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The federal government is the nation’s largest employer and provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities. To live up to the reputation of a model employer, it is imperative for agencies to improve efforts to recruit, hire, retain, and promote employees with disabilities. Each year, the EEOC releases an annual report to inform the President and Congress of the state of equal employment opportunity in the federal workforce.
At the agency headquarters, a full-time Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC) or a Disability Program Manager (DPM) ensures the agency demonstrates its commitment and streamlines the federal hiring process through the Schedule A hiring authority for persons with disabilities. In addition, this individual will advise and report to senior management and participate in Schedule A training to support people with disabilities. This training includes requirements and responsibilities for federal agencies to recruit, hire, and train individuals with disabilities. Schedule A training helps agencies analyze workforce representation and develop recruitment strategies to reach individuals with disabilities. This training is currently offered by EEOC.
To navigate Schedule A federal employee requirements, consider the following:
Review relevant information.
All employment information and recruitment materials should be reviewed to ensure proper accessibility for people with disabilities. Review, update and post information on the agency’s internet and intranet sites. For example, compliance requires screen-reader compatibility and information made available in formats such as large print or Braille for the seeing-impaired. Disabled candidates should be given every opportunity to present themselves at every phase of the hiring process.
Conduct a job analysis.
Review the eligibility criteria for the agency-specific qualification standards for positions. Identify guidelines and standards that are unnecessarily restrictive and would exclude people with disabilities. Revise standards to meet the rules and requirements of the job to accommodate Schedule A employees. Equally important, hiring managers must understand the federal hiring process in order to help candidates succeed and navigate the path to federal employment.
Communicate job announcements effectively.
In easy to understand terms, each job announcement should communicate clearly the required qualifications and duties of the position. In addition, it is the responsibility of the agency to make known their intent for reasonable accommodations for qualified job applicants and employees with disabilities. Most importantly, all job announcements should include a statement that the agency is an equal opportunity employer and encourages candidates with disabilities to apply.
Understand the rules. Identify and eliminate any barriers to recruitment and onboarding individuals with disabilities. Review the EEOC Management Directive with local EEO or Civil Rights office to collect, maintain, and analyze the flow of applicants. Agencies can examine recruitment and hiring practices to determine where improvements can be made.
Present the facts.
Pull together information that explains the federal hiring process to outreach partners and others in the hiring sphere of influence. Include specifics about where the Schedule A federal employee fits into the operation. Correspondingly, create a similar fact sheet for hiring managers within the agency. Take it a step further and demonstrate the commitment to the federal hiring process and direct candidates through the recruitment and hiring process.
Increase your human capital and seek qualified candidates to include people with disabilities. Acendre can help you recruit, train, and manage Schedule A federal employees. Learn how, contact us today!