What reasonable adjustments can you ask for during the recruitment process?

4 minutes
Samantha Johnston

By Samantha Johnston

When you are applying for a new role, you will often see on the advert a statement about making reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. But what exactly does reasonable adjustments mean? If an advert doesn't include a statement about reasonable adjustments, can you still ask for these?

The Equality Act defines reasonable adjustments as any form of assistance or adjustment that is necessary, possible and reasonable to reduce or eliminate barriers at work. There is no requirement for this to be advertised or communicated; it is something you could ask for during any recruitment process, with any employer for any role.

So, what does this mean in practice? Every individual is different, and even those with the same disability will have very different experiences of living with that disability, so there can be no one size fits all approach to adjustments. These need to be tailored to your specific needs. If you feel there are barriers to the recruitment process that won't allow you to showcase your full experience, skills, ability, and potential, then those are the things to ask for adjustments on.

A good exercise to do is to make a list of the barriers you typically face or anticipate facing and share them with your recruiter who can support you to identify key adjustments that could be made to the application or interview process. If you are applying directly for a role, contact the recruitment team or HR department. Adjustments are about leveling out the playing field and not about putting you at an advantage. It is about ensuring you are given the chance to confidently perform to the best of your ability throughout the recruitment process (and beyond!).

The adjustments you can ask for are endless, but here are just some examples of adjustments that may be useful for you:

  • Video application instead of a written application
  • Alternative formats to the job advertisement/application form
  • Extra time at the interview
  • Changes to the interview to be online or face to face
  • An accessible interview room
  • Changes to lighting/noise levels
  • Interview questions in advance
  • Interview to be scheduled at a certain time of the day
  • Alternative application and testing formats
  • Assistance if the test is on a computer, such as a larger screen, software, or a person to read for you
  • Asking for a support worker or British Sign Language interpreter

So once you have identified the adjustments you require, how do you request these?

  1. Describe the barriers to the recruitment process in relation to your disability or condition
  2. Explain what adjustments or support you require to be able to showcase your skills, experience, and potential
  3. Be clear, confident, and try not to make assumptions about what someone may or should know about your disability or condition and the related adjustments that could help you

All employers must consider making reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process if you ask for them. Employers are looking to recruit the best talent in the sector and will want you to be able to showcase your full potential. Become an expert in what you require and help employers and recruiters understand your individual needs.

At TPP, we look to support all job seekers with being able to present their suitability for a role in the best possible way and welcome having conversations with both our candidates and clients to overcome any barriers they may be faced with.

If you would like advice or support on reasonable adjustments, speak to your consultant at TPP or email us at info@tpp.co.uk or call on 02071986000.

  • info@tpp.co.uk
  • 020 7198 6000
  • TPP Recruitment, Northern & Shell Building, 4th Floor, 10 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AF