Q: What were you biggest considerations when qualified candidates with disabilities would apply for positions at your property?
The biggest considerations at the screening and hiring stage are to understand whether the candidate feels that they can fulfil the job requirements and what kinds of modifications they may require. We consider what teams these applicants would be joining and what/if any additional training their supervisors may need to manage and integrate them into their teams.
At on-boarding it is important to have a comprehensive plan in place that identifies appropriate modifications and accommodations for the employee. What if the associate is deaf and cannot hear the alarm? How will a disability affect guest interaction? Who can they call if there is an emergency or new need? All such considerations must be addressed in the plan and be communicated to supervisors and the rest of the team to support onboarding, safety and retention.
There are also some unique considerations that must be kept in mind at unionized properties. In these environments employers may have concerns about providing modified work within the conditions of the collective agreement. For example, fewer rooms may be assigned to a room attendant who requires work modification. This may be perceived as unfair under the terms of the agreement and may elicit some complaints. In these situations, communication with supervisors and their teams to clarify the right to modified work with respect to the collective agreement is very important.
Q: Were there any tools or research that you used to help you prepare and better understand the available modification and resources?
Working with organizations that support employment services for persons with disabilities (PWD’s) is a great source of knowledge. Working directly with career counsellors who can provide you with useful information about an individual’s needs even before they come in for an interview is very helpful.
Another key resource is you peers. Access their knowledge and ask them for their experiences and insights. Don’t recreate the wheel.
But, the easiest approach to talk to the individual. People know what they need and what will work for them. In my experience accommodation is rarely some huge complex creative solution that you have to come up with. You don’t have to come up with the solution – all you have to do is ask respectfully and you will be given the answers.
Q: What kinds of formal processes or policies helped you create more inclusive recruitment and hiring practices?
Policies around individual accommodation plans, equal hiring policies, equal opportunity policies, & policies for internal promotions based on performance are some great examples of formal policies that help managers and supervisors support inclusive hiring.
Policies establishing a structured directive that will clarify roles and responsibilities. They can ensure that everyone is on the same page and can ease management concerns around how accommodations can be managed. What is more, such policies can help avoid “ablest” behaviours when it comes to hiring and advancement processes by supporting objective decisions based on merit.