Making Interviews Accessible for Deaf or hard of hearing candidates
Finding employment is challenging, especially for people with hearing loss as they continue to face barriers in the hiring process. Many deaf or hard of hearing candidates are reluctant to disclose when applying for jobs, worried it would impact their employment. To close the gap, companies, big and small, need to make their interviews accessible for deaf people.
According to research from Royal Association for Deaf People, only 25% of people said they had access to career advice in BSL when they were at school. Nearly 74% of the responders felt they had limited employment opportunities.
Sadly, the survey suggests a gap in the employment of deaf candidates.
Fortunately, hiring managers or employers can make simple changes to make the hiring process accessible for disabled employees. Furthermore, it offers equal opportunity for any potential candidate.
Includability Official partner, Sign Solutions, provides top tips for employment for deaf candidates and unleashing the benefits of having a fully accessible hiring process.
How to create a clear job advert for candidates
When creating job adverts, employers should ensure they recruit from the largest talent pool to tap into every potential candidate.
Carefully word your advert and express the importance of matching people with the right skills for the job. Explain how applicants can request the job application in an accessible format. Offer a range of contact options like email, SMS, or video relay services to allow deaf or hard of hearing people reach out without hesitation.
Sign up for the Disability Confident Scheme and display the badge in your adverts to demonstrate commitment.
Employer attitude is one of the primary reasons deaf or hard of hearing people fail to disclose hearing impairments during the interview process. Make it clear that you are an inclusive employer.
Start advertising your jobs on disability recruitment job boards like Includability.
Simplify your job application process
Let your potential candidates know that you are willing to make reasonable adjustments. It will increase your chances to discover what changes you may need to make.
Many organisations have job applications that require a lengthy submission. As an inclusive employer, it is essential to take a flexible approach and adjust your process for deaf or hard of hearing people.
For instance, deaf or hard of hearing candidates whose first language is BSL might not prefer lengthy written application forms. For this purpose, use BSL interpretation tools so the deaf candidates can record their responses.
Help encourage people with hearing impairments to apply for roles by clearly stating in the application process the accessible interview arrangements you could provide at all stages of the hiring.
Remember to use plain simple language and avoid the use of jargon in your application.
Understand the requirements of Deaf candidates
Research shows that people with hearing loss may be hesitant to apply for jobs during the interview process, worried that the employers may not meet their communication need.
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers should provide reasonable adjustments for deaf candidates, ensuring they are not disadvantaged during employment.
As an employer, never make assumptions of the deaf candidates; instead, ask what adjustments they would need. Every deaf person is unique; take time to understand what they need. Additionally, let the candidates know about the interview format in advance. For example, let them know if it is a written test, presentation, group exercise or a telephone interview.
It will aid you to make the right decisions based on their requirements, making interviews accessible for all candidates.
Have the right interview setup
Face to face interviews is not the only way to get a job anymore. With COVID restrictions, companies have moved into remote working. Telephone or video interviews are becoming common, making it even more challenging for deaf candidates.
The interview stage is the hardest part of the recruitment process for a deaf candidate!
If you opt for a telephone interview, make sure deaf candidates are not at a disadvantage.
For video interviews, understand the requirements of the deaf or hard of hearing candidates. Find out if they require a BSL Interpreter or need any other type of communication support so they can be booked in advance.
The Access To Work (ATW) scheme funds the services if the potential employee applies for a paid position.
As an inclusive employer, have a proper interview set up and make your interviews accessible for a deaf candidate by
- Ensuring the room has an adequate light to enable lip reading
- The candidate should not face the window, putting the interviewer’s face in the dark
- The interviewer should check with the candidate about how the arrangement works best for them
- While using a Sign language interpreter, always remember to address the questions to the candidate and not the interpreter.
How Includability can help you
We at Includability believe in achieving diversity and inclusion at the workplace. It is a job board for Inclusive Employers—a platform for employers committed to treating people fairly.
To advertise your jobs on our platform, you must be an Includability Committed Employer. In order to become an Includability Committed Employer, you need to complete a 5 Star Verification Process.
It all begins with a phone call from our experts. How quickly you advertise your jobs, depends on your availability to complete the Verification Process.
Our Verifying partners will make sure you receive the badge based on our verification process.
What happens - next?
- Connect to Wider Pool of Talent: Once the Verification process is complete, you now will have access to a pool of talent, free of discrimination. You can advertise jobs and find people with the right talent for your organisation.
- Offers Ongoing Support: We create a safe space for like-minded people to engage, support, collaborate, and positively impact our society. Get involved in our Employer Support Groups and Awareness Hubs, build relationships, inspire and be inspired, and empower your employees to deepen their knowledge.
If you want to become an Includability Committed Employer, register with us now!
Sign Solutions - Live interpretation providers and Deaf Advocates
Our Includability Official partner, Sign Solutions, are one of a kind and the only specialist organisation in the UK. They are a full-service provider that offers interpreting, training, communication, support, translations and pre-booked video interpreting in one place.