Sean Callaghan speaking in video:
Hi, I’m Sean Callaghan. I’m General Manager with Sodexo Canada in the Corporate Division.
Eight years ago I was contacted by a company who was looking to place one of their autistic people in the workforce and being raised where you know there’s the right thing to do, give back to the community. I felt I should pursue this further which I did. I hired the young man and he’s – I call him my ground zero.
The experience was great. Right off the right off the bat I could see the value in hiring a person with a disability. At first it was for here [Sean points to his heart] and then after a while I started seeing the benefits here [Sean points to his head] and from a business perspective. I saw the value that it brought both financially, that goes right to our bottom line, as well as the impact on the staff, the operation. Just tremendous.
It changed how I looked at people when I hired people and when I interviewed them. I know that when I interview people with disabilities that they have those hidden attributes: the dependability; the loyalty; the honesty; the teamwork; the respect; they’re more likely to be on time; they show up for work, they actually show up quite early.
I’m very proud to say that about twenty to twenty-five percent of our current workforce are employees with a disclosed disability.
The way we hire persons with disabilities is we have partnered with a company called The Bennett Edge and The Bennett Edge is a placement company. They will come out to our location, or any location, and they will see what your needs are, what pieces of the puzzle you’re looking for. Then they will look at their bench or their resources and they will find that piece of the puzzle that will fit with your operation.
I think that employers need to realize that it’s a business decision, it’s not about giving back to the community. If they want to be successful they need to consider hiring someone with a disability.
It makes business sense, it makes your job easier, and it makes your operation run smoother, your customers come back – they’re more loyal, and at the end of the day it hits your profit line.