Back in 2016, DFP Recruitment was working closely with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to support NDIA in staffing the organisation. It was here Kate Coath (CEO) identified a need to ensure best practice inclusion in DFPs recruitment practices. Kate Coath, CEO at DFP Recruitment states:
Joining the Disability Confident Recruiter program was a sound strategic decision because we wanted to embed inclusion practices within our business and make it part of our everyday activities.
It was an intense seven-month program, equipping DFP with tools and resources to build disability confidence across their staff that led to them becoming one of Australian Network on Disability’s first member organisations to achieve Disability Confident Recruitment status.
As one of the longest-running Disability Confident Recruiter achievers, there have been some permanent changes made internally in the business as a result of the program.
The Disability Confident Recruiter program has provided us with a structure and framework for action. It has worked really well with how our business operates.
The e-training module is now an essential component of DFP’s induction program for all new permanent staff and the DCR principles are applied habitually – they are part of the fabric of the DFP culture.
Over the course of the six years, there have been many lessons learnt due to the Disability Confident Recruiter status – but one of the biggest things is the understanding of just how diverse both disability and workplace adjustments can be – and, how important it is to let the employee with disability define both things.
There has been a crucial shift in the confidence in our recruitment consultants who are having daily discussions with people regarding their needs and experiences. Our consultants understand the importance of having the person with disability explain, identify and be involved in decisions pertaining to their disability. The reluctance to have such conversations is less and less the case, translating into better experiences for our candidates.
DFP’s clients benefit from their status too, as DFP can have open discussions around diversity objectives and provide insights and share knowledge to support clients to meet their recruitment and onboarding goals.
We have applied our DCR knowledge to the very core of our business from very large scale volume recruitment projects through to short-term contracts. We have gone on to provide assistance and support to our clients as they embark on their own journeys.” says Athena Iliades, National Manager People and Performance
“The DCR program has delivered change, learning and importantly better outcomes for applicants. It has moved the needle on our culture and has anchored the way we do things.
Feedback from their team on DCR has been positive too, with one team leader stating:
My confidence has certainly grown, there was initially fear of saying the wrong thing or causing offence. Disability Confidence Recruiter training has supported me with understanding the use of appropriate language. I now have the confidence of not needing to know all the answers but asking the right questions. Asking questions is key to understanding the type of support or adjustment that is required.
DFP continues to develop DCR best practice by building out accessibility, inclusion and mental health strategies. Such as through the accreditation as a Mental Health First Aid Skilled Workplace and the important strategic appointment in early 2022 of a diversity partnership role dedicated Diversity and Inclusion role.
For other organisations who wish to gain these benefits, DFP has some tips, including consulting with the Australian Network on Disability and assigning an Executive to champion the Disability Confident Recruiter program. Diversity and inclusion should be considered across the entire business and be a standard consideration in planning.
DFP are proud of upholding their DCR practice for the past six years. Athena shares:
We are so pleased to continue our partnership with the Australian Network on Disability and we are committed to supporting our clients in meeting their diversity and inclusion objectives, and to aiding and optimising the candidate experience.”
We congratulate other organisations that are in the process of achieving DCR. Becoming a DCR organisation is more than an initiative. It is a paradigm shift that positively impacts and infiltrates the mindset of all your stakeholders.