K&D Warehouse is a Tasmanian-owned retailer of hardware, timber and building materials. The business employs five people with disability whose positions range from delivery drivers to assembly positions and sales assistants.
Darren Reardon, HR Manager for K&D, explains that employing a person with disability is no different to employing any other person. If they have the skills, there is no reason why they would do the job any differently.
Mr Reardon says that one of the benefits of employing people with disability that he has experienced is loyalty. Mr Reardon explains that if you can “give someone the opportunity, they embrace it, staff have a positive attitude, they look forward to coming to work and they want to do the right thing for their employers”. K&D has one staff member who has been working in sales with K&D for over 10 years.
A concern often raised by employers is that OHS may be an issue in the employment of people with disability. However, at K&D, Mr Reardon explains that OHS incidents are less likely to occur as employees are aware of their physical limitations.
Indeed, the Australian Safety and Compensation Council 2007 report highlights that workers with disability have a lower number of OHS incidents compared to other employees.
Consulting with a disability employment service (DES) provider such as WISE Employment before posting your job vacancies out to the public can save you time in employing people with disability.
K&D understands that, when recruiting for any position, it’s often about timing and availability. K&D warehouse needed a driver for five hour shifts five days a week. One of WISE Employment’s jobseekers was hired in this case as they were available to work the required shifts, and showcased that they had the relevant skills for the position.
For employers considering hiring a person with disability, Mr Reardon says, “Give it a go,” and suggests building a good relationship with a disability employment service like WISE Employment. Mr Reardon explains that WISE Employment’s Employer Liaison Officer Andrew Duffy took the time to understand K&D and what worked for them. The employment service also provided additional support along the way, through the recruitment process and during the employment phase.
If you would like to hire staff like K&D Warehouse, contact JobsABILITY to find out how you can access free recruitment services.