PEAT Talks Recap: Social Media & Job Recruiting

As social media becomes ever more central to daily life, companies are increasingly turning to popular online platforms as a means of reaching people who are searching for employment. But could your company’s social media recruitment practices be inadvertently screening out qualified candidates with disabilities? 

In our June PEAT Talk, digital marketer Eliza Greenwood highlighted the importance of leveling the social media recruitment “playing field” by ensuring that recruiting efforts are accessible across all channels. This is key, because a 2015 survey conducted by PEAT found that 50% of respondents have used social media to search for jobs, and 40% of respondents experienced accessibility or usability issues with social media.

The benefits of accessible recruiting efforts are many, as Eliza shared.  By focusing on accessibility at the outset of recruitment efforts rather than implementing it retroactively, companies can widen their virtual doors to job seekers with disabilities while saving valuable time and money. 

Eliza addressed three concepts that are integral to inclusive social media recruitment: inclusion, accessibility, and equality. Inclusion, she noted, means “reaching your audience(s) where they are” and understanding how they use and navigate social media. Accessibility comes with “being aware of pitfalls” that exist on any social media platforms your company uses for recruitment. And to ensure equality, it’s also essential to take “steps to make sure your vetting does not discount people based on disability.” According to Eliza, these three values together lead to equitable recruitment practices.

It is important to note that using only one social media channel is not a truly equitable recruitment method. Eliza suggested diversifying the platforms your company uses, because different disability populations favor different channels.

Finally, Eliza shared some tips and best practices for accessible social media posts, including image descriptions, video captions, transcripts, and using camel case for hashtags. For more on accessible eRecruiting through social media, visit the PEAT TalentWorks Employer Tip Sheet.

Be sure to check out the archived PEAT Talks video for more details on Eliza’s research on which disability populations use which social media platforms, and for further insights into accessible social media recruiting practices. And please share your comments and thoughts. What would you tell employers in order to make the business case for accessible social media recruiting?