Next in our Meet the Team series we hear from recruitment consultant Adil Ghani, part of TAP’s founding team. Read Adil’s thoughts on his first six months at TAP and what he’s discovered through his experiences.
Everyone has been saying this but it’s true: the past six months have flown by. But on the other hand, I also feel I’ve been working at TAP for much longer as the role feels incredibly natural. It’s been fantastic to meet so many sharp, ambitious candidates as well as organisations eager to make a change, and I can’t wait to meet many more in the coming six months.
It’s also been eye-opening to discover the extent to which our work is needed to precipitate crucial change in the workplace and society. One of the biggest takeaways for me is that though a company or organisation may think they’re ready to tackle disability head on by recruiting individuals with disabilities, often their processes and internal structure isn’t as ready as they believe. It’s vital to get these processes right: closing the disability employment gap isn’t just about getting companies to be willing to hire disabled people, it’s also about retaining disabled workers with the right work environment. If the correct systems aren’t in place then no matter how accessible your hiring practices are, you still won’t achieve an inclusive workplace. Of course, there’s a way of having these conversations, and I’ve learned a lot in how to guide others towards changes whilst not losing their passion for progress which prompted them to reach out in the first place.
Over the past six months it’s become apparent that TAP can provide a great deal of support in this area, consulting with organisations to help them make the right changes which will have lasting effects. It’s been great to help companies make their processes more inclusive, so that when they bring in a more diverse workforce, through ethical hiring models, their new joiners are enabled to do their best. Getting the environment and culture right is absolutely key to true diversity and inclusivity. And it’s key to boosting profit margins too. Not having a diverse workforce means you’re missing out on new, different thinking which is the foundation of creativity and progress.
I learned there’s also work and education to be done around the fear of rejecting those with disabilities. It’s important for businesses and organisations to realise that it’s not that they can’t reject applicants with disabilities - in fact, token hiring won’t achieve authentic inclusivity - but it’s about ensuring they change their processes so they’re not acting as barriers to employment. Regardless of impairment or not, we are all different and not every individual will be a right fit for every company, so this does involve rejecting disabled applicants. But the majority of workplaces currently function with implicit or explicit disability bias which discount disabled applicants and that’s what we need to change.