Digital technology now plays a key role in every stage of the recruitment process. For example, candidate attraction involves placing adverts online or on social media, or using online job boards.
The selection process utilises applications online, plus online testing for candidates (e.g. online psychometric testing and online skills assessments).
The same goes for onboarding. Digital technology is used for completing tasks like staff inductions, health and safety training, and creating staff profiles for internal technology (e.g. messenger, email, intranets etc).
Employers must make reasonable adjustments
The Equality Act 2010 requires all employers to make reasonable adjustments to any elements of the job (or recruitment process), which place a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled people.
So recruiters and hiring managers need to build their confidence and make reasonable adjustments that include making recruiting and onboarding digital technology accessible to disabled people.
This is crucial when you consider that around twenty per cent of people in the UK have a disability. And they often digital face barriers that stop them accessing the recruitment process.
For example, national digital accessibility charity AbilityNet was asked to provide input into the government’s Work & Pensions Select Committee’s Assistive Technology Inquiry at the end of January.
AbilityNet’s written submission to the committee explained:
“Much of recruitment is now online; the problem is that inaccessible websites and online application systems remain a big barrier for disabled people looking for a job.”
Reasonable adjustments in recruiting and onboarding
Reasonable adjustments in recruiting and onboarding could be providing disabled people with alternatives to online assessments, or additional time to undertake assessments.
Making reasonable adjustments also requires ensuring that new recruits can access all the parts of the technology they need to do their job: the phone system, email, intranet, laptops, databases, Microsoft Office products, etc.
There is a range of help available to identify, fund and introduce reasonable adjustments in the recruitment process.
Clear Talents™ is an online service developed by The Clear Company in partnership with AbilityNet that automates the process of identifying reasonable adjustments for an employer’s candidates and workforce.
Simply, Clear Talents helps recruiters who don’t understand how to assess and implement physical and digital reasonable adjustments for disabled people.
By doing this it maximises diversity of hire and helps organisations to attract and retain more disabled talent.
Jobcentre Plus runs the Access to Work scheme that can help fund any costs required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.
Access to Work is a specialist disability service that provides practical advice and support to disabled people to enable them to work effectively.
Any disabled person who is about to start a job, or in a job, can apply for an Access to Work grant to pay for things like special equipment, adaptations or support worker services.
Using assistive technology to make reasonable adjustments
Assistive technology like Recite Me and Include Me can help people with a range of disabilities to access digital information and services during recruitment and onboarding.
Recite Me is a custom toolbar that can be added to your website to help disabled people access digital technology like online staff inductions and e-learning training used in onboarding.
Whilst Include Me lets disabled people access any digital content such as Microsoft Office documents and Apps.
It can help them access all the digital content they need to during and after the onboarding process in order to do their jobs effectively.
Employers also need to consider how to cater for the needs of the UK’s ageing, growing and diverse population, which creates significant issues around accessibility and inclusion.
For example, nearly ten per cent of people in the UK don’t speak English as their first language, and in London that rises to more than twenty per cent. (Source: England & Wales Census, 2011)
New employees who don’t speak English as their first language need to be able to access all parts of the recruitment process, including onboarding.
Recite Me can help you here too as the toolbar can also translate your website’s content into over 100 languages at the touch of a button.
Ultimately, it’s hard to find the right people to work in your business, so it’s important you do all you can to enable them to deliver for you and feel truly included.
Using the right digital technology can make all the difference to this and help you recruit and retain more diverse talent for your organisation.
100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible to everyone to comply with law and attract new customers – book your free demo now.