While we often highlight the inclusive employers and talented individuals participating in the Jockey Club Collaborative Project for Inclusive Employment – CareER Thriving Grass Career Development Program (Thriving Grass Program), it is important to acknowledge the significant contribution of the CareER Recruitment Team. They are responsible for customizing job matching, providing consultations and counselling to members, delivering training, and offering continuous support to both candidates and inclusive employers throughout the employment period.
Let’s learn more about their experience and being the bridge between employers and CareER members.
📍Can you share with us the demographic of the successfully matched interns this year?
This year, we successfully matched 55 interns. Commercial organizations accounted for 70%, while the remaining 30% consisted of NGOs, local startups, social enterprises, and other entities. Alongside well-established commercial organizations like MTR and LinkREIT, we also had employers from local SMEs, including a noteworthy new employer called Make The Right Call, who joined us this year.
Among the 55 interns this year, we have a diverse range of disabilities or special educational needs (SEN) with different educational backgrounds. We focus on one’s abilities rather than disabilities, and we believe that if the employer can provide reasonable accommodation, people with disabilities or SEN can also showcase their talents.
This year, the largest proportion consisted of students with ADHD. Other categories include students with hearing impairments or visual impairments, among others. Interns with ADHD generally adapt well to the company culture with minimal challenges. However, there may be a need for specific policy accommodations. For instance, interns with ADHD may require a 15-minute break every two hours, after which they can resume work in their assigned positions.
📍Were there any memorable experiences between employers and members?
There were two memorable cases that we would like to share.
The first case revolves around an IT company specializing in data warehousing with whom we began our collaboration years ago. This year, we referred a student to them. Although the student didn’t have a significant interest in the IT industry (he had a slight interest in the IT industry due to his undergraduate studies), the employer invested effort in nurturing this student, who eventually became deeply moved by the experience and decided to remain with the company, aspiring for career development. The employer’s patience and guidance also motivated us to fulfil our responsibilities effectively.
For the second case, we matched an internship for a student with a bank. The student’s outstanding performance in the interview secured the job position. However, as the internship progressed, the employer reached out to us to express concerns about certain inappropriate behaviours the student had exhibited in the workplace. We promptly initiated discussions with the employer to understand the situation comprehensively. Simultaneously, we conducted a thorough interview with the student, providing them with the necessary support and guidance.
Through open and effective communication, as well as aligning everyone’s expectations regarding work, the student successfully addressed and rectified his behaviours, ultimately completing the summer internship successfully. This experience underscores the significance of close communication and swift response, and it also equips us to handle similar situations in an efficient and effective manner.
📍Looking forward, what are your expectations for D&I recruitment?
There is a growing focus on inclusive hiring among businesses and large companies. This trend can be attributed to the increasing number of organizations, such as CareER, that actively promote hiring. We provide valuable opportunities for different companies to engage and explore in this area. As companies utilize our consulting and matching services, they gain practical insights from experiences and successful cases, thus building up their confidence. This trust extends from simply finding suitable candidates beyond the general labour market; they also rely on us to expand their talent pool. We sincerely appreciate the trust and support from employers over the past year. We hope that they will continue to consider and develop more D&I strategies in the future and collaborate with us to create more hiring opportunities.
What’s more, this year, we have noticed that internal corporate culture is gradually adapting. Many companies have shifted their focus to practical aspects, such as ensuring facilities like accessible restrooms or elevators. We hope that in the future, companies will not only prioritize cultural aspects but also pay attention to practical hardware accommodations.
📍Apart from participating companies, is there anything you would like to share with the partnering organizations and students?
We are delighted to continue our partnerships with different coaches this year, ensuring that our students receive comprehensive career guidance. Additionally, we have partnered with two counselling organizations, namely ReSource and Gears, to provide psychological counselling services to support our members in their personal and emotional well-being.
As for the students, we encourage them to maintain belief in their own abilities and not let their differences hinder them. We urge them to take courageous steps forward, as oftentimes, unexpected outcomes can arise. We hope they continue to strive on different levels and let their talents take them further in their journey.