Tacofino’s Tips for Accessible Small Businesses

Tacofino first opened its first food truck in 2009 in the back of a surf shop in Tofino, British Columbia. They have since expanded to 6 locations and 3 food trucks across BC. As the business has grown and changed, what has remained consistent is their focus on accessibility and inclusion.

Tacofino shares their five tips on how to create an accessible small business focused on recruiting and retaining inclusively.

1. Communicate that you are open to hiring inclusively

Tacofino understands the benefits of a diverse workforce, and as such their culture has always been diverse and inclusive. They understand that having diverse teams means diversity of thought, which leads to higher performance.

To continue recruiting diversely, Tacofino developed a statement for their website and job descriptions. The statement is simple and sends the message that they have an inclusive culture: “We believe in creating an inclusive environment and welcome all qualified applicants to apply.”

2. Post in a diversity of places

In order to get a diversity of applicants, Tacofino ensures they post in a variety of places. Some strategies that have worked for them include:

  • Posting with Disability Service Organizations.
  • Talk to other small businesses that recruit diversely about where they are posting.
  • Volunteer with local service providers to provide advice to job seekers. As business leaders, you can provide important advice about resumes, provide mock interviews, or give insight in what its like to have a career in your industry.

When selecting a disability employment service organization to partner with, Tacofino recommends:

  • Looking at who is represented in the local area of your business.
  • Who is responsive to your outreach and takes the time to get to know what are the bona fide occupation requirements of the role.
  • Who takes the time to get to know your organization.
  • Tacofino’s HR Leader curates a list of contacts through this process and emails the list with all new opportunities.

3. Interview by allowing candidates to preview the job

The initial interview is a conversation between the hiring manager and the prospective candidate. After the initial interview, if both want to continue exploring, the second step is a “job preview”—which allows the prospective candidate to see what a day in job looks like, and allows the manager to test the specific skills needed for the role. The job preview tests the actual skills required, versus hypothetical questions.

4.Utilize your orientation to talk about your values

Tacofino utilizes their orientations to talk about the culture of their organization—a culture that is inclusive and about valuing the individual. They talk about their team, their expectations for how the team treats one another, and how being inclusive aligns to their business strategy.

They also take the opportunity to define their policies on bullying, harassment, and other relevant topics.

5. Measure your engagement

Tacofino measures engagement through employee surveys, whether they ask their employees:

  • Do you feel part of a team?
  • Does Tacofino value diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
  • Do you feel respected at Tacofino?

Surveying their employees allows them to understand whether their intention to create an inclusive workplace is being realized.

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