Victoria Police have a core belief and value of hiring the right person for the right role and are committed to inclusive and accessible employment. With over 1,000 roles advertises annually Victoria Police are proud to join the ranks as a Disability Confident Recruiter (DCR).
The Disability Confident Recruiter program opens up the organsiation to a wider talent pool and ensuring candidates with disability are not exempt from applying by removing systemic barriers within the recruitment process. The goal of the program is to educate organisations on achieving inclusive and accessible recruitment.
For Victoria Police, it was the Natale Cutri, the chair of VP Enablers, the disability employee network, that highlighted the barriers of recruitment with the Executive Leadership team for not only himself, but other employees with disability.
With existing relationships already formed with Job Access and DES Providers, and the goal of addressing and improving the recruitment practices of the Victorian Public Sector and Police Custody Officers, the Executive Director Human Resource Department committed to the DCR program.
Through completing the program, Victoria Polices’ Recruitment team was able to shift their mindset to include diversity and inclusion as part of their business-as-usual approach. The team are now well-versed in the workplace adjustments they can offer to assist applicants and future employees of Victoria Police and were surprised to find out how simple it was.
“The Recruitment teams passion increased for all things around diversity and inclusion, as did our dedication to get it right, even when having to challenge some hard to convince managers.” — Kristine Tofful, VPS & Executive Recruitment. “It is quite simple to start thinking in terms of diversity and inclusion – it’s just about changing your mindset. It’s simply a case of getting the right person for the job.”
Some of the practical changes that came after completion of the program were changes to email templates and updates to the website to ensure accessibility. The team:
- updated the Victoria Police website to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (with plans to follow up to meet 2.1 WCAG standards)
- ensured copy on the website was people-first (‘people with disability’)
- ensured PDFs were available in an accessible format.
But the DCR program also inspired the introduction of training, education and engagement with hiring managers revolving around disability confident recruitment.
Long-term, Victoria Police are including Disability Confident Recruiter training in the online induction for new recruiters. The organisation is also looking at potentially running more recruitment events based around DCR.
Through DCR, Victoria Police are aiming to become an employer of choice, ensuring that they are hiring the right people for the right roles. Through the program, the organisation is wanting to reflect the community they serve, in line with the Victoria Police values.
Becoming a disability confident recruiter is one step in the right direction in their journey of becoming an inclusive employer.