Having experienced success with job redesign to hire people with disabilities, United Overseas Bank (UOB) is taking inclusiveness one step further, by helping enable more inclusive hiring practices in businesses.
Just this week, the bank has announced a first of its kind collaboration among the public, private, and people sectors in Singapore to form ‘The Unlimited’ initiative.
Under the new initiative, UOB is partnering SG Enable, Autism Resource Centre (ARC), Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) and SPD to connect businesses with people with disabilities for suitable and sustainable employment.
Surveying 220 key decision-makers at companies in Singapore, UOB found that two-thirds would hire people with disabilities if provided with sufficient guidance on the hiring process.
Hence, ‘The Unlimited’ aims to encourage companies, starting with UOB’s corporate clients, to take the first step and to facilitate the process of hiring for interested companies. A pilot of UOB’s inclusive hiring initiative was commenced in July 2017 where the bank successfully facilitated the employment of people with disabilities by three companies from the food and beverage, hospitality and manufacturing industries.
A tripartite employment model
Under ‘The Unlimited’, UOB acts as the private sector catalyst for inclusive hiring, engaging companies to raise their awareness and to generate interest in the hiring of people with disabilities.
Interested companies can first conduct an online self-assessment of their readiness for inclusive hiring using the Workplace Disability Inclusive Index.
UOB then links up these companies with SG Enable, which will in turn work with the ARC, MINDS and SPD to identify suitable candidates for the job roles.
SG Enable, along with ARC, MINDS or SPD, will provide training and support for both the employer and employee before, during and after the hiring process.
SG Enable will also administer to eligible employers relevant grants under the Open Door Programme, a government-funded initiative by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Workforce Singapore.
UOB’s success story
Since 2013, UOB has been hiring people with disabilities at the UOB Scan Hub, its nerve centre for checking, digitisation and archiving of customer documents.
Their attention to detail and high levels of concentration and accuracy have helped improved UOB Scan Hub’s productivity and employee retention rates. Turnover rate has been reduced from 50% to 5% between 2015 and 2018. Further, average productivity increased from 76.1% in 2015 to over 100% in 2018.
Currently, about 30% of UOB Scan Hub colleagues are people with autism or hearing impairment.