How Gamified Assessments Help Facilitate Hiring of Differently-Abled Employees

Written By Neha Ahmed

Only by acknowledging and removing barriers can organizations ensure that they hire inclusively and not conveniently. Having a fully inclusive and accessible hiring strategy as well as an in-work environment leads to a better candidate experience and richer talent in the pipeline while removing bias against differently-abled employees.

Breaking Barriers: Fixing Bias Against Differently-Abled Employees

A study released by University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business and local nonprofit manufacturing company MDI verifies what most of us think: People with disabilities encounter implicit bias, thus find it difficult to enter the workforce.

And we all know that implicit biases don’t appear out of thin air – biases are shaped with others’ attitudes, cultural conditioning, media portrayals and upbringing. Unfortunately, our society shuns differently-abled people.

The Way Forward to Fix the Bias Against Differently-Abled Employees 

“Companies that champion disability inclusion significantly outperform their peers across key financial indices including revenue, net income, profit margins and shareholder returns,” Ted Kennedy, Jr. Disability rights attorney and Board Chair, the American Association of People with Disabilities.

There are plenty of ways to try and change policies and practices and make workplaces more accessible. From making facilities infrastructurally more accessible, creating flexible HR policies, restructuring jobs to suit the person with a disability (not the other way around), and providing written job instructions, transportation accommodations and modified equipment.

Besides, companies can also work towards having flexible work schedules, telecommuting, and redesign workstations ergonomically.

Coming to unconscious bias, even though it is developed and maintained by the brain’s automatic sorting process, there are ways to mitigate against its effects and take action to change attitudes and reduce inequalities for people with disabilities.

An important way of challenging attitudinal barriers while also addressing bias against persons with disabilities, requires hiring managers to be educated about the myths and realities of employing people with disabilities. Managers must be educated and sensitized to the realities of working with persons with disabilities to reduce bias. 

In a survey of Fortune 500 companies (1991), it was found that greater exposure to people with disabilities is associated with more positive attitudes towards them. For example, respondents from high exposure organizations believed that disability wasn’t associated with higher absenteeism or lower career advancement. Respondents from these organizations were also more likely to mention working from home and buddy systems to help people with disabilities.

A person-centered approach that considers each and every person in the group as an individual, looking at what each person can benefit from, regardless of disability, to perform their best, can also help in creating an inclusive workforce that taps the hidden talents of people with disabilities.

Using Gamified Assessments to Hire Differently-Abled Employees

While recruiters remain focused on hiring available candidates as rapidly as possible, the organizations they work for want to ensure that those hires are a good fit and don’t quickly leave for greener pastures.

As a result, employers are using assessments not just for leadership positions but also for customer-facing roles and positions requiring high-volume hiring. Some also have started using them to evaluate the ability of existing employees to assume new or expanded roles.

Regardless of who is being tested, innovations from startups as well as established players in the assessment space consolidate steps in the screening process, evaluate candidates in new ways and, in some cases, reduce bias in the hiring process.

For example, “The ability to accurately score unstructured data gives assessment providers many more data points than just the outcome of a multiple-choice test. Collecting those data points in a video interview or other format allows providers to deliver accurate results in a smaller time period than in the past. What may have been an hourlong assessment can sometimes now take 20 to 25 minutes."

The Talent Games is among the assessment providers using machine intelligence and deep learning to capture and analyze such data points. The company eradicates bias using gamified assessments, facilitating the hiring of a more inclusive workforce.

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