3 Benefits of an Accessible Careers Site

August 30, 2022

Is the careers section of your company website accessible? It should be! Your careers page may be the first impression you make with prospective employees.

Yet one SHRM article reports that 46% of applicants with disabilities rate their recent online application experience as “difficult” or “impossible.”

That’s not the experience any company wants for its applicants.  

GIF of Michael Scott from the Office "Nope, Don't Like That."

Inaccessible career sites not only deter stellar candidates with varying abilities, but also reduce your website’s footprint on search engines. These violations could be anything from two different buttons with the same name in the code to an image imbedded on the page with no alternative text.  

So what does good look like?

An accessible career site works well with various assistive technologies (screen readers, braille machines, keyboard navigation, etc.), limits timed features, includes clear labels and easily navigable forms – among other things.

Here are three major benefits of investing in an accessible careers site:

1. You broaden your candidate pool

A 2017 report from the Center for Talent Innovation found that 30% of white-collar employees have some level of disability, while only 3.2% self-identify. This means that potentially a third of your prospective employees will benefit from increased accessibility of your careers site.

Employees with varying abilities increase the effectiveness, adaptability, and flexibility of your teams. The study also found that 75% of employees with varying abilities have ideas that can benefit the business overall and 48% of those ideas would benefit the disability market. Harvard Business Review also reports that diversity is closely tied to a business’ successful innovation and increased profit.  

When we make no effort to improve the first few steps of the experience of diverse candidates, we cut ourselves off from the talent and unique perspectives that candidates with varying abilities bring to the table.  

GIF of Andy from the Office outside a group, grimacing.

2. You can preview inclusivity at your company

Valuing the perspectives and needs of prospective employees on your website demonstrates your commitment to your people from the first encounter — it communicates the supportive experience people will have when they join your team. This is an opportunity for businesses to stand out for the right reasons.  

90% of companies claim to prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, but only 4% consider disabilities as a diversity factor. Let’s increase that 4% by understanding the different shades of ability, researching current legislation and striving to have accommodations at every touchpoint.  

The goal is to provide an inclusive experience for all candidates and employees, from hiring to retirement! Check out some more brilliance on how HR and communications can build more inclusive cultures throughout the employee lifecycle.

Building Inclusive & Accessible Cultures Through HR & Communications

3. Your company ranks higher on search engines

Consider that accessible websites perform better overall with search engines. This means when you make efforts to improve the accessibility of the code and media on your careers site, you're following good search engine optimization (SEO) practices and can rank higher on search engines like Google.

Imagine someone searches “HR Manager positions in New York City” and your careers page comes in at result number 10 of 4,500! Your organization will likely benefit from increased visibility and traffic to your careers page and job openings.

Conversely, if browser tools find egregious accessible code violations, your site gets ranked lower in the search results and you’ll have a hard time getting folks in the door.  

GIF of Erin from the Office having the door shut.

We all have a role to play

Enjoyed this post? We hope so! Improving the accessibility of your careers site isn’t just good for candidates.

Between broadening your candidate pool, previewing how inclusive (or not) your company is, and ranking higher on search engines, your organization as a whole can benefit from optimizing your website’s experience for everyone. As champions for the employee experience, it’s our responsibility to ensure candidates have an equitable application and hiring process.

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