Despite common misgivings, there are wide-ranging benefits to hiring people with disabilities – it isn’t just socially good, it is good for business as well.

In fact, companies that are invested in disability inclusion report real business benefits and ROI that extend far beyond goodwill.

Here are seven bottom-line benefits of implementing inclusion efforts and hiring people with disabilities that can help you make the business case for your company:

 

 1. Reduced Turnover

A well-run disability inclusion programs can reduce your turnover by 20-30% compared to other labor pools, lowering costs associated with turnover (such as training time, lost productivity, overtime for other staff, Human Resources and payroll time).

2.  Lower Recruiting Costs

A well-run disability inclusion initiative coordinates and takes advantage of recruiting resources run by states, community-based organizations, and schools, all of which can reduce the need for recruiting with ads and temporary agencies and reduce HR/recruiting department hours.

A disability inclusion program also aims to streamline your hiring and onboarding processes, further reducing on the ground costs of talent acquisition.

3.  Access to an Untapped Labor Pool

Out of the approximately 56 million people with disabilities in the U.S. (19% of the U.S. population), 13.3 million reported difficulty finding a job, but are seeking work and able to do their jobs well.

Within this population, there are capable employees who are able to perform well in any role at your company.

4.  Increased Productivity & Workplace Safety

In the right environments and roles, all employees with disabilities can thrive.

Results from programs have shown that workers with disabilities have equal to or greater productivity and fewer safety incidents compared to other employees. And as retention rates for employees with disabilities are greater, you can expect less productivity loss and liability while new hires get up to speed.

5.  Tax Credits & Incentives

Companies can tap state grants and incentives to set up training programs in partnership with vocational rehabilitation programs, schools and community-based organizations. This means trained workers may be available immediately or with little ramp-up time.

Sites may be eligible for Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC) with direct credits per hire with a disability, plus potential eligibility to Disabled Access Credits to mitigate costs, if any are occurred in providing accommodations. 

Your organization may also be eligible for other credits, such as On-the-Job Training Dollars (OJT) to help support the costs of training new talent, which may vary between states and regions, or transition funds available through some states or school districts to support new hires out of school.

Community partners may help you in finding and accessing credits and incentives eligible through your program in your specific region.

6.  Increased Customer Outreach

By setting up specific disability-related programs and completing a targeted marketing effort, companies can expect an increase in patronage from both the disability community and the growing population of socially conscious consumers.

This is in addition to any customer relations benefit originating in the higher employee engagement from building an inclusive culture, bringing us to our final point: 

7.  Increased Workplace Engagement

Companies who build inclusive workplaces not only prepare them to support people with disabilities, they prepare them to be engaging and affirmative workplaces for all employees.

As a result, employers who implement disability inclusion programs can expect higher employee engagement, with all its myriad benefits, from employees with and without disabilities.

 

With so much potential ROI behind disability inclusion, you might worry that it would be costly and difficult to implement, especially if you don’t know how to tap into talent pools. Fortunately, implementing disability inclusion doesn’t have to be costly or difficult, and talent is far more widely available than you might realize.

 

Related Stories

Disability Employment Implementation: The Steps

From buy-in to a scaled rollout, implementing a disability employment and inclusion hiring program takes time. Here’s a sample timeline.

If there’s one thing all disability employment and inclusion hiring programs have in common, it’s this: implementing them takes time. You’ll need patience and a view of the long game.…

Read More

How Managers Perceive Disability Programs

When it comes to manager perceptions of people with disabilities, there's good news: Things have changed—for the better.

When it comes to manager perceptions of people with disabilities, things have changed—for the better. In fact, perception can be used as a proxy for whether disability employment and inclusion…

Read More

Screening and Interviewing Candidates With Disabilities

Starting your efforts to hire people with disabilities? Consider these four things about the application, screening and interview process.

Depending on how you choose to use them, some or all of the pre-screening processes for hiring people with disabilities may be handled by your agency. But, in general, your…

Read More