Accessible Recruitment and Selection Practices at Enterprise Holdings

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1 MAKING EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES MORE ACCESSIBLE IN ONTARIO Accessible Recruitment and Selection Practices at Enterprise Holdings About This Series This profile is one in a series of case studies that features organizations and their accessible employment practices. The case study profiles are part of a research study The Conference Board of Canada has undertaken to look at accessible employment practices in Ontario. This case study was made possible by the support of the Government of Ontario. We greatly appreciate the time Enterprise Holdings spent participating in this study. The Conference Board of Canada, 2015 Prepared by: Natalie Vacha, Senior Research Associate, The Conference Board of Canada

2 Company Overview Enterprise Holdings was founded in 1957 and today comprises Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo Car Rental. Enterprise operates a large Canadian fleet of approximately 57,171 cars, with roughly 25,767 cars in Ontario alone. In 2014, Enterprise Rent-A-Car ranked first in J.D. Power s Rental Car Satisfaction Study. National and Alamo came in second and tied for third, respectively. Earlier the same year, both Enterprise and National were recognized as J.D. Power Customer Champions. 1 Enterprise employs approximately 2,000 people in Ontario, spread across four operating groups, and has seen first-hand the benefits of a diverse and loyal workforce. 2 It therefore strives to mirror the diversity of the communities it serves, with the goal of creating growth, and enhancing innovation and customer service. It believes that to retain its leadership position, it must ensure that all employees receive appropriate accommodations that will allow them to succeed. Enterprise Holdings has until January 2016 to comply with Ontario s accessibility laws. However, given the high volume of hiring it does throughout Ontario, Enterprise has already begun incorporating the new standards into existing practices. Recruitment and Selection Initiatives Every Stage, Each Candidate One of the key requirements of the standards for employment in Ontario s new accessibility regulations is that employers should notify prospective and current employees about the availability of accommodations for people with disabilities during their recruitment processes. 3 For Enterprise, this has led to some simple adjustments to current practices. Since Enterprise is a large, multi-location company, the multiple steps in the selection process may vary by location and role. Nevertheless, at all stages in the process, the company must notify all candidates, both verbally and in writing, that accommodations for a disability are available on request. The aim of this requirement is to help applicants feel comfortable discussing accommodation, regardless of where they are in the hiring process. As part of this initiative, recruiters at Enterprise always reiterate to candidates at the end of every formal conversation that they can discuss any of their accommodation needs. This is important, as individuals with disabilities are often uncomfortable disclosing their needs. Talent acquisition specialists at Enterprise are also adding the accommodation phrasing and notices to all phone scripts, verbal invitations for interview, and follow-up s. 1 Alison Cross, Recruitment Outreach and Selection, Making Employment Practices More Accessible in Ontario. Workshop held at Ottawa, November 27, Ibid. 3 See section 22 of the standards concerning employment within the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. The Conference Board of Canada,

3 At Enterprise, the recruitment protocol is as follows: correspondence confirms interview locations and times. Talent acquisition specialists add the accommodation phrasing to phone screening scripts and to all verbal invitations for interviews. Enterprise carries out the interview process: o applicant screening o phone screening o first interview (phone or in person) o second on-site interview (includes branch observation) o final interview (phone or in person) Interviewing The interview process may involve meetings with multiple interviewers at multiple locations. Since various locations have different levels of accessibility, Enterprise gives the candidates details in advance so that they have an opportunity to initiate a request for accommodation and start the discussion. Hiring managers are kept informed of the details of the accommodation that are relevant to them. Implementation of Changes Training To introduce these changes to the recruitment process, Enterprise launched several communications and training initiatives. At Enterprise, training regarding accommodation needs happens at all levels and for multiple points of contact in the interview process. It starts with front-line staff (such as receptionists or security personnel), who greet the candidates and direct them where to sit. Not only are these employees a first point of contact, but accommodation may also be required at that time, and staff need to know how to handle it appropriately. This is also the candidates first impression of the organization. If handled properly, it is a wonderful opportunity to set the tone and present the organization as an employer of choice. Training should not stop at the front line. All employees who assist with recruiting should be involved, including the following: recruiters and talent acquisition specialists hiring managers at all levels (those who actually make hiring decisions) selection committees administrative assistants, greeters, and front-line staff Everyone needs to understand what accommodation means and how to conduct a biasfree interview (where applicable). The goal of the training is to create a welcoming and safe environment where the focus is on evaluating talent and abilities, not managing the accommodation. Employees should also be trained to understand prejudice, stereotyping, and bias, to ensure a fair and equitable process for everyone. The Conference Board of Canada,

4 Enhancing Current Equity Communications Like many employers, Enterprise already clearly displays its commitment to employment equity on its website. Therefore, complying with accessibility regulations can be as straightforward as adding a line to this statement to notify candidates that accommodations are available throughout the application and hiring process. Below is an example of Enterprise's suggested enhancement to its current statement. Current phrasing: Go with a team that sets a high standard when it comes to employment equity. Go with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. We actively encourage applications from qualified men and women, including Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities. Suggested addition: Enterprise Rent-A-Car is committed to providing accommodations throughout the interview and employment process. If you require an accommodation, we will work with you to meet your needs. In addition, Enterprise also includes a notice on all job ads posted on websites other than its careers site. The notice provides a short-form reference to its employment equity commitment and is positioned so that it can be seen as soon as someone clicks the associated link. A point-form phrase regarding accommodation availability could be added to it to provide candidates with accessibility information. Current job posting notice: We are an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V. Suggested addition: Accommodations are available at all stages of the employment process. 4 Challenges Common challenges encountered by internal participants in the recruitment and selection process include the following: fear of doing or saying something offensive sense of lack of control over the process fear of not handling an accommodation perfectly uncertainty when interacting with third-party service providers Alison Cross, Human Resources Manager with Enterprise Holdings, says some people may worry that they will cause offence by offering accommodation. However, if notice of accommodation is provided to everyone in a fair and equitable way, no one will be singled out. Cross says people should be consistent and should remember that most disabilities are invisible. Training can help employees feel more in control of the process, as they can refer to and rely on their training if they feel unsure. Of course, follow-up is 4 Cross, Recruitment Outreach and Selection. M/F/D/V, meaning male, female, disabled, and veterans, is a short form more commonly used in the U.S. than in Canada. The Conference Board of Canada,

5 important to ensure compliance and resolve any lingering doubts, fears, or misperceptions. In Enterprise s experience, not all accommodations succeed instantly, but adjustments can be made. As long as recruiters ask candidates whether the accommodations are working, there will be an opportunity to correct any oversights. It is better to ask during the process whether an accommodation is suitable than to find out after the fact that a candidate felt he or she did not succeed because the accommodation was not appropriate. The service providers who assist job seekers, or agencies that support individuals with specific types of disabilities, are very open to questions. They can be contacted in advance to determine what, if anything, the interviewing team should consider. Solutions and Keys to Success Examples of Accommodations Accommodations can include many kinds of assistance, from offering additional test time or providing forms in Braille to having a support person attend the interview. Enterprise understands that a fundamental tenet of effective accommodation is collaboration between the employer and the candidate. Members of the recruiting team may suggest a variety of accommodations they have used effectively in the past, understanding that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. A successful accommodation for one person may not be as effective for someone else with a similar disability. The best practice at Enterprise is to give candidates a chance to outline their needs before the recruiting team offers solutions. The candidate will often know best which accommodations will be effective. Thus, there is a much better chance that the accommodations will appropriately take into account the candidate s needs. How to Reach This Untapped Pool of Candidates Before the accommodation process starts, applicants must be recruited. Community outreach agencies can be an excellent resource for sourcing potential candidates. Many community outreach agencies bring together prospective employees, employers, service providers, and the community to find meaningful employment for people with disabilities. In addition, these service providers will often provide invaluable assistance in accommodating, on-boarding, and training their candidates, providing a head start for organizations that want to seriously pursue applicants in this underutilized but highpotential applicant pool. Enterprise has found that complying with accessibility regulations need not be complicated or stressful. Simple modifications to current practices are often the most effective. These can include editing phone scripts and invitations, or providing a candidate with logistical information in advance. Further, by simply reiterating to all candidates that accommodations are available, regardless of where they are in the recruitment cycle, Enterprise caused a subtle but powerful shift in the process. Rather than being seen as a checkbox in the early stages of recruitment, accommodation was The Conference Board of Canada,

6 naturally woven into the fabric of the recruitment process, fostering open discussion of accommodation at every stage. By taking a proactive and straightforward approach to accommodation, Enterprise has been able to not merely comply with the legislation, but also to connect with candidates and leave them with a strong, positive impression of Enterprise as an employer of choice. The Conference Board of Canada,

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