Job Readiness Extends Far Beyond Disabilities

Over the years, a commitment to workplace diversity has allowed qualified, disabled applicants who may have been overlooked in past decades to land new jobs.

But despite great inroads made in resolving workplace inequality — race, gender and otherwise — deeply ingrained biases are still tainting evaluations of a subset of people who are otherwise qualified: the disabled.

After sending out more than 6,000 fake resumes and cover letters in a 2013 study, researchers from Rutgers University and Syracuse University uncovered an alarming trend: Employers are showing less interest in hiring candidates who revealed they have a disability.

Data from the dual-university study is also helping to explain why only 34 percent of working-aged disabled adults were employed as of 2013, as compared to 74 percent of the population without disabilities.

Diversity provides for a more free flow of ideas, and plenty of research over the years points to how more diverse and inclusive workplace teams outperform and innovate better than uniform ones.

But simply excluding otherwise qualified candidates could very well be the least of such an insensitive company’s worries, as screening out applicants based on disability and other protected categories runs afoul of federal selection guidelines.

Companies whose employment practices, including the use of assessments, fail to abide by EEOC guidelines and disproportionately screen out applicants are void. To avoid major fines and other penalties, employers must ensure their hiring practices don’t have an adverse impact.

Since 1984, TTI has maintained the highest standard of research integrity. TTI relies on data norming, Cronbach’s alpha, structured equation modeling and test-retest analyses to prove that its assessments are valid and reliable for hiring.

As all employers should know, the success of any candidate is about much more than their age, sex, name or physical capacity. Their success should come down to whether their behaviors, driving forces, job-related skills and acumen meet the criteria for and match the job.

Landing a job can be difficult, but the disabled and other underrepresented groups have always had far greater hurdles to clear.

Companies fearful of certain buzzwords on resumes and cover letters indicating potential disabilities should instead feel empowered to learn more about these unique individuals — and not simply ignore the talent outside their doors.

Zach Colick serves as a Content Specialist with TTI Success Insights and specializes in a host of copywriting and marketing strategies that help strengthen the TTI SI brand. Colick has close to a decade’s worth of experience in journalism, editing and marketing, and has held multiple positions within those fields. @ZachColick