with disabilities. We understand that it can be intimidating and confusing, but with the right resources, businesses can — and must — learn how to open the door for talent that might otherwise not be considered,” Easterseals NJ CEO and President Brian Fitzgerald said. “We know that New Jersey employers have good intentions to hire people with disabilities, but too many still aren’t doing it. We want to help turn their good intentions into action, and this guide will help do that.”

In addition to incorporating the guide’s principles and strategies into their recruitment efforts, Easterseals NJ provides help to companies who would benefit from working directly with a disability’s services organization. The free guide is available to business owners, human resource managers and anyone interested in creating a more diverse, productive and empathetic workplace.