At RAS, we believe that successful talent management starts with the right recruitment and selection.
We recently received a letter from the Aldingbourne Trust in relation to the recruitment experience of one of our newest colleagues and their appreciation of one of our Recruitment Advisors…
“My name is Debbie Mott, I work for the Aldingbourne Trust, in the WorkAid team, our head office is based at our Country Centre site in Fontwell, near Chichester, West Sussex.
I work with a team of employment consultants who are based throughout various locations in West Sussex. We specifically work with adults who are anywhere on the spectrum of learning disabilities and autism. In my work I offer holistic and personalised support to adults looking to gain fulfilling and sustainable paid employment.
Our client’s come from a variety of employment backgrounds, from those who may be looking for their first paid job right through to those finding the next steps in their careers, but they are all very keen and determined to succeed in all they set out to achieve; they are just looking for the chance to fulfil their career goals and aspirations.
K came to Work Aid in early 2020 after finishing his full-time education in a catering training establishment after which K had been looking for work for several months. K used our support to access a volunteer opportunity within a local charity shop where he was able to build on his existing transferable skills as well as gaining many new skills, including raising his own confidence within a workplace.
Determined to keep looking for appropriate paid work and seeing how COVID-19 was having a large impact of the hospitality industry, he set out to look for new opportunities.
Together we came across a position advertised by Retail & Asset Solutions (RAS) who were for retail stocktakers.
K applied for the job and submitted his CV. He was very open and honest about his lifelong disability, which K has always been keen to do.
K heard back early on in his application to say that he had been successful so far and was offered an online interview with Simone White-Yule. He was nervous, though keen to make a good impression. A couple of days later the online interview took place, and I supported K to make a request around reasonable adjustments, which prompted Simone to call following the interview.
In this call I learned that Simone understood autism and with this was therefore able to appreciate some of the assets that people with autism can bring to a workplace, qualities that many organisations consider valuable, such as high levels of enthusiasm, areas of expertise, reliability with added attention to detail and a sought-after ability to work in a consistent environment. Simone was able to set aside the standard expectations placed upon an application, such as one having an extensive working history. We openly discussed possible concerns, about how K would cope in some situations such as with his understanding of routine and assignment commitments, and together we were able to talk these through and find solutions.
Simone was keen to see if she could advocate on K’s behalf to consider offering him the role. With her tenacity, understanding and the desire to also see K succeed, she was able to be the key link to K securing employment.
K was soon offered a job start! K himself was ecstatic as he had also appreciated how Simone had presented him with the honesty and integrity his application deserved. Simone had not just managed to secure K paid employment, but had renewed K’s faith in the process of application where a disability is disclosed. A true acknowledgement that when reasonable adjustments are put into place at the very start of the application process, how a pool of talent can be accessed without unnecessary assumption, stereotyping, bias, and discrimination.
Many people with a disability will suspect being honest and open about disability can disadvantage them in applying for jobs, and because of this, many often choose not to disclose their disability.
Three in five UK employees have experienced disability bias (hrmagazine.co.uk) and there still appears still to be many myths surrounding disability in that it may cost employers additional monies and that a disability means ill health, especially where the disability is often ‘unseen’.
Throughout K’s application RAS demonstrated that they clearly have diversity, inclusion, and employee engagement strategies at the forefront of their work with practice policies that are set out to remove any unfair discrimination. Simone certainly approached K’s application in a way which has contributed to an open and inclusive workplace culture, especially when making reasonable adjustments in the selection process.
RAS are championing positive action to address a current under-representation among disabled people in the workforce, and in doing so are building a culture where every candidate is valued and it is true that a corporate image and reputation can be enhanced when working in an inclusive way.
Keep up the wonderful work RAS! we certainly look forward to working with you again in the future!
"After years of struggling with anxiety and depression which dictated my life in every way imaginable, I have found I started to progress when I joined the gym in July 2018. The process of changes in my life started to develop. I started seeing my employment consultant in Spring 2019 and we discussed different possibilities of me moving forward with my life and what career I would look at participating in. My employment consultant found a Gym Instructor Course at a local College which led onto a Level 3 Personal Training Course, I felt with my employer consultant's support I was able to give this a try. We both visited the college as I was too nervous to go on my own, we both made it clear that initially I would need some extra support at least. I started my course and flourished very quickly, I passed the course and then started and completed the Level 3 Course. I am now a qualified Personal Trainer starting my own business. If it wasn’t the help and support of my employment consultant at the start, I wouldn’t of made that first course. She was kind, patient but most importantly she believed me and I will be forever great full for the support she gave me.''
''The support the Aldingbourne Trust has given me has helped me find paid employment and in particular to keep up my motivation to continue job searching and to continue to keep learning during the lockdowns where little job advertising was going on. I have been helped by my support worker in having a friendly and understanding ear to count on when ever I had an issue I wasn’t able to resolve myself.''
''I have found the support I’ve been given has really helped me with my confidence having had a major setback after my last job.
I am very happy that I am doing my course at B's and I am also doing a course for Sussex Aspire.
Doing an online course is very different but it actually works really well.
I feel comfortable talking with my employment consultant, and I feel she puts a lot of care into her role.
The current circumstances regarding Covid are difficult, but I am getting by with the support that I can. I look forward to the future after Covid and receiving the vaccination and being able to get back into employment.
I look forward to working more with employment consultant and benefitting from all the support she gives."
WorkAid at the Aldingbourne Trust run a service to match adults with learning disabilities and/or autism with suitable work placements. By getting to know our clients, we find out what they are passionate about and focus on the abilities of the individual, looking for suitable employment opportunities within the local community.
We are really pleased to announce that we have assisted 45 people into fabulous new jobs, and 5 people into training, since April 1st.. Bearing in mind the lock down we think this is great news and something to celebrate. They have got jobs in the care, retail, office and warehouse sectors.
Sarah has continued to support me, as there has been a lot to learn, but now I am feeling more confident and am glad to be back at work.”
We are very aware of the need for good health and safety practices for our clients, their employers and our staff. If you are interested in receiving our support, or know of someone else who may, please rest assured that risks are assessed, and appropriate support is given. More information on what we can do and eligibility criteria are contained in the flyer attached.
We can talk to you over the phone, or meet virtually by using Whats App, Skype, Zoom or any other app you may like to use. We can also meet in the open air in a socially distanced way if that is better for you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.
WorkAid 01243 546035 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Workability 01903 730044 / email@example.com
We look forward to hearing from you.
From all of us at Impact Workability and WorkAid, delivering Supported Employment West Sussex (SEWS).