For people with disabilities, it can be quite challenging to get access to job opportunities as lingering misconceptions and lack of awareness among the public greatly hinders their efforts in securing good, stable jobs. For the majority of businesses, they still view the disabled more as a liability rather than as a great asset for their company. One pioneering startup based in Indonesia, Kerjabilitas, aims to raise awareness and change the way society views the disabled by connecting disabled people with businesses on its user-friendly platform to afford them greater access to the job market. It has already gained recognition from Indonesia’s Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration in 2016 for its efforts in helping the disabled to secure more career opportunities.
Founded by Rubby Emir, who is also the startup’s chief executive officer in 2015, the startup has thus far acquired around 600 job providers and approximately 5000 registered users on its platform. The startup does not hold back when it comes to serving the needs of the disabled as evidenced by its platform’s plethora of features that are specifically designed and implemented to suit their needs. For one, the platform offers them a variety of online media sources that educates them on career advancement and job opportunities through a collection of e-books, online blogs and podcasts. Besides the library of content, the platform also enables its users to personalize their job and career searches by allowing them to look for job vacancies based on their disabilities and requirements. The platform also provides an online community network whereby its job seekers are able to connect with and support each other. Lastly, the platform provides several customized features to serve the needs of various disabled persons, such as special symbols for those suffering from hearing loss, and compatibility with screen readers for those with vision impairments.
In order to reach out to the disabled, Kerjabilitas engages heavily with the communities of its users so that it can spread awareness and change public perception. To do this, the startup employs several marketing methods to better reach out and communicate with them, such as through word of mouth and social media platforms, both on the ground and in the online space. The startup has also collaborated with various governmental agencies and bodies to achieve their goal of gaining better access to job opportunities for disabled job seekers by establishing a presence at career expos throughout the country.
As for the job providers themselves, Kerjabilitas has to be proactive in their approach as the majority of companies and businesses are still not inclined to employ people with disabilities. Even then, those who do hire the disabled often view the recruitment as more of a charitable effort or as part of their corporate social responsibility program rather than seeing the hiring as a viable asset in their own right. The startup actively searches out suitable businesses based on their job vacancies and the type of organization that they are, though it has found those in the finance, healthcare and manufacturing sectors to be particularly encouraging for the disabled due to their supportive regulations.
Even though there are now more job opportunities for the disabled than they were before, most people with disabilities still face an uphill challenge when attempting to overcome lack of awareness and public misconceptions in order to get properly accepted into the workforce. Along with the support from government bodies and various institutions, the socially responsible Indonesian startup Kerjabilitas will continue its mission of broadening the career landscape for those with disabilities in Indonesia.