Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is no longer defined as a “nice thing to do” but rather a key component of a company’s brand identity. Beyond contributing to charitable causes, corporations are truly becoming agents of change, particularly if they foster an inclusive work environment. However, these companies can have an even greater impact if they share their successful initiatives to attract, hire and retain talent with disabilities.
“When it comes to corporate social responsibility, no good deed should go unpublished,” suggests Kris Foss, Managing Director of Disability Solutions. “It is not self-serving for companies to promote their CSR efforts. The purpose is to increase awareness and garner additional support for their platform or their nonprofit partner(s). When it comes to attracting and hiring talent with disabilities, small businesses and global brands alike can make a big statement about the benefits of a diverse workforce with impact that reaches beyond the immediate talent value they are recognizing. ”
Communicating the positive business results of their inclusive hiring strategy is included in the personalized playbook that Disability Solutions creates for employers. As the leading nonprofit consultant service for companies seeking to diversify their workforce, Foss notes there is a myriad of benefits in addition to filling positions with skilled employees.
“The companies we have worked with to hire people with disabilities have differentiated themselves from the competition, attracted new customers, reduced turnover and changed their corporate culture,” said Foss. “And at a time when the national unemployment rate is under 4%, it has also contributed to recruiting and retaining top talent.”
Foss explained that the next generation of employees are proud to work for an inclusive company. Since millennial jobseekers review a company’s website before applying, she encourages businesses to include a dedicated CSR tab on their site.
Foss points to a 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study that found a company's CSR strategy is a big factor in where today's talent chooses to work, with more than 80 percent of those surveyed considering social and environmental issues when choosing an employer. Additionally, 78% want companies to address important social justice issues and 87% will purchase products or services because a company advocates for an issue they care about.
Last year, more than 400 top business leaders recognized that advancing diversity and inclusion within the workplace is a critical CSR. They formulated the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ to openly exchange ideas, actions and real-life experiences, to help organizations achieve their diversity and inclusion goals faster than any organization could achieve on its own.
Among the companies who have signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge include two Disability Solutions partners who are committed to embracing inclusion, PepsiCo and Synchrony. Synchrony discusses their partnership with Disability Solutions to actively recruit and hire talent with disabilities throughout the country here https://www.ceoaction.com/actions/people-with-disabilities-hiring-initiative/.
“If your business is inclusive and has a diverse group of employees, it is important that you showcase that as often as possible,” concludes Foss. “Why? When people see that your employees are a reflection of their community, a community that you care about, they see that as a place they can work and a business they’d like to support.”
About Disability Solutions
Disability Solutions is the consulting division of nonprofit Ability Beyond. Disability Solutions is changing minds and changing lives by creating customized plans for companies to strengthen their workforce by hiring and retaining talent with disabilities. Their consultants have partnered with top companies on end-to-end talent acquisition, retention strategies and solutions resulting in people and business driven outcomes. To learn more visit: https://www.disabilitytalent.org/ or for more information about the Career Center, please visit www.disabilitysolutionstalent.org.