Finding good employees is not what it used to be. Instead of candidates mailing or dropping off hard copy resumes to your place of business, most candidates today discover job openings through online searches. It's a trend that is benefiting employers and job seekers alike. However, if your company's online job listings are not accessible, valuable candidates with disabilities may be forced to drop out and go elsewhere to continue their job search. You can read more about why job searching can be a dead end for people with disabilities in PEAT's guest blog post written by Simply Accessible's Denis Boudreau.
Whether you are advertising your job openings through social media1 (watch this PEAT featured video for Facebook and Twitter tips) or an online job bank, there are a number of accessibility considerations you should take into account. Smart strategies include the following:
- Create simple, accessible job descriptions: Make sure that your job descriptions are written in plain language and formatted accessibly in Microsoft Word or as an accessible PDF document. Don't simply list a string of job requirements in your job description, which can confuse the applicant reading it. (A related tip: Educate yourself on Creating Accessible Microsoft Word Documents and Creating Accessible Adobe PDF Documents.)
- Simplify resume uploading: If your online talent management system or job board asks users to upload their resumes, be sure to consider the accessibility implications. Some systems and job boards can be difficult for users to navigate, and those that prompt users to reformat their resumes often timeout before they have time to finish. Additional issues include the inability to save and spell check a reformatted resume, which can challenge users who need more time. Note that these issues are common problems for many job applicants, not just those with disabilities. Solutions include the following:
- Provide an alternative way to submit a resume for those who may have technical difficulties.
- Ensure your online system is easy to navigate and compatible with assistive technology devices, such as screen readers, and that it has clear instructions for uploading resumes. Explain which resume formats you accept and which ones you don’t.
- If you require applicants to reformat their resume, make sure there is enough time for those who may need additional time. Ask the user if they need more time with a prompt, or provide a way for users to disable the timeout feature.
- Provide spelling and grammar tools, allow applicants to save their resume, and provide confirmation feedback that one’s resume upload was successfully completed.
However, if your company's online job listings are not accessible, valuable candidates with disabilities may be forced to drop out and go elsewhere to continue their job search.
For a more in-depth look at the issues above, please see the featured resources presented on this page.
- “Federal Social Media Accessibility Tool Kit,” DigitalGov; http://www.digitalgov.gov/resources/federal-social-media-accessibility-toolkit-hackpad/