When you’re looking to get into the workforce and need some help, it’s important that you choose the right Disability Employment Services (DES) provider. Every DES provider is different, and each has its unique way of doing things. If you’re considering hiring one, then you’ll want to make sure they’re a good fit for what you’re looking for. In this section, we’ll cover some questions to ask to make sure that your new partner is going to be successful in helping you find work when the time comes for them to do so.
- Ask them about their job-seeking tools and what you can learn from them.
- Ask if they have an online or mobile app that you can use to find jobs and prepare for interviews.
- Ask if they have a resume builder or template that you can use to create your resume and cover letter.
- Ask if they have job search worksheets, tips, or checklists that will help you be successful in your job search (and then use these).
You should ask the provider about their assessment process for determining if you are a suitable candidate for the program. Find out if they use an interview process, what role your assessor plays in that process, and whether or not you will be required to present yourself on video as part of this interview.
Ask about how often you will meet with your job coach and whether or not they’ll have regular contact with you throughout the hiring process. Ask them what role they see themselves playing in getting your resume out there, finding jobs that match your skill set, and making sure that employers know who they’re hiring is someone with a disability.
- Ask about their previous clients.
- Ask them about their workplace culture.
- Ask them about their roles as a disability employment provider and as a disability employment consultant.
- Ask how long they have been in business.
- If they don’t have any statistics on their success rate with the program, ask if you can see some before making a decision about who to choose. You should also ask for information about national statistics so you can compare apples to apples and not just apples to oranges (which is what comparing one provider to another can often look like).
- It’s also worth asking about the average employment period for their clients; if it’s only three months or less, there may be something amiss with what they are doing that needs to be addressed before taking on a job seeker as a client. It could also mean that their clients aren’t staying at work longer than others because of a lack of training opportunities or other factors outside of their control.
When you first meet with the provider, they will likely give you an estimate of how long their process will take and when you can expect to start working. You’ll want to make sure that this is in line with what you’re hoping for. If it’s not, then ask about any steps you could take (like additional education or training) that would speed up the process.
Another important question to ask your disability employment services provider is how they will handle any workplace conflict or misunderstandings. Will they guide you through the process of handling these issues? Do they have a strategy for dealing with these and helping employees work through them?
You should also consider asking about their policy on retaliation. Some providers can be quick to fire employees who file too many complaints, so it’s important to know if there are any limitations on that before signing up for their services.
- Make sure that you are compatible with your DES provider.
Ask them about their workplace culture and about any previous clients they have worked with. Also, ask how they will support you if you encounter discrimination or harassment in the workplace.
- Check their success rate and make sure it’s high! A high success rate means that a lot of people have gone through the programme successfully and gotten training for a job that paid well enough for them to afford a house and pay off their debt.
The most important thing to remember when working with a disability employment services provider is that it isn’t just a business relationship. It is also a personal one, so make sure you find someone who understands your unique needs and will work hard to help you succeed.