Of those surveyed by disability job forum Evenbreak, 15% said they exclusively apply to employers who are renowned as being disability-friendly, and 71% rated employers poorly when it came to empathy and understanding around disability.
Respondents noted a lack of confidence in the recruitment process, which included fears of the process being biased or discriminatory, with comments such as “I don’t know how to find an employer who will take me seriously” common during the research.
Fifty per cent said face-to-face interviews caused them the most distress, and 75% said an obvious lack of interest from interviewers happened regularly.
A lack of confidence in their own abilities was the third biggest barrier to applying for a new job, including anxiety over how employers might perceive them.
One respondent said, “second guessing myself means I often start applications but get too scared to submit them”.
Jane Hatton, director of Evenbreak, said: “It seems that confidence is a huge issue for disabled job seekers – lack of confidence in employers, in the recruitment process and in themselves.”
Yet Hatton said these issues can be easily addressed by employers.
She added: “By becoming, and being seen as, inclusive employers of choice, employers will be able to attract and retain many more talented disabled people. Which in turn helps build the confidence of others.”
The research was carried out by Enactus UCL on behalf of Evenbreak and surveyed 709 UK disabled job seekers.