Employer Engagement Standards and Protocols

Professionals working in the field of Supported Employment / Employment Inclusion recognize that employment service outcomes for people with disabilities require the engagement and participation of an employer. Although the foundation of the work of Service Providers is to assist people with disabilities to identify, pursue, acquire and maintain employment – employers must be equally served through this work and through a service commitment to them.

Service Providers assist businesses with many elements of diversity management including recruitment, onboarding and retention. Service Providers also play a role in building employer capacity around Diversity and Inclusion. It is important that Service Providers reflect a strong ‘service ethic’ which includes an understanding of the business as well as demonstrating responsiveness to their personnel management needs.

Hire for Talent does not have authority over Service Providers, however, where employer engagement has been facilitated through the Hire for Talent initiative (including website promotion, events and Workplace Inclusion Partnerships), affiliated Service Providers agree to the following minimum employer engagement / service standards:

Service Alignment with Business Needs:

  1. Develop services and train staff to be effective ‘workplace inclusion resources’ to employers
  2. Explore and verify talent, skills, readiness, employment goals and job targets of candidates along with any accommodations or supports required to facilitate employment success
  3. Ensure that requisite resources are in place to effectively support the prospective candidate and employer with recruitment, onboarding and employment retention
  4. Ensure that staff reflect collaborative ‘customer service’ values and etiquette with employers


  1. Become familiar with business’ personnel needs, operations and work culture
  2. Provide resources and accurate information to assist employers with inclusive recruitment
  3. Facilitate ‘talent-matching’ – bringing the best candidate forward for the specific workplace
  4. Assist employers with interviews in terms of communication accommodation and facilitating information exchange, as per the employers’ and candidates’ needs and wishes


  1. Provide detailed information to the employer about the range and scope of services available
  2. Verify and document job description, performance and workplace culture expectations
  3. Support the employee to understand and meet performance and culture expectations
  4. Assist with the identification and engagement of mentors and natural supports
  5. Augment (where required) the employer’s usual training and orientation processes
  6. Consult / advise around reasonable accommodation where required and ensure documentation


  1. Communicate their role in supporting retention and inclusion to employers
  2. Document the employer’s service expectations re accessibility, resources and the amount and type of contact (in keeping with the initial service model presented to the employer)
  3. Engage in regular discussions with employers to assess satisfaction, success and challenges
  4. Engage directly (when required or requested) to assist with training or other interventions
  5. Engage directly around changes to duties, supervision or processes to ensure job retention
  6. Advocate and facilitate resolution where concerns arise for employer or employee
  7. Remain accessible and responsive to employers. It is essential that service providers listed on the Hire for Talent directory respond to employer inquiries within a maximum of 48 hours (2 business days).
Adapted from the Calgary Employment First Network