Background Obtaining employment is among the most important ambitions of people with intellectual disability. Progress towards comprehensive inclusive employment is hampered by numerous barriers. Limited research is available on these barriers and strategies to overcome them. Method A mixed method approach in a sample of 30 HR‐managers was used to assess (i) differences in perceived barriers for employment of people with specific disabilities and mental disorders; (ii) barriers specific to employing people with intellectual disability; (iii) strategies to overcome these barriers. Results Employers perceive more barriers for hiring people with intellectual disability and mental disorders than for physical disabilities. Employment for this population is hampered by a perceived lack of skills and legal issues. Strategies perceived as beneficial are supplying information, changes in organizational strategies and legal changes. Conclusions Employers’ differentiated expectations and reservations towards hiring individuals with specific disabilities need to be taken into account to increase employment for people with intellectual disability.