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Increasing your Talent Pool by Increasing Candidate Accessibility

Updated: May 23, 2022

In case you haven’t been watching the news lately, we’re in a talent crunch. In fact, today in the United States, we have more job openings than we do workers. Even if you haven’t been watching the news, you’ve no doubt seen the effects of the talent crunch on your company. Nothing is more frustrating than having your business held back by a lack of workers.

Finding new employees is often difficult these days, but fortunately for your company, there is a large, diverse talent pool that is currently being underutilized by employers. These talented individuals are often overlooked by companies due, in part, to the fact that many businesses don’t know how easy it is to reach them. But it is easier to reach these applicants than you might think. All it takes is a little extra work. And the benefits you get from tapping this talent pool are well worth the small amount of effort that it takes to make your hiring process more accessible.

Make your Online Application and Job Portal More Accessible

For most people, filling out an application online is relatively easy. Some applications are easier than others, of course, but for someone who has impaired vision, they can be impossible. And while we all dislike having too much to type or too many screens to click through when we’re interested in finding another job, these tasks can be almost impossible for someone who has difficulties with fine motor skills.

One of the most direct ways you can improve the accessibility of your hiring process is by updating your online application. Make sure your content is clearly written, adding captions and text transcripts for multimedia elements, and providing alternate text for non-text images are all simple steps that can make a huge difference, as can limiting javascript and the reliance on color to convey ideas.

If you would like to review your website’s accessibility, you can do so by going to the Web Content Accessibility Guideline, created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international group that helps create and promote web standards. The Web Content Accessibility Guideline is focused on creating international standards for website accessibility by people with disabilities. These standards are often referenced and cited by both the ADA and the Department of Justice.

Review your Interview Process

Under the law, applicants can request accommodations before they interview for a position, but they often don’t ask for help. They may assume that asking for accommodation will hurt their chances of being hired or they may not know to ask. So it’s up to you, as a potential employer, to make sure that your interview process is as accessible as possible. Make sure that a candidate who is mobility impaired is able to get to the interview – if your office is on the second floor and there is no elevator in your building, re-schedule for a place that any applicant can easily get to. Be sure to offer clear directions to the interview site, with information about where disabled parking is located. Let candidates know in advance of the interview if they’ll be expected to take any tests or evaluations when they’re on site. And if you’re interviewing a candidate who is deaf or hard of hearing be sure to use the sign language interpreter or closed captioning options with Zoom.

These options must be made available to all applicants. An employer shouldn’t make assumptions about which candidates might, or might not, need accommodations, so your best option is to make your interviews as accessible as possible to everyone.

Train your Managers

Your managers will often be the first company representatives your candidates will interact with, so their interaction must be a good one. Provide training to any managers who interview candidates so they can be interviewed well, with competence, and above all, compliance in their interviewing. Be sure to include information on how to interview a candidate with a disability. For example, managers must ask candidates with visible disabilities if they will need any accommodations to perform the job, rather than ask them if they are capable of fulfilling the requirements of the job.

Revisit your Job Descriptions

Review your job descriptions and eliminate any requirements that aren’t directly related to the duties of the job. Is it truly necessary that someone who is interviewing for an AP position be capable of lifting fifty pounds? Does the person you hire for a remote customer service associate really need to be able to stand and walk for extended periods?

When you create a job description, be sure that you are as detailed as possible regarding duties and requirements, especially physical requirements. A candidate should be able to determine for themselves if they are a fit for the position. Additionally, a clearly written job description can provide documentation in case there are any accusations of discrimination.

Providing a clear, direct job description with an emphasis on the outcome rather than the method of delivery of work will benefit all of your employees, whether or not they have a disability.

Prepare for Onboarding in Advance

If your company hires a candidate with a disability, it’s important to prepare ahead of time for any accommodations they will need, such as specialized keyboards or dictation software. Be sure to have whatever equipment will be necessary for your new employee to perform their job, and to complete whatever will be needed for the onboarding itself at the time that their employment begins. For example, if you have an employee who is hard of hearing, make sure that you provide written information and be sure that any online training has close captioning available. Not making this available may lead to unnecessary delays, and they can ruin what otherwise should be a smooth transition for a new employee.

The most important thing to remember when interviewing anyone is to base any hiring decision on the applicant’s skills and ability. Our responsibility as employers is to hire the most skilled, most capable candidate for a job, regardless of gender, race, religion, or disability.

Let Optimum Staffing Solutions Guide You

Optimum Staffing Solutions can help both candidates and employers with the placement of accounting professionals. For the best staffing agencies in Greensboro, NC, as well as for the best staffing agencies in Charlotte, NC, contact Optimum Staffing Solutions.

A Greensboro temp agency, an Atlanta temp agency, as well as a Charlotte temp agency, Optimum, can provide your company with a highly skilled freelancer, contract, temporary, or direct hire professional along with HR Services. Of the temp agencies in Greensboro, NC, Atlanta, GA, and the temp agencies in Charlotte, NC, Optimum offers small to medium-sized businesses a wealth of talent to fill their positions.

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