We hear a lot of talk about the UK’s digital skills gap, but what is less frequently discussed is the disability employment gap. According to Onrec, the difference between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people is over 30%.
Employers could be missing out on a wealth of digital, IT and tech talent if they aren’t able to make their recruitment processes more inclusive and accessible. The latest research from Recite Me and VERCIDA, an inclusion recruitment platform, found that around 7 in 10 jobseekers find that online job applications are falling short when it comes to accessibility for disabled people.
A total of 69% of over a hundred jobseekers surveyed encountered problems when trying to apply for vacancies online. This research also found that 47% of candidates thought that recruiters and employers should be doing more to make the online application process easier for jobseekers for whom English isn’t their first language.
The founder and CEO of Recite Me, Ross Linnett, commented on the findings, saying:
“Online application forms and skills assessments are now standard parts of the recruitment process.
“But the results of this survey show that jobseekers think employers and recruiters must do more to make online applications more accessible and inclusive.
“This backs-up the findings of other research that shows disabled jobseekers often find barriers in the recruitment process.”
Another study, the 2017 RIDI candidate survey, found that:
- 75% of disabled jobseekers believe that their condition impacts on their search for a new job
- 28% have trouble with online assessments
- 54% experience problems with more than one part of the recruitment process.
How can employers do better?
The Recite Me team in collaboration with Guidant Group has put together a guide to digital inclusion for recruiters, which offers extensive advice for those wanting to make recruitment processes more accessible. It includes considerations such as:
- Using inclusive web design that meets WCAG standards and is accessible to the widest possible audience
- Adjusting social media content (i.e. advertising vacancies) by adding alt text tags for those who have sight loss
- Adding accessibility software to your website, which can offer disabled visitors a number of options to customise the site to suit their needs. For example, adjusting background colours, font size and enabling features such as read text aloud.
- Getting feedback from users – the most important way to learn whether your vacancies, processes and communications are accessible is by carrying out user testing and asking for feedback.
- Making sure that your company complies with the law on disability discrimination – making improvements to as many areas as possible, including recruitment.
If you’re facing a recruitment challenge, SOLOS Consultants can help. We can provide tailored solutions to help you reach your goal, whether it’s to improve accessibility and inclusivity during the recruitment process or to find untapped digital talent to help your company move forward. Please contact our specialist IT, technology and digital recruitment team on 0115 9274400 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.