Before you begin, you need to ensure:

Your DES provider will work with you to complete a job analysis, understand any workplace adjustments needed, develop support plans, and provide ongoing support. It is important you understand the Work Assist program too. 

Job analysis

A job analysis ensures a job is a good match for a candidate with disability, assessing their strengths and specific needs. The job analysis should be completed by the provider, a representative of the employer and the candidate if appropriate.  
A job analysis confirms the essential and focus requirements of the role and may review:

  • details of any physical requirements
  • working hours
  • customer service requirements including whether using the telephone is required
  • interpersonal skills
  • communication skills.
  • computer skills.
  • literacy and numeracy skills.

Interviews and assessments may not work well for some candidates with disability. Allowing a candidate to show what they can do through a work-trial may be more beneficial and practical. Your DES provider can assist in setting up an appropriate work trial that meets the needs of the hiring manager and the candidate. Work samples or work trials are valid capability assessment methods for people with disability.

Workplace or reasonable adjustments

While it is important to remember that most people with disability will not require any adjustments, sometimes it may be necessary to make a few changes to the way things are done to allow an employee with disability the best possible chance to be successful during recruitment. The DES provider may be involved in requesting adjustments on behalf of their candidate.

Learn more on how to recruit people with disability.

Job customisation

Reallocating certain tasks or duties to other team members or creating a customised role might be needed for some employees with disability.  

This can be a great opportunity for experienced and skilled staff to take on more responsibility, while allowing the candidate with disability to work to their strengths. Experienced staff may benefit from exchanging some of their routine tasks for more complex work and the candidate with disability benefits by securing meaningful employment.  

Support plans developed by a DES provider

Disability employment service providers should work with the hiring manager, employee and HR team to develop a support plan. Support plans help ensure a successful outcome for both the hiring manager and the candidate.  

The support plan provides clarity around the roles and responsibilities of the employer, the new employee, and the employment service.

An effective support plan may include the:

  • Type of support the new employee will need to learn the job.
  • Frequency, duration, and type of support the provider can offer, including timeframes, review periods and requesting additional support (types of support may include formal or informal support, one-to-one training, workplace guidance, non-vocational support, etc).
  • Training requirements for specific tasks and productivity coaching.
  • Identification of natural workplace supports and co-worker supports.
  • Process for reducing the level of support provided.
  • Names and contact details of all parties.

If the new employee requires reasonable adjustments, the support plan may also include:

  • the equipment that needs to be purchased for the new employee
  • a plan for adapting any existing equipment or tools
  • briefing of co-workers on adjustments that they may be required make
  • any training requirements for the new employee in the use of equipment.

Ongoing support provided by a DES provider

There may be no ‘end date’ on the support available from a DES, and depending on needs, support can be ongoing and indefinite.  However, the goal is to facilitate the relationship between the hiring manager and employee. It’s a good idea for managers, providers, and the new employee to review the support plan regularly to incorporate any changes to circumstances that may occur.

As the employee’s employment continues, the employment service may reduce the support they provide, however it is important that all parties know that they can request additional (flexible) support at any time as required.

Work Assist

The Australian Government funds Work Assist, a program offering immediate support to help employees and their managers get additional support if there’s a risk of job loss because of disability, illness, or injury. Work Assist is delivered through Disability Employment Services.

The employee does not necessarily have to already be a client of a DES to be eligible for the program.  This means that support is available at any time to help navigate keep a valued employee in work.

Recruiters and workforce planners

Recruiters and workforce planners can include working with DES providers in their ongoing plans and strategies. There are 3 key steps to consider when including DES providers in your plans. 

Develop your workforce plan

When developing your plan to achieve your targets, it’s likely that a combination of recruitment methods and programs will be required.  This may mean that you need to partner with DES as well as with one or more fee for service providers.  You can profile the skills required in your workforce and identify the best ways to meet your skill needs. 

A comprehensive plan may include: 

  • Selecting one or more DES providers to partner with on individual vacancies and targeted roles.
  • Using the Australian Network on Disability’s internship program (seasonally) to articulate into your graduate recruitment program.
  • Introducing a program with one or more fee for service providers.
  • Ensuring career development for current employees with disability to achieve representation at higher grades.

Collaboration and teamwork between recruiters, workforce planners, diversity and inclusion practitioners and your executive champions will ultimately determine your success.

Meet your targets 

Meeting targets will require a detailed workforce plan. It can help to consider:

  • the gap you need to fill – current representation of people with disability in your agency and your recruitment target 
  • your current internal resources to undertake recruitment
  • senior executive commitment
  • budgets
  • timeframes
  • role types
  • recruitment methods
  • known changes to your workforce
  • linking with your workforce planning process and cycle.

Select the right approach for your agency 

Within agencies, removing system barriers from your recruitment and selection processes is essential and working towards accreditation as a Disability Confident Recruiter is recommended.

For agencies with a significant gap between current representation and targets, a combination of recruitment methods will be required.