UK recruitment agencies must take urgent action to improve the accessibility of their web sites, an equality and diversity specialist has warned.
The report entitled ‘Recruitment Equality – Accessibility, Equality and Diversity on Recruitment Websites’ revealed that 97% of web sites from both large and small providers failed to provide equality and diversity information in their application and recruitment procedures or frequently asked questions sections.
A further 54% provided no accessibility functions for disabled people or offered any equality or diversity information at all, while 25% made a one-sided effort, providing either accessibility features or equality and diversity information but not both.
The study was written by equality and diversity specialist Anne Tynan, after analysing a cross-section of 300 such sites over a three month period.
She said that she decided to undertake the research following outrage among some members of the HR and recruitment community about comments made by entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne after the Equality Act came into force on 1 October last year. He claimed that the Act was “so pedantic” that it would damage “honest employers trying to get on with the job of running the country’s businesses and boosting its economy”.
But Tynan said: “I was already aware that the recruitment industry was perhaps not the shining example of promoting Equality & Diversity that some clearly liked to think. The phrase ‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks’ came to my mind.”
While it was all very well professing support for the Equality Act and to, therefore, be upset if someone demonstrated ignorance of it, “I am inclined to think that you are no better than your target of criticism if you have still not put your own recruitment house in Equality and Diversity order,” she added.