Anno 2022, many prejudices still exist about people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired, notices the specialized secondment agency Ctalents. Often these people do not get the chance to show their worth. And when they do get a chance, it is often in a job below their level. Which can lead to job loss. Ctalents has a specialized approach. Of 90 percent of their so-called “sensory talents,” the job is renewed after 1 year. How does Ctalents get that done? Amsterdam – Diverse & Inclusive asked.
Fleur van Puijenbroek, Director of Impact at Ctalents, knows employers’ dilemma all too well. “Practically all new clients find it more than exciting to hire an employee with an auditory or visual impairment. For example, they see risks in performing tasks, merging with the rest of the team and in the development of someone with a work disability.”
Ctalents’ premise is clear. “We believe that everyone’s talent should be truly seen, heard, appreciated and developed to the maximum,” Van Puijenbroek said. “The job seekers we support are highly motivated and very driven to show their added value to a team. They are also often very loyal, given the chance. By matching their personality and talents with companies with regular staffing needs, they can be of essential, added value to various organizations, even in the longer term.”
Linked to that vision of Ctalents are big dreams. The mission statement states that the agency wants to permanently reduce unemployment among people with hearing and/or visual impairments from 70 percent to 20 percent and to do so in a qualitative manner. Van Puijenbroek: “A sustainable job is essential for our misse and for our target group. Therefore, we second for a minimum of one year. We have, leading up to and during employment, regular and personal contact with the candidate and the manager. As a result, we get to know both parties quickly and well, and we can tackle any challenges quickly.”
Ctalents’ approach begins with extensive, personal attention to the candidate and the client. The Recruiters Impact take the time to get to know the candidates. They want to know what they excel at, in which organizations they will come into their own and also what tools are needed to perform their tasks.
Ctalents has long-term collaborations with various organizations, so recruiters know well what matches and what doesn’t. With each vacancy, Ctalents re-engages with the client to get clear on where the must haves are and what personality fits on the team.
Once the match is made, an inspiration session is scheduled with the supervisor, Ctalents’ employee and immediate workplace colleagues. Van Puijenbroek: “That’s a session where we name the elephant in the room: we make sure all the uncomfortable questions are asked and the mutual conversation is opened. The Ctalents employee tells (more) about his/her disability and how communication is efficient and pleasant. Such a session ensures a good start and fine cooperation.”
In addition, Ctalents supports the employer with setting up the workplace, advises on the necessary aids (such as speech or magnification software) or engages one of the partners in this process.
Thinking, looking, doing differently
“In recent years we have demonstrated that there are suitable jobs within every industry for this target group,” said Van Puijenbroek. “Over 400 people have now found jobs through us. We post from MBO-4 to WO level: starters, young and (very) experienced professionals.” Currently, the staffing agency serves employers in various sectors, including business services, financial services and various government agencies. The positions are diverse: from analysts and recruiters to communications officers and project managers. Ctalents would like to see more clients from the social, transportation & logistics and technical sectors.
To employers who want to work with sensory talent, Van Puijenbroek gives this advice: “Be guided by the talent, not by the disability. Dare to think, look and act differently. Because only then will you see that people with a disability are fully-fledged employees. These talents solve your personnel problem and add value to your organization.”
Interested? Make a free appointment about the possibilities within your organization at www.ctalents.nl/advies.