Preventing Unintended Barriers During Recruitment

For employers wanting to be inclusive in their hiring practices, understanding any unintended barriers in the recruitment process can help ensure a more diverse pool of candidates.

Does your job posting include inclusive language ensuring all candidates feel welcome to apply?

Using inclusive language immediately creates a sense of welcoming and an inclusive corporate culture.

In the job posting, let candidates know that reasonable accommodations will be made for people who have disabilities both in the interview process as well as in the role itself. Check out our Workplace Accommodation Guide for a refresher.

For example: Instead of the phrase, “We are committed to diversity and employment equity.”

Write a phrase like: “We are dedicated to employment equity and a workplace reflective of the diversity of our community. We encourage all applicants who require accommodations to their application or interview process to get in touch with [NAME] at”

Does the job really require physical tasks, such as heavy lifting?

Many job descriptions have requirements (example: being able to lift 50 pounds), even though the job may only require this ability periodically. Consider whether or not duties could be managed with support from team members.

Highlighting the critical and non-critical tasks on the job description will help applicants determine if their abilities suit the role.

Hire for Talent provides an example which outlines critical and non-critical tasks.

Is there a way for a candidate to inquire about workplace accommodations?

Having a phone number or email address on your job posting allows individuals with disabilities to discuss accommodation needs during the application process.

Companies can actively encourage candidates to discuss accommodations with the hiring manager.

Example: “If you require support with your application because you are a person with a disability, please contact [name] at 604-555-1234 or”

Having a Hiring Manager’s name and title attached to the contact information is also important, as it lets the job seeker address them directly, and shows that a person actually involved in HR or the recruitment process will be addressing their concerns.

Are there alternative ways to conduct interviews?

Many individuals with disabilities have skills and talents that shine during working interviews, but that may not present during the standard behavioural-based question and answer interactions.

Calvin’s experiences at ICBC showcase how alternative interview processes can lead to success. The B2B Untapped Talent Guide also highlights how Zero Ceiling rarely does traditional behaviour-based interviews.

Virtual interviews can also be conducted in this new employment landscape. This can open paths to employment for individuals who have disabilities that may leave them immunocompromised or more at risk to COVID-19. While this may not be all potential employees’ preference, it is a great practice to offer this as an option to job seekers.

The most inclusive employers often provide the option of more than one approach to interviews, so they can see the jobseeker present the best version of themselves in a manner they feel most comfortable.

Is there an alternative way for people to submit their resume or apply for the job?

If using an online application system, consider offering an alternative way of submitting a resume such as uploading a PDF or Word document.

Screen-reading software often cannot access fillable forms and/or inaccessible websites.

Did you ask about accommodations needed for the interview itself?

When booking an interview, ask candidates if they need any accommodations.

Refer to our Inclusive Interview Checklist for further information, as well as the Interview Guide for Supportive Employers, from the B2B Untapped Talent Guide.

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