So you’re interested in ensuring that your eRecruiting systems are accessible. You understand that this will widen your candidate pool and help you secure the very best applicants for each position. So now what? My colleagues and I at Forum One(link is external) have thought long and hard about this topic and want to share what we have learned. Let’s start by illustrating accessibility in basic terms.
What is Accessibility?
If you need a better understanding of what we mean by accessibility, it’s helpful to try to experience inaccessibility. So turn off your computer monitor and start typing. Use your phone from under a table so you can’t see it. Unplug your mouse and try to navigate your company website. Set your zoom level in your Internet browser to 500% or more, limiting the amount of content you can see at any one time. Unplug your speakers and watch a webinar without sound. Get the picture?
Accessibility means that everyone—regardless of whether they have the ability to manipulate a mouse, regardless of how much vision they have or how many colors they can see, and regardless of how much they can hear—can use the exact same websites and applications as anyone else. This is not an exhaustive list, of course, but you start to get the idea.
Access by Design
So now you might be wondering how people who are blind, for instance, use the Internet. How do they use their mobile phone or tablet? The answer is with the use of accessible technology. Such technology adds layers atop computer operating systems, mobile phones, and more to allow people with disabilities to access all of the same information as everyone else.
Take a look for yourself at this video of Christine Ha(link is external), a chef who is blind and the winner of the third season of MasterChef, using technology at work.
And what about someone who has limited use of his hands? This video shows how Christopher Hills(link is external), a professional video editor and accessibility advocate, does his job thanks to the accessibility features built into his computer editing equipment.
Accessibility and eRecruiting
Connecting with great talent this means you must ensure that your company’s online job applications and other talent management applications are accessible to all users—and achieving that means avoiding some common accessibility pitfalls.
Thankfully, PEAT’s soon-to-launch TalentWorks tool will help employers and human resources (HR) professionals make their online job applications and other eRecruiting tools accessible. TalentWorks features valuable information related to the accessibility of online job search tools (including social media), job applications, pre-employment testing, and even digital interviewing.
We at Forum One were excited to contribute content to the tool, and shared specific tips and tricks to help employers with tasks such as:
- Ensuring that hyperlinks make sense
- Designing with proper color contrast
- Using accessible images
- Making videos and events accessible
- Giving people enough time to finish online tasks
- Finding alternatives to CAPTCHAs
Don’t think of accessibility as some troublesome box you need to check—think about it in terms of your opportunities to find the best talent. It’s important. It means something. If you’re an employer, HR manager, or technologist, you have the power to make your hiring processes and online tools and materials more accessible. Which means you have the power to get the best people in the door and on the job! That means your role is extremely important—to current and future employees, and ultimately to the success and bottom line of your company or organization.
So go make a difference. Connect with the most talented job candidates. Make your eRecruiting systems and websites accessible so that everybody wins.