Offering facility tours to your service providers is great way to get everyone on the same page in terms of job specifications, expectations and facility culture. In fact, many employers require that any agency providing candidates for their hiring initiative tour the facility before sending over referrals, with good reason: It sets the stage for helping the agency understand your unique facility, and your company’s specific job requirements, safety requirements, stamina, interaction with managers and coworkers. It can also help ensure that they refer the best candidate for your specific company and job. Of course, this may not be required in a field like banking or retail, for example, where there’s already a basic understanding of the work environment, but it can be especially helpful for manufacturing and distribution centers.

Beyond providing tours for your agency partners, you may receive occasional requests for facility tours from employees’ parents. This isn’t unusual; parents often hear about a distribution center or manufacturing facility and assume the worst — moving equipment, heavy boxes, and a fast-paced and unsafe environment for their son or daughter with a disability.

Try to accommodate these requests for tours whenever possible, and preferably at the same time that agency tours are conducted. It will help eliminate having to arrange multiple tours during the same time period and also let parents discuss the work with agency counselors and case managers.

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