Refining the corporate recruiting process to ensure that it’s accessible to all job applicants just got easier.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), working with the nonprofit Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology — PEAT — has unveiled a website dedicated to assisting employers in upgrading their online recruiting tools to enhance their accessibility. Called TalentWorks, the site offers a wide array of useful information, presented in various formats, on upgrading online recruiting tools.
The site explains that the need to assist employers in upgrading their online recruiting tools was made clear by a PEAT survey that found that 46 percent of job candidates with disability who participated in the survey said applying online was “difficult to impossible.”
“With most of today's employers using some form of web-based recruiting to evaluate and hire job applicants, it's more important than ever to understand why accessibility matters to eRecruiting, and how to ensure your talent acquisition tools are accessible. TalentWorks is designed to help you do just that,” the website says.
The site mentions some of the obstacles encountered by those with disabilities when the user interface is fully accessible. For instance, the lack of a voice-activated function means someone who can’t operate a standard mouse won’t be able to fill in a form or advance it. A limit on the volume control may prevent someone with hearing difficulties from understanding spoken instructions. The ability to zoom in or out may be key to filling out a form by someone with vision limitations.
“Accessibility is all about the user interface; it gives job applicants and employees a built-in, cost-effective, and equitable way to control and use the technology,” the site says. The goal, it adds, should be “’universal design,’ which means the design of products so they can be used by the widest range of people possible.”
The website assumes that all employers will want to have the most current online recruiting features in order to tap talent from the widest possible candidate pool.
“It's pretty simple — accessible eRecruiting tools equate to better talent acquisition. If your online job advertisements, applications, screening tools, and digital interviewing applications are not accessible to those with disabilities, you are effectively excluding certain individuals from applying for jobs at your company,” the site says.
It’s the latter part of that statement that might get more employers’ attention. Another section of the site explains that, if an employer wants to do business with the federal government, it needs to be able to demonstrate that it does not discriminate in its hiring practices. A recruiting system that isn’t fully accessible would be considered discriminatory, the site implies.
Referring to firms covered by Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, TalentWorks says, “Having an accessible technology infrastructure can be a key part of delivering upon these requirements and avoiding penalties for non-compliance.”