Lack of confidence in employers remains biggest barrier for people with disabilities

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According to a new piece of research carried out by Enactus UCL on behalf of disability job forum Evenbreak, which surveyed 709 disabled job seekers in the UK, identifying employers they feel confident in applying to is the biggest barrier-to-entry for those looking for work.

Throughout the research, respondents noted a lack of confidence in the recruitment process, which included fears of the process being biased or discriminatory, with comments such as “I don’t know how to find an employer who will take me seriously” frequently being put forward.

As a result, 15 per cent of respondents said they exclusively apply to employers who are renowned as being disability-friendly, and 71 per cent rated employers poorly overall when it came to empathy and understanding around disability.

Among the biggest pain points in the recruitment process:

  • 82 per cent of respondents said that their most pressing problem was finding truly disability-friendly employers
  • 50 per cent said that face-to-face interviews caused them the most distress
  • 75 per cent reported an obvious lack of interest from the interviewer
  • A lack of confidence in their own abilities ranked as the third biggest barrier when applying for a new job

Commenting on the findings from the study, Jane Hatton, director of Evenbreak, said: “It seems that confidence is a huge issue for disabled job seekers – lack of confidence in employers, in the recruitment process and in themselves.
“By becoming, and being seen as, inclusive employers of choice, employers will be able to attract and retain many more talented disabled people. Which in turn helps build the confidence of others.”

The research was launched at an event at Wellcome in London on January 23rd. Read more about the report via HR Magazine.