Largest Minority Group Falls Behind in Companies’ Attempts to Diversify

Although corporations recognize that hiring employees with disabilities is important, most are hiring very few of these job seekers, and few are proactively making efforts to improve the employment environment, a survey by the Kessler Foundation and National Organization on Disability (NOD) reveals.

Data released this past summer from an earlier survey found that little progress has been made in closing the employment gap between people with and without disabilities since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. In fact, only 21% of people with disabilities, ages 18 to 64, reported that they are working either full or part-time, compared to 59% of people without disabilities.

The most recent survey also found that although 70% of corporations polled have diversity policies or programs in place, only two-thirds of those with programs include disability as a component. Only 18% of companies offer an education program aimed at integrating people with disabilities into the workplace.

“America’s success in the global economy depends on how well we put to use the productive capacity of a person’s talent, skill and ability,” comments NOD president Carol Glazer.

The survey also revealed:

  • Nineteen percent of com-panies have a specific person or department that oversees the hiring of people with disabilities. By comparison, in 1995, 40% of companies hired someone specifically for this reason.
  • Only 7% of companies with disability programs offer a disability affinity group.
  • Of the 56% of managers and executives who estimated what percentage of new hires in the past three years were people with disabilities, the average hired was 2%.

Nearly One-Third of North American Companies Lack Leadership Pipeline

Nearly one-third of North American companies have failed to identify future leaders in their organization, a Right Management survey reveals. When senior executives and human resource professionals were asked if they had future leaders identified for critical roles in their organization, only 19% said they had done so for all critical roles. Twenty-one percent said they had done so for most — but not all — critical roles, 29% said they had done so for some critical roles and 30% said they had not done so for any critical roles.

“Organizations that focus just on short-term goals will find themselves at a serious disadvantage if they continue to postpone longer-term strategic initiatives like managing succession and developing high-potential talent for future leadership positions,” comments Deborah Schroeder-Sauliner, Right Management’s senior VP for global solutions. “Weak leadership bench strength will be felt throughout the company, from negatively impacting employee engagement levels to eroding the customer experience and reducing overall performance.”

Job Seekers Make the Most Mistakes at the Interview Stage

The employment interview is a time to shine but it’s also when nerves can get the best of job seekers, an Accountemps survey suggests. Thirty-two percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said candidates are more likely to slip during the interview than at any other time in the application process. Another 28% of executives felt job applicants make the most mistakes when writing their resumes.

Other job application areas in which people make mistakes include: reference checks (10%), interview follow-up (9%), cover letter (8%) and screening call (7%).

“Employers expect job applicants will have a few pre-interview jitters,” comments Accountemps chairman Max Messmer. “The secret is to use this energy to project enthusiasm for the position rather than letting your nerves undermine your confidence.”