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How RNID helped Auto Trader become a deaf aware employer

Mandip and Beth work for Auto Trader, the UK and Ireland’s largest digital automotive marketplace.

When a deaf person applied for a position, they knew that they would need to get some additional support to ensure that the candidate had the best possible recruitment experience.

Mandip and Beth

“We initially spoke to our manager to get some guidance, as it was the first time interviewing a deaf candidate. He recommended that we get in touch with RNID, because they had supported our colleagues with hearing loss in the past.

The first step was to ask the candidate what support they needed, and it wasn’t difficult to put those adjustments in place during the recruitment process.

The candidate was successful at their interview, and we offered them the position. Our next step was to ask what they would need from us, which included:

  • Good lighting for lipreading
  • Audio/visual fire alarm
  • Minimising background noise
  • Text or email alerts rather than audio
  • Video calling and live captioning software
  • Being given materials before any meetings
  • Deaf awareness training for colleagues
  • British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters for events.

We continued to work with RNID, who provided deaf awareness training and booked BSL interpreters when they were required. We chose to use RNID’s workplace assessment service as they had already supported us so much through the recruitment and onboarding stages. With a quick turnaround and in-depth recommendations, we were able to ensure that we could support our new employee in the best way.

We’ve learnt so much about the level of support that we can offer throughout the process from recruiting and onboarding to having a new employee starting with us. The deaf awareness work that we have done internally with RNID has allowed other colleagues to be more open about their hearing loss and get support as well.

Our advice to other employers who are worried about employing and supporting a deaf person is: don’t be worried. Hearing loss affects people in different ways so don’t assume that one person’s needs is the same as the next person. Don’t be afraid to ask questions so that you can fully understand how you can help. RNID are always a phone call, text, or email away if you need any advice or support.”

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There are lots of things you can do to make your organisation more inclusive for staff and customers who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus.

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