Making The Business Case

Increased quality and efficiency text with arrows in chart

Hiring a qualified person with a disability brings greater benefits beyond just filling an open job.

There's a solid business case, too. There are distinct competitive advantages to employing people with disabilities and creating a more inclusive workplace culture. When you make your business more accessible and open to employees with disabilities, you’ll find that the benefits of business growth, innovation and opportunity more than compensate for any accommodations you may have to make along the way. Here are just a few of the advantages of hiring people with disabilities:

1.    A Solution for the Shrinking Workforce

Finding and retaining skilled employees with the right qualifications and level of experience is a challenge for many businesses. Individuals with disabilities represent a highly talented, untapped candidate pool for organizations. Recruiting and retaining people with disabilities is one approach to counter the effects of the aging and shrinking workforce. Approximately one in seven Canadians – 4.4 million people – is living with a disability. By not practicing inclusive employment strategies, organizations significantly limit their potential to effectively grow their workforce.

2.    Enhance Your Brand Image and Attract a Wider Consumer Base

This huge demographic represents not only a significant proportion of individuals in the workforce, but a powerful consumer market as well. In 2005, a U.S. National Survey of consumer attitudes towards companies that hire people with disabilities found that 92% of the American public viewed these companies more favorably. Eighty-seven percent said they would prefer to give their business to companies that hire people with disabilities. When you also consider the friends and family of individuals with disabilities, this represents a demographic that controls approximately $40 billion of buying power in Canada alone. Recruiting workers with disabilities presents an opportunity to appeal to a broad and influential consumer market.

3.    Experience a Return on Investment with Talented and Dedicated Employees

Simply put, recruiting individuals with disabilities is a profitable investment. Several studies, both academic and conducted by top organizations, attest to the economic advantages as a result of their dynamic work performance. A 2010 report completed by Deloitte found that staff retention was 72% higher among persons with disabilities. Furthermore, a study of supervisors directly responsible for managing employees with disabilities found that punctuality, attendance, quality of work, efficiency, proficiency and overall performance in employees with disabilities met or exceeded the performance of their co-workers on almost all workplace measures. Finally, it’s not unusual for individuals with non-visible disabilities and autism spectrum disorders in particular to possess higher than average intelligence and skills that make them better suited to outperforming their peers in technology and engineering fields. Workers with disabilities are just as talented as those without disabilities and are deeply loyal to their organizations.

Overall, these points translate to bottom line benefits including saving costs on turnover, lower rates of absenteeism, and revenue growth. Why wouldn’t your organization want to take advantage of these tangible business outcomes? Get started today and adopt inclusive hiring strategies to start seeing these all-around positive outcomes.


Business Takes Action

Deloitte, The road to inclusion: Integrating people with disabilities into the workplace (July 2010)

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. 2009 Federal Disability Report: Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities.

Taking Action: An HR Guide

Unger DD. How Do Front-line Supervisors in Business Perceive the Performance of People with Disabilities? In: Unger DD, Kregel J., Wehman P., Brooke V. Employers’ Views of Workplace Supports: VCU’s Charter Business Roundtable’s National Study of Employers’ Experience with Workers with Disabilities Monograph. 2002.

Work without Limits