The digital fever dream that is the 21st century is simultaneously baffling, wondrous, and unfortunately, inaccessible to much of the world’s population.
A report in Forbes highlighted that only 3% of the internet is accessible to those with disabilities, and despite the many solutions available, countless business owners still don’t recognize their responsibility in this space.
61 million adult Americans are living with a disability – a historically overlooked group in society that must be accounted for in today’s digital climate.
As people-first digital and tech recruiters, Trust in SODA’s mission has always been to build a more equitable working world, and that means doing everything we can to ensure our processes are accessible for everyone.
Here’s a few tips on how to champion digital diversity in the hiring process, and why taking action is critical in your efforts to find and retain talent.
Write Flexible, Accessible Job Ads
Accessibility measures need to be put in place long before the candidate makes it to the interviewing stage.
Job ads have a large role to play in establishing a secure candidate pipeline – the more accessible the job ad, the wider the talent pool.
In many ways, the job ad is the first opportunity to develop a rapport between the prospective employee and the organization that’s hiring.
This means going beyond the inclusion of an equal opportunities statement. What assistance and support can you offer candidates that identify as having a disability? Let the world know.
Audit Your Online Presence
Applying for jobs online has been the norm for what feels like forever now, and it’s not likely going to change anytime soon.
It’s vital that candidates can access the online application. It’s not just the tech that needs looking at either – the needs of the people using that tech must be addressed.
Auditing your online presence and making sure that you’re accessible to your talent is more than a morally robust duty for a modern organization, it’s a legal requirement. In 2021, ADA Title III website accessibility lawsuit filings increased to 2895 (Seyfarth, 2022), and while this year has certainly improved, there’s still a long way to go.
Alt text, customizable font sizes, and a CMS that caters for accessibility options should all be standard implementation in the journey towards a more accessible digital future.
The Outcome Vs the Way the Work Looks
Shifting the focus of roles to land on the desired outcome of the work, rather than how that work should ‘look,’ could be a key differentiator in developing accessible working environments.
Everyone has their own way of working, and as the world works on moving the hybrid working model out of its infancy, revisiting values and adopting an employee-first outlook could be the best way to go.
A working model that fails to account for the needs of the employee is no kind of working model at all.
According to an article in PR Newswire, the assistive tech market is projected to experience a $7.93 billion growth by 2025. The article goes on to state that this rise is driven by the increase of orthopedic and neurological disorders.
Accounting for everyone’s skillset and enlarging the scope of your talent pool means providing the right tools to help your people thrive.
Create a Culture of Inclusivity
True inclusion requires an active approach to creating equitable and supportive workplace. At Trust in SODA, we match the top candidates with the opportunities and environments that we know can help them grow and flourish.
If you’re looking to find a dream career of your own in the world of tech, reach out to our team today – we have a wealth of experience in the digital and tech recruitment space, and our vast global network of community partners and diverse candidates is testament to our passion for people.