Matching the right employer to candidates with disability: lessons from a UK study

This session presents a study of a disabled people’s organisation (known as a ‘DPO’) in the UK focusing on candidates with invisible disabilities. The study involved analysis of qualitative interview data from candidates with invisible impairments, employability practitioners and employers. The presentation will cover the social model of disability, a brief history of DPOs in the UK and how the centrality of the voice of candidates with disabilities was captured in the study. The key findings will be presented, along with recommendations for policymakers and practice. This includes: 1. The relationship between candidates, employers and practitioners was vital to altering both employers’ disabling recruitment practices and to co-producing approaches to disclosure and reasonable adjustments. 2. The needs of candidates with disabilities, rather than the provider or the employer, being at the centre of this relationship. 3. Finally, the study shows how employability practitioners can focus their services on matching the right employer with the right candidate, rather than the converse. The study suggests that these elements are critical to disability employment services and can help to overcome the recruitment barriers for candidates with disabilities and subsequently to improve workplace inclusion.


Dr Jo Ingold Associate Professor, Deakin Business School, Australia

Jo is an Associate Professor of Human Resource Management at Deakin Business School and focuses on employment and skills and the workplace inclusion of under-leveraged talent. She has been awarded a number of grants in the UK and Australia, including most recently both an Australian Research Council Linkage and UK Research Council grant focused on employers, job quality and employment services. Jo is a Fellow of the Institute of Employability Professionals and co-chairs the UK Employment Related Services Association’s Employer Engagement Forum. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Chartered Academic Member of the Australian Human Resource Institute and Editor of the journal Work, Employment and Society.