Mental health and talent acquisition: positive steps

Susie Schofield

In our previous post Susie Schofield reported on the experience of Rob, one of our candidates. Here she continues the conversation, focusing on public issues.

Unfortunately, the reality for many people who have a mental health condition or a disability is harsh.

According to a report from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) three-quarters of people with long-term mental illness are unemployed.

According to a survey, by Rethink Mental Illness, of 500 hiring decision-makers:

  • Over four-fifths would worry that someone with a severe mental illness would not be able to cope with the demands of their job.
  • Two-thirds were concerned that someone with a severe mental illness would not fit in with the rest of their team, and
  • three-quarters suspected someone with a severe mental illness would need to take lots of time off.

According to the charity said that this adds to the barrier keeping people with mental illnesses out of the workplace.

Disability Confident Scheme

But there is help available if you know where to look.

Rob tells us about the government’s Disability Confident Scheme, a scheme to support organisations’ employment of disabled people. In 2015 the UK government pledged to halve the disability employment gap by 2020. A scheme to help employers recruit and retain disabled workers is the Disability Confident Scheme. It helps employers think differently about disability, and improve how they attract, recruit and retain disabled workers.

Rob tells us about one of the scheme’s initiatives, the Guaranteed Interview Scheme, which allows anyone with a disability to ask to be considered for a guaranteed invitation to interview.

Rob explains that on this scheme:

as long as you meet 60% of the job’s person specification, the employer guarantees you an interview; it’s little known about but there are a few organisations which do it – for example, the NHS, local government, charities, academic institutions.

You’ll need to check with your prospective employer when you apply for a job.

Useful links

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