In Futurework: Trends and Challenges for Work in the 21st Century, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that as the population of the United States grows, the demographic composition of the population will evolve. By 2050, minority groups will represent half of the total population. Recruiting and maintaining a diverse workforce is becoming an essential strategy to best address the changing needs of the public and to ensure you have the highest quality employees in the increasingly competitive job market. Hiring individuals with disabilities is more than the law, it is a strategic advantage!
The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides significant resources for employing individuals with disabilities on both the ODEP website and Disability.gov. In addition, through a partnership with ODEP, Cornell University maintains the Employer Assistance and Resource Network website, which provides many recruiting and hiring references.
Other federal organizations have created best practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining disabled employees, and have made them available to the public:
- The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Office of Diversity and Inclusion has documented a Recruitment & Selection Guide: Best Practices.
- The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has created a series of on-line training course on Hiring People with Disabilities.
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has provided information on ensuring Hiring Managers have the skills and tools needed to recruit individuals with disabilities.
- The U.S. Department of Education has released comprehensive guide entitled Disability Employment 101.
In addition, there are many non-federal resources available through groups such as the National Organization on Disability, the U.S. Business Leadership Network, and the Society for Human Resource Management.
If you are interested in reading some success stories regarding the hiring of individuals with disabilities, please check out the Florida Business Leadership Network.