Breaking through the diversity barrier

If you have a disability or come from a diverse background and you are looking for a job, the first step is to actively target organisations which are demonstrating a commitment to diversity in the workplace. A good place to start is to research organisations that are doing positive work in this area by conducting an online search and identifying those that have been recognised as an Employer of Choice, or looking for companies that have gained a profile in the media or local community for being an employer that supports diversity and inclusivity.

Be flexible to break through any barriers. Some employers may be more open to hiring if you suggest you begin working part time or as a temporary employee. Once you show your value, your commitment and your loyalty to the organisation, an employer may be inclined to increase your hours and employ you on a more permanent basis.

Don't be shy to tell a potential employer about the value you would bring to the organisation. Employers are increasingly realising the value of employing a diverse range of staff, so be proud to communicate all the benefits you bring.

Offer to help. Employing people from diverse backgrounds can be a steep learning curve for some organisations and whilst many would like to employ people from diverse backgrounds they may believe it is too difficult or costly. To overcome this, offer to help in this process and you will more than likely win them over.

Remember, the most important thing is to only apply for those jobs for which you can fulfil the inherent requirements. Applying for roles for which you are not qualified will only result in disappointment and will reduce your capacity to put real effort in to those for which you know you meet the key selection criteria.

If you have found your dream job, but believe you may need further training in a particular area, research where to go to receive that training or find out which potential employer may provide such on the job training.

No one should expect employment because of who they are, but because they will be a valuable member of the organisation. So it is important to understand your capacity and value and ensure that is what the employer sees. Focus not on your diversity, but you.

This article was provided by Randstad.