Evenbreak – the story

Evenbreak came about as a solution to a number of problems rather than a business idea.

As a diversity trainer I had trained many organisations (mostly public sector) in the implications of diversity for employers. When I became too disabled to deliver trainng myself I set up a training company with a team of trainers to deliver diversity training.

One of the issues which regularly cropped up was that some of the employers we were training (who were already going in the right direction by recognising the value of diversity training) were telling us that they understood the benefits of employing disabled people, and would very much like to employ more. However, they were finding it very difficult to attract disabled applicants when they advertised vacancies through their usual recuitment channels. Some of our own shareholders said this was a problem they came across as well.

Meanwhile, disabled job seekers were saying that they struggled to find employers who were enlightened enough to look past their disabilities at what they have to offer. Often their experience was that as soon as they declared their disability, a potential employer would immediately reject them. They were becoming increasing sceptical of employers who called themselves “equal oppportunity employers” or displayed the two ticks disability symbol, as their experience demonstrated that often even these employers didn’t seem able to see the ability for the disability.

So, we had a situation where there were a number (admittedly probably in the minority) of employers who were desperately trying to attract disabled applicants, and many thousands of disabled applicants with the skills those employers were looking for, but somehow they weren’t finding each other. And so Evenbreak was born.

Jane lying next to a lap top showing the Evenbreak websiteNow, employers advertise their vacancies on Evenbreak in addition to their usual recruitment media, confident that they will attract additional disabled applicants to add to the talent pool they choose from. Disabled applicants can apply for jobs, confident that the kind of employer who chooses to advertise on a site which will only attract disabled candidates will be prepared to look at the skills and talents they have to offer.

The idea is simple – a kind of “dating agency” to help inclusive employers and disabled job seekers find each other!

The challenge was to ensure the site was as accessible from a disability perspective as possible. Unable to find an existing accessible job board, Evenbreak was built from scratch, extensively tested throughout as we added each new feature. The final test came when I approached the local Centre for the Blind and asked if their customers could test it for us. I’m thrilled to say that all of the partially-sighted and blind testers were able to register on the site, upload their CVs and navigate around the site looking for jobs completely independently. They told us this was the only job board in the UK they had found which allowed them to do that.

However, we aren’t complacent and are continually looking for ways to make it easy for both candidates and employers to use the site. The most exciting thing is when an inclusive employer finds a candidate form Evenbreak with the skills they are looking for. This is always great news for both the candidate and the employer, and is why Evenbreak exists.

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