Modern and user-friendly: job seekers are able to indicate their type of disability on the capjob.de employment portal and search for jobs that are right for them. Presently, the portal lists more than 50 companies that employ people with disabilities. The platform continues to grow and most notably also benefits from insider knowledge of its employees with severe disabilities.
REHACARE.com spoke with founder Felix Hüning about the unique features of capjob.de and why virtually all parties could benefit from an inclusive employment landscape.
Mr. Hüning, why were you the first person to come up with the idea of creating a job portal like Capjob for people with disabilities?
Felix Hüning: The idea of providing a job portal for people with disabilities is not new. There are already several websites that offer places of employment for people with disabilities, but I simply did not like their services and thought you could make this type of portal more effective, more modern and user-friendly and provide the essential pillars of a job portal. This primarily includes a detailed search option, the chance to create a job seeker profile and upload your resume plus the option to be automatically notified of an applicable job and for employers to create a company profile. Capjob provides the unique opportunity to filter jobs by type of disability to find those places of employment where an employer is appropriately prepared. In addition, job seekers can indicate the resources and auxiliary aids they need for their jobs in their profiles and thus create transparency. Capjob features a very easy setup and can be "read" by screen readers. What makes us perhaps unique is the fact that we run Capjob with the help of people with severe disabilities to assist job seekers with severe disabilities and inclusive companies. Three of our associates are blind, one colleague is visually impaired and two employees use wheelchairs. The insider knowledge and know-how of our staff members with severe disabilities can give us the key advantage to become successful.
What are the benefits people with disabilities and employers can garner in joint projects?
Hüning: When people with and without disabilities work together, it quickly becomes apparent that inclusion is successful if both parties pay attention to each other and openly talk about abilities, wishes, and limitations. At the end of the day, it’s usually people without disabilities who are blown away by everything their colleagues with disabilities are able to accomplish, by how they manage their everyday lives and the types of auxiliary aids they use to compensate for their limitations. It grounds people enormously and broadens both parties’ horizon. I was also told a number of times that employees with disabilities tend to be a tad more ambitious because they want to prove themselves to the employer. They were typically also deemed very loyal employees because they appreciate the company and the opportunity and boost the corporate culture through their openness, solidarity and team spirit.
What would you like to see not just with Capjob but the employment landscape for people with disabilities in general?
Hüning: My vision is that all employers recognize that there are six million people with severe disabilities in Germany, of which two million are of working age and thousands of them are able and willing to work. In addition, companies should be aware of the options and government aids they are entitled to if they employ people with severe disabilities. If we had this type of transparency, it would become increasingly normal for people with and without disabilities to work together and learn from each other. Another aspect that’s important is for job seekers with disabilities to know their abilities and receive consultation about the jobs they can perform with their respective impairment. In doing so, both sides would become more aware and the result would be a better and more inclusive employment landscape.
What does inclusion mean to you?
Hüning: For me, inclusion means the active involvement of people with disabilities to make it possible for them to participate in education, recreation, politics, the workplace, vacations and everyday life. To include them in planning processes, architecture, political decisions and the creation of all kinds of new things. First and foremost, inclusion starts in people’s minds. Nearly all restaurants and bars have a doorstep but unfortunately, they usually don’t have a ramp.