Hiring is up in today’s tight labor market, including among people with disabilities and other often-overlooked groups. As more job seekers with disabilities are hired, employers are realizing the great potential in this large and diverse talent pool.
However, bias and lack of awareness remain challenges. Only 40 percent of working-age adults with disabilities are currently employed, making this an excellent time for companies to foster a disability-inclusive culture — both to nurture current employees and become a top destination for job seekers.
At Indeed, we have built disability awareness into our recruiting practices. By committing to accessibility and making inclusion part of our company’s culture, we find we can attract, hire and retain a more diverse group of employees.
Here are some ways to improve the job candidate experience for people with disabilities and attract more stellar applicants to your company:
- Ensure that your company meets - or exceeds - accessibility standards. This includes physical (ramps, accessible restrooms, braille signage) and technological (direct or assistive technology compatible) accessibility and attitudinal awareness (disability etiquette education). Focusing on these three dimensions of accessibility demonstrates a commitment to inclusion and ensures that practices, procedures and work sites can be equally accessed by all current employees and potential hires.
- Prioritize awareness among current employees. Celebrate and support employee diversity, including persons with disabilities, by establishing employee resource groups (ERGs) to raise awareness and demonstrate inclusivity for potential job candidates. For example, our Access Indeed Inclusion Resource Group is an employee-led effort to promote inclusion and education and help build an environment where workers of all abilities can thrive.
- Remove barriers to attract diverse job seekers - Carefully assess current application and hiring practices and remove potential biases. Eliminate unnecessary requirements from job descriptions that may exclude candidates with disabilities. Ensure that your company’s job application page is accessible to all - for example, can a screen reader easily read aloud the text for a visually impaired applicant? Do images include descriptions and are videos captioned? Make sure there is a clear, easy-to-find statement about providing reasonable disability accommodations for employees and applicants.
By building disability awareness into recruiting, your company can make a commitment to accessibility and make inclusion part of its culture — attracting, hiring and retaining more members of this promising and incredibly diverse pool of workers in the process.