The biggest challenge employers face today is how to attract, train and retain quality staff.

Did you know that Albertans with disabilities make up 20% of our population?  That’s a workforce of about 800,000 people.  There is a wealth of knowledgable, skilled and qualified people, right here in Alberta, waiting to be hired. By expanding your search for job candidates to include Albertans with disabilities you’ll find a more diverse range of options to fill your open position, expand your strategic position and could even see an increase in customers.

The Canadian Council of Social Development found that only 51.8% of men and 41.1% of women with disabilities who were post-secondary graduates were employed.  82% of  and 73% of non-disabled men and women with the same education and experience were employed.  The statistics for all age groups put together (15 to 64 years) showed that the employment rate for persons with disabilities was only at 44%, compared to their counterparts without disabilities who had an employment rate of over 78%. That’s a difference of 34% and those individuals make an excellent addition to your staff team.

Increase the size of your talent pool.  The more applications you attract for any position, the better chance you’ll have more choices and be able to find the ideal employee.  There are thousands of educated, qualified people with a disability who are looking for the type of work you can offer.

Hiring persons with disabilities creates diversity in the workplace.  There are many advantages to this.  Workplace diversity encourages a more diverse range of ideas and perspectives, it allows your company to connect with a more diverse range of potential clientele and brings a variety of talents and skills working together to achieve the same goals.  A diverse workplace gives you and your employees the opportunity to learn from one another and develop new skills and new ways of doing things.  Not only that, companies that have diversity in their employees are seen as progressive, dynamic and responsible by consumers and job seekers.

People with disabilities are consumers.  Making up 20% of Alberta’s population, it’s important for your company to appeal to people who have a disability.  Chances are your current employees each have a friend or family member who has a disability.  According to a study by the Royal Bank of Canada, this group of people have a disposable income between 20 and 25 billion dollars.  Every person with a disability also has family and friends, who will likely spend their money with businesses who support persons with disabilities.

Case Study:  Pizza Hut (in the United States) found that because 1 in 10 of it’s customers had a family member with a disability, the act of employing more workers with disabilities improved sales and customer loyalty.

There are some misconceptions that come with the idea of hiring a person with a disability.  EmployAbilities is here to assist progressive employers recruit, train, hire and retain quality employees.  If you have questions or require further resources please visit our Employers section of the website or call us at (780) 423-4106.