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Accessible Employee Recruitment, Assessment, and Selection Processes

The first review of the AODA’s Employment Standards became public in 2019. In this review, the AODA Employment Standards Development Committee recommends changes to the existing Employment Standards. In addition, the Committee also identifies barriers that employment-seekers and workers with disabilities face, and recommends strategies to remove these barriers. This article will discuss the Committee’s recommendations for accessible employee recruitment, assessment, and selection processes.

Accessible Employee Recruitment, Assessment, and Selection Processes

The Employment Standards require employers to notify job applicants about the availability of workplace accommodations during three (3) stages of the application process:

  • Recruitment
  • Selection
  • Notice to successful applicants

For example, an employer must notify an applicant chosen for an interview or other individualized assessment process that the applicant can request accommodations for that interview or assessment. Once an applicant makes a request, the employer must consult with the applicant to determine the most appropriate accommodations, and provide them. In addition, employers offering jobs to successful candidates must notify them about the employer’s policies for accommodating workers with disabilities.

These mandates mean that applicants must disclose their disabilities before they can receive any accommodations. However, many employers lack training and experience interacting with people who have disabilities. Instead, employers may believe myths about workers with disabilities. These myths may lead employers to form assumptions about applicants who disclose their disabilities, based on ableism, stereotypes, and stigma. At worst, applicants may fear that employers will discriminate on the basis of disability.

On the other hand, applicants may also lack knowledge needed for disclosure and discussion about accommodation. For instance, applicants may not know what accommodations would be most useful in certain employment contexts. Alternatively, applicants may lack experience asking for the accommodations they need. As a result, disclosure, and consulting about accommodations, may be difficult for both employers and applicants.

Therefore, the Committee recommends that the government should create resources on how to develop accessible employee recruitment, assessment, and selection processes. These resources should include guidelines and best practices for employers to follow when conversing with applicants who have disabilities. Similarly, the Committee recommends that the government develop guidelines and best practices to support applicants disclosing their disabilities to their prospective employers.