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How we’re improving our recruitment processes for people with disabilities

December 9, 2022

Accenture is working with the Australian Network on Disability to become a disability confident recruiter and improve the experience for people with disabilities at every step of the recruitment process. To share more about what this means, Marisa West, our Inclusion & Diversity Recruitment Program Manager answers some common questions.

What does it mean to be a disability confident recruiter? How does this improve the process for people with disabilities?
A disability confident recruiter (DCR) is an organisation that’s been recognised as an employer of choice for people with disabilities by the Australian Network on Disability (AND). We’ve completed the first step in the process to become a DCR, which involved a comprehensive review of our recruitment policies, practices and processes by AND. We are now working closely with AND to implement recommendations that have been made across 18 recruitment areas or themes.

For example, this has included updating job ads, by including contact details for candidates to reach out if they need help or to discuss potential changes to the process to allow them to perform at their best – even before you’ve started applying. We’ve also added phone numbers so you can speak to someone. You don’t need to be sure that you’ll apply, you can reach out to us at any stage and we’ll do everything we can to set you up for success in applying for a role. 

Ultimately, our aim is to ensure that if you have a disability, you have the equal opportunity to apply for all our roles and perform your best through the recruitment process, with whatever adjustments and support you need. All of our recruiters have been trained in how to manage requests for support or adjustment and ensure these are catered to. We want skilled job seekers with disability to compete for positions on a level playing field and to provide an excellent candidate experience to all applicants, regardless of ability.

As well as improvements to recruitment and selection processes, we’re also reviewing onboarding practices as well as working to build a more inclusive and accessible work environment. This all helps to improve our ability to attract, hire and retain diverse talent.

What are some examples of the types of adjustments that can be made?
We are able to make adjustments throughout the recruitment process, as well as to support employees with disabilities once hired. This includes:

  • We have a process in place for applicants to access  support or request adjustments before applying for a role at Accenture and at every step of the recruitment process. There’s no obligation to tell us why you need a particular adjustment, that is your  choice to disclose if you would like to.
  • At every touch point, candidates will be asked if they require any adjustments to suit their needs. We can also adapt to preferred communication styles and ways people process information. Examples of adjustments may include interview location or format, technological support or alternative formats of documentation. 
  • We can also make changes to the way we assess and deliver on-boarding sessions to accommodate individuals with specific requirements.
  • If you’re going to be working on a client site, we can take any accessibility requirements into account earlier in the process, with the possibility of virtual site tours to ensure you are comfortable with where you’ll be working.

What if I don’t want to share the full details of my disability?
It’s totally up to you how much you share. At the start of the recruitment process, we’ll ask if you need any specific adjustments, but we never ask why you need them. Then at every step of the way, we’ll check with you if you are comfortable sharing what those requirements are. For example, we’ll ask you before sharing your requested adjustments with the interviewer, then we’ll check again during the remainder of the recruitment  process.

If you are successful, the team can work with you to develop an employee support plan and  to determine who needs to know about your needs. This can include checking if you are comfortable sharing requirements with the onboarding team, a direct supervisor or career coach.

It's always your choice how much information you share and with who.

If I’m hired, what can you offer me?
There are a range of things on offer at Accenture to support accessibility and inclusion. These include:

  • The Accommodations Support Tool: This is a confidential, centrally funded program that means you can request any workplace adjustments you require easily and discreetly. If you need more support, this will connect you to our Health, Safety and Wellbeing team.
  • Education packages: Ongoing programs to inform our teams about disability inclusion in general, to support workplace integration and team cohesion.
  • Comprehensive policies to enable disability inclusion: This includes our new Carers Support Leave policy, Flexible Work Arrangement policy and Workplace Adjustments policy.
  • Melbourne and Sydney Accessibility Centres: Our Accessibility Centres are helping to drive inclusion in the workplace with a range of human-centred technology devices. You can visit the centres to explore the unique tools, support and technology available to help you be successful at work. For example, this can include different types of keyboards and headsets, as well as many other options.
  • Disability Inclusion ERG: This employee group arrange programs and events that engage, celebrate and raise awareness about persons with disabilities. They also share regular newsletters with stories from our team and tips for being inclusive.

OK, so what impact is this actually having?
Great question. We’ve only recently started actively tracking our disability inclusion recruitment statistics.

But in FY22, we saw a steady increase month on month in the number of new joiners at Accenture who identify as having a disability. So far just a few months into FY23, we have seen a positive difference in recruitment for early careers (graduate) roles, with 7.8% of early careers new joiners to date this FY identifying as having a disability. This is solid progress against the ambitious target we have publicly set of 8.7% and we’re continuing to work towards this goal.

For example, we’ve established a network of partners, including Specialisterne, who are helping us recruit job seekers on the autism spectrum and create a neurodiverse-inclusive workplace. We also partner with Gradwise and USEP to attract, recruit and support graduates and are pursuing opportunities to engage with disability-focused job boards and agencies in both the early careers and experienced hire space.

Becoming a disability confident recruiter is a key component of how we will achieve our goals. In addition to specialist partnerships and programs, we’re working to ensure our recruitment practices and employee policies are inclusive and accessible for everyone, including people with a disability.

What if I still have questions?
If you have questions, concerns or anything you’d like to discuss about a role or your requirements, you can contact us at any stage. Even if you’re not sure if you’ll apply, we’re happy to talk with you and address any questions. We want to do everything we can to set up candidates for success in applying for a role, so please reach out to our recruitment team via contact details provided on our careers page or job advertisements.

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          WRITTEN BY

          Marisa West

          I&D Recruitment Program Manager