Restaurants, retail, and countless industries now use online job applications.  But did you ever wonder if online applications are hindering the recruiting and hiring process?    A national survey conducted by PEAT found just that.

PEAT stands for Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology. It is a multi-faceted initiative promoting the employment, retention, and career advancement of people with disabilities funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy and is managed by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America [RESNA].

The Survey found that almost half of the respondents had issues:  46% of survey respondents rated their last experience of applying for a job online as 'difficult to impossible. ‘ 

online app

You may think yea, if you have vision issues, the online hiring process can be hard.  But, others experiencing difficulties had a plethora of issues.  The survey asked and identified persons that were or had:

  • blind or visually impaired
  • deaf or hard of hearing
  • physical and/or motor disabilities
  • cognitive and/or intellectual disabilities
  • do not wish to self-identify

So what about online recruiting is problematic for applicants?  Here is a list:

Test screening tools such as typing tests or personality tests were found to have:

  • Complex navigation;
  • Timeout restrictions;
  • Poor screen contrast;
  • Confusing, poorly written and inconsistent instructions;
  • Questionnaires that rely on color, graphics, or text embedded with graphics to convey directions or important information;
  • Images that convey information, but do not have alternative text that can be read by screen readers;
  • Videos or audio instructions that are not closed captioned;
  • Forms that were not compatible with assistive technology, such as screen readers; and
  • Forms that did not allow users to input information with a keyboard instead of a mouse.

For the job applications themselves, respondents reported:

  • Complex navigation;
  • Timeout restrictions;
  • Poor screen contrast;
  • Confusing, poorly written and inconsistent instructions;
  • Fields that did not state an accepted format [such as date fields] and fields that were mislabeled or not labeled at all, rendering them inaccessible;
  • Applications and questionnaires that relied on color, graphics, or text embedded with graphics to convey directions or important information;
  • Images that conveyed information, but did not have alternative text for individuals using screen readers;
  • Applications that could not be navigated with keystrokes and required mouse input;
  • Applications that had to be signed using a mouse;
  • Videos or audio instructions that were not closed captioned;
  • Inaccessible “CAPTCHAs“ [a type of “challenge-response” test used in computing to determine whether or not the user is human] with no audio option;
  • Trouble uploading the necessary documents;
  • No notice about use of pop-up windows, which are blocked by most browsers in many settings, such as libraries and employment centers;
  • Lack of contact information for technical support; and
  • Lack of information on how to request an accommodation.

And don’t forget mobile access.

56% of respondents look for jobs using their smart phone and 28% of respondent applied for jobs using their smart phone or tablets.  They  reported:

  • Job applications that are too long and complex to complete on a mobile device;
  • Timeout restrictions;
  • Poor screen contrast;
  • Difficulty typing in all of the fields;
  • Small print;
  • Following link to a webpage that is not mobile friendly;
  • Problems with pages loading [connectivity issues]; and
  • Difficulty uploading documents.

    infographic from PEAT
    infographic from PEAT

The national survey clearly shows there is a problem.  Don’t fret.  PEAT has a solution.  The have developed an eRecuriting Tools.  http://peatworks.org/talentworks.  It will contain a bank of publicly submitted resources, and tales of success stories.

Remember, the issue of disability discrimination is not just on the job situations.  Disability discrimination during the hiring process should also be a prime concern.

 

Have an issue or problems arise?  Give us a call or drop and us an email.

How you can make your online job applications better

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