Breaking down barriers: how to create an inclusive recruitment process

LAURA CHAMBERS • 17 Jul 2023

1 - The screen reader
2 - Style of web pages
3 - Language options
4 - Reasonable accommodations
5 - Communicating inclusive values
6 - Diverse job postings
7 - Broaden recruitment channels
8 - Unbiased screening
9 - Diverse interview panels
10 - Track and measure progress

An inclusive recruitment process is crucial for promoting diversity and ensuring equal opportunities for all jobseekers. By breaking down barriers for everyone, you can attract a wider pool of talented individuals and foster a more inclusive and innovative work environment.

Here we are going to focus on the applicant experience and how to potentially broaden your talent reach simply by making sure your candidate-facing careers website is accessible for all. 

Accessibility toolbar 

An accessibility toolbar can transform the look of your careers website to suit that of the visitor and is used by a number of our clients on their candidate facing careers pages – but what is it and how does it make a difference?

Screen reader 

Globally, at least 2.2 billion people have a near or distance vision impairment. 

A screen reader is a powerful tool to benefit visitors on your job listings and careers site. Visitors can choose to have the job and careers information read aloud in up to 35 languages to transform how they consume and interact with your content. 

Reading content online can be a challenge for some people. 774 million people globally cannot read or write and 10% of people have a learning disability. To support visitors, the accessibility toolbar provides five main tools; a digital ruler to read content line by line, a screen mask to eliminate distractions, magnifier, margins and a dictionary. 

Customising the style of website pages 

It’s thought that 15-20% of the world's population isneurodivergent - and often they are some of the most talented individuals. Are you excluding this demographic? The accessibility toolbar gives visitors the tools to change the way a website looks and therefore increasing the chances of attracting neurodivergent candidates too.  

Visitors can customise the website's colour scheme as well as the text, font style, size, colour and spacing. 

Language options 

One in ten people don’t speak English as their first language and with a recent upsurge in the UK of the number of skilled worker immigration, it goes without saying the importance of an accessible recruitment experience for all – and that includes supporting different languages too. 

An accessibility toolbar can quickly translate all the website’s text content into over 100 languages, including 65 that have text-to-speech voices too. 

Here’s some other tips to help break down barriers for candidates at all stages of the recruitment journey.

24 percent of of organisations review their diversity data (1)

Reasonable accommodations 

Make sure it’s clear your organisation is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities or specific needs. Do you allow candidates to request accommodations during the application process and ensure that the necessary support is provided throughout the recruitment process. 

Here are some key steps to help you create an inclusive recruitment process: 

Define and communicate inclusive values 

Clearly articulate your organisation's commitment to diversity and inclusion. This message should be reflected in your mission statement, company values and job postings. Highlight your willingness to accommodate diverse candidates and create an inclusive work environment. 

Diverse job postings 

Review your job postings and ensure they are inclusive and free from bias. Use gender-neutral language and focus on skills, qualifications, and experiences rather than specific demographic criteria. Consider using a diverse range of images and representations in your recruitment materials too. 

Broaden recruitment channels 

Think about your channels – are they broadly traditional? Explore alternative platforms, industry-specific job boards, social media, and professional networking sites to reach a wider audience. We’ve just recently launched a Job Board Marketplace recommendation engine to help broaden our clients’ advertising scope.

By 2035 one fifth will have hearing loss (1)

Unbiased screening 

Ensure anyone involved in hiring is trained in on unconscious bias. Provide them with guidelines for fair and objective candidate evaluation – such as standardised interview questions to ensure consistency. Anonymous shortlisting can also be helpful, where identifying information such as name, gender, education or age is removed from initial CV reviews. 

Diverse interview panels 

Include a diverse range of interviewers in the selection process. Different perspectives and backgrounds will contribute to a more comprehensive evaluation of candidates. Encourage interviewers to focus on competency-based questions that assess skills and abilities rather than personal characteristics. 

Track and measure progress 

Establish metrics and goals to track your progress in creating an inclusive recruitment process. Regularly analyse your recruitment data, including candidate demographics and hiring outcomes, to help identify potential biases and make data-driven decisions to improve your process. 

If you’d like to learn more about the products we offer as part of our Jobtrain ATS platform to support an ED&I strategy, please get in touch.

Your journey to accessible recruitment starts here