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Becoming an Inclusive Employer: How to Get Started

June 08, 2016

Sometimes the hardest step is the first one. When it comes to being a more inclusive employer – one that makes a concerted effort to diversity its hiring processes – there are a few good ways to start the conversation and eventually take action.

Keep these items in mind when you’re determining a plan to begin making a greater effort toward hiring people with disabilities.

Determine your need

Deciding to join the many businesses in South Dakota who have embraced hiring of people with disabilities might stem from a variety of reasons. Are you looking to diversify your team or bring on new, fresh talent with an eager desire to succeed? Are you attracted to the positive PR that comes with the territory or maybe the tax incentives? No matter the need your business is facing, there’s reason enough to take advantage of the huge, untapped workforce in the state’s population of people with disabilities.

Identify opportunities

One step toward becoming more inclusive as an employer is to identify the areas in which you could improve. Is your workplace completely ADA-compliant, do you take time to educate your employees through sensitivity or inclusivity training and do your job listings make clear that you are an equal-opportunity employer? Take every opportunity to do things a little better – there’s always room for growth when it comes to making your business attractive to people from all walks of life.

Know the benefits

Half the battle in deciding to make a positive change to your business is getting know the benefits of making said positive change. What does hiring people with disabilities offer your business, from morale and culture to your bottom line? There are myriad reasons a business should consider hiring people with disabilities, including higher retention rates, equal or higher job performance, decreased absenteeism and the favorable impression that comes with an organization who is an inclusive hirer.

Get support

Once you’ve decided to take steps to making your workplace more inclusive of people with disabilities, you have a multitude of resources available to you. Ability for Hire is just a phone call or email away at 605.626.2398 or kimberly.hoberg@state.sd.us. And if you’re in Sioux Falls or Rapid City, you’re in luck – there are local resources available to you as well, including the Sioux Falls Business Resource Network and the Workforce Diversity Network of the Black Hills.


If you’re ready to start the process, it’s as simple as filling out the contact form on AbilityForHire.com – get in touch, and we’ll provide you with the tools you need to make it happen.

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