Workbridge: Disabled workers recruitment services and funding
Workbridge is an incorporated society and a not-for-profit organisation that works with disabled jobseekers to help them find employment.
It also works with employers and enjoys a variety of links to the business community through its governing council, which includes representatives from Business New Zealand and the Human Resource Institute of New Zealand, among others.
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Workbridge primarily works with jobseekers to help them fulfil their potential through tailored approaches suited to the individual needs of each person, but it also works with employers.
Employers can contact Workbridge to help select candidates to fill vacant staff positions and find out about any potential changes (accommodations) required in the workplace or work practices to help a disabled person carry out a job.
Workbridge also contacts employers on behalf of disabled jobseekers and provides support by accompanying them to interviews if necessary.
If you are interested in taking on a disabled employee, Workbridge will assign you an employment consultant who can help you to determine core job tasks and identify essential and desirable job criteria.
They will meet with you to:
- learn more about your business and the factors related to the industry
- discuss the position(s) you have available and the key tasks of the job
- learn about the culture of your workplace
- profile potential candidates.
If the employment consultant already has jobseekers who are likely to be interested in the position, they will talk to them about your vacancy.
You will then:
- receive the CVs of all candidates who meet the essential job criteria
- have the opportunity to ask the employment consultant about any aspects related to disability that you may have questions about.
If relevant, and with the person’s consent, the employment consultant may discuss the candidate’s disability with you.
If Workbridge do not have any suitable candidates for your position, they will give you the option of forwarding the details of the position to another recruitment agency in your area. This is part of their commitment to providing excellent service to employers.
Workbridge will help candidates prepare for interviews and/or interview assessments. In some cases, your employment consultant will request to attend the interview to support the candidate. They will not answer for the person but will provide support to people who lack self-confidence, have limited interview experience or who need help to understand the questions.
You should seek advice from employment consultants on good interview practices for disabled candidates. For example, how to approach the subject of disability at an interview if you have no previous experience.
Some candidates with hearing or speech impairments may need a NZ Sign Language interpreter. Workbridge will organise this and help you through the process.
Following the interview, your employment consultant will discuss any additional questions you may have. This may include any potential accommodations to enable the candidate to fill the position.
- Where changes to the physical environment are needed, or specialist equipment is required, your employment consultant will help you access funding for these accommodations.
- If a support person is needed, the employment consultant can help arrange their recruitment and training.
In most cases, accommodations are not needed.
Your employment consultant will be on hand to help the new employee settle in as quickly as possible. If required, they may come with the new employee on their first day. They can also make brief telephone calls or site visits to discuss progress.
Should you have any problems or questions, or simply want to talk through a workplace issue with someone, they will be at the end of the phone.
Workbridge strives to provide a high-quality, timely and professional service to employers and appreciates feedback to help the organisation continually improve.