This is one of those questions that employers feel really awkward asking, but actually, if this was built into the recruitment process, it needn’t be that way.

Recruitment and job adverts

This is the perfect time to be finding out about the needs of candidates applying for roles.

Whilst taking individuals through this process, make sure that there are plenty of opportunities for you to ask about candidates’ needs and for them to self-disclose.

When publishing job adverts, make it clear that you are an inclusive business that welcomes a diverse pool of talent. This type of language will encourage a wider demographic of applicants.

Reasonable adjustments

At this stage, it is also worth clearly stating that you make reasonable adjustments for the interview process, as again this is helping to deal with any objections upfront.

To make this even more tangible, you can outline what these reasonable adjustments would look like.

For example; “if you are a deaf British Sign Language (BSL) user, you will be provided with a BSL Interpreter for all interviews.”

This also means that if the deaf person does not use BSL as their first or preferred language, they are more likely to tell you that they have a hearing loss because you have openly asked that question.

As you know, during this application process – candidates are vetting you as much as you are vetting them.

Therefore, by placing this information so overtly on job adverts, on your website and any other places where the role is advertised, will make this far more attractive for a deaf person.

Asking candidates about their needs

You can also ask explicitly ask through the process Are there any ways that we can make this process accessible/easier for you to access?

And through implicitly including all of the above, they are more likely to disclose.

Once you get to the interview stage, do show that you understand what the Access to Work scheme is make clear that your business is committed to providing the necessary support when in role.

Should the applicant be successful, you can work with them through the Access to Work application process, to make sure that they have what they need from early on.

Here is more about the Access to Work scheme

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