Recruiting people with a disability

The main purpose of any recruitment process is to find out whether an applicant has the skills to perform the 'inherent requirements' of the job.

To make sure the application process is barrier free for candidates with disability and to ensure they have an equitable opportunity to demonstrate they are the best person for the job, the following information outlines key things to ensure this is achieved.

Position description and job advertisements

Position descriptions should be written to ensure you find the best person for the job,and recruit from the entire talent pool.

Consider what the inherent requirements of the job are. Concentrate on the outcomes required rather than how the tasks should be completed.

Including a positive statement such as 'people with disability are encouraged to apply' will ensure candidates with disability know that your organisation is disability confident.

Activities, conditions and practices that are inherent to the position may be able to be executed in different ways to achieve the same outcome. 

Reasonable adjustments in the application process

Before the interview you should ask if the candidate has any specific requirements for the interview. Examples may include:

  • adjusting the interview time so a candidate with mobility impairment doesn't have to travel during peak hour, or
  • providing any reading materials in electronic format before the interview so a person with vision impairment can access the information.

Adjustments for candidate with disability at interview stage

The candidate with disability is the best person to let you know what adjustments they require and may include:

  • holding the interview in an accessible room, (eg. on the ground floor or accessible by lift)
  • organising an Auslan interpreter
  • providing materials in electronic format, in large print, or on a particular colour paper
  • conducting the interview by telephone or video link up.

Conducting the interview

Determining candidates suitability without asking discriminatory questions

Structure the interview questions to allow candidates to demonstrate their ability to perform the inherent requirements of the job. Consider the following:

Instead of asking Consider asking
How will the pressure of tight deadlines affect your disability? Describe a situation where you've been under pressure and how you ensured you met a tight deadline
What the candidate won't be able to do because of their disability Will the candidate require any reasonable adjustments to allow them to perform the inherent requirements of the job

Reasonable adjustments must be considered before determining whether or not a candidate is suitable for the position

Questions you can ask about a candidate's disability

The only questions an employer can ask about a disability or injury relate to:

  • any adjustments required to ensure the interview/selection process is fair and equitable
  • if or how the disability may impact on some aspects of the inherent requirements of a job
  • any adjustments that may be required to complete the inherent requirements of the job.

Any other questions about an individual's disability are INAPPROPRIATE, including questions about:

  • how the individual acquired their disability
  • specific details of the individuals disability.
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