A roofing company in New Zealand has been celebrated for its inclusivity after taking a “slightly different approach” to the hunt for new employees.
A job advert for the Roofing Hub, which is based in Queenstown and Wanaka, went viral last month for its choice of credentials.
“Ideally we are looking for someone wanting to learn and push their skill set and with a bit of effort get ahead,” the ad for a semi-experienced roofer read.
“Nothing comes easily in life, so effort is key.”
But what really struck a chord with users online was the list of “good things to have.”
On top was “dyslexia” followed by “built stuff as a kid”.
With an offer to learn from great roofers and a “paid day off on your birthday”, the advert insisted that it would be “no big deal” if applicants didn’t have a CV.
For the company’s owner, Dave Strudwick, the choice of words was a no brainer.
“I didn’t know I was dyslexic until I was around 35 and I taught myself to read and write when I was 29,” he told Yahoo News Australia.
“Over the last 10 years in business, I noticed how much of a strength dyslexia is.
“It’s an under-utilised gift in a person and so I purposely went looking for that in mind.”
Inundated with support
After posting the advert on two dyslexia support Facebook pages, Mr Strudwick’s ad was inundated with more than a thousand comments.
“This brings me so much hope and joy,” one person wrote.
“[It’s] fantastic to see dyslexia being sought after as a really positive attribute,” said another.
While a third added that “this is exactly what is needed.”
“A practical advert to promote the right thinking skills, personality and ability to do a job.”
“What an amazingly diverse and inclusive ad,” someone else said. “I just love it and big kudos to the company.
But more importantly the advertisement helped the business owner secure “two new young fellas” with dyslexia.
“One of them was definitely a kid that can’t read or write but he is on time every day,” Mr Strudwick said.
“Both of them have been really polite, they’ve asked me to do apprenticeships, and you can’t fault them for their attitude. They’re really grateful.”
‘Missing out on a skill set they don’t even know exists’
Mr Strudwick is now encouraging other businesses to follow suit in hiring employees with dyslexia, which he describes as having a wider spectrum of thought.
“If you don’t have someone in your company that's dyslexic that means your company is only using one side of its capabilities,” he said.
“They’re missing out on a skill set that they don’t even know exists.
“There is a reason why dyslexic people are very successful and you would be blown away at what some people could achieve.”
But for Mr Strudwick, it’s really about encouraging mums and dads to believe in their children.
“A lot comes back to trying to tell all those parents that are worried about their kids, that say ‘they were no good today'.
“They are, they were just having fun at school, but the potential in that child when you figure out how to crack the code is just phenomenal.”
Mr Strudwick added he would embrace taking on a new staff member every second month, saying watching their achievements is “one of the best things in life.”
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.