Research conducted by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), offers insight into strategies employers can use to ensure their online outreach and recruitment efforts are inclusive of job candidates with disabilities.
A recent analysis conducted by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) of online outreach and recruitment strategies used by 40 Fortune 500 companies identified some of the strategies employers used to communicate their commitment to disability inclusion—and potentially widen their pool of candidates.
For instance, companies can ensure their career webpages use inclusive messaging and clearly convey disability inclusion as a priority, such as including a statement from leadership. These pages should also share the process for requesting reasonable accommodations for the application and interview process. Moreover, language used in job descriptions should clearly identify essential functions of the job and focus on tasks, rather than specific methods to perform them—for example, the ability to “travel” vs. “drive”—that may inadvertently prevent some people from applying.
Part and parcel of inclusive online outreach and recruitment is ensuring online application systems and e-recruiting tools are accessible to people with a range of disabilities. This is especially important as companies increasingly use emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to screen applicants and provide job training.
Many employers report that one of the biggest barriers they face when it comes to hiring people with disabilities is finding candidates. To help on this front, employers can establish partnerships with disability and workforce service providers.