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Prioritizing Accessibility When Recruiting & Retaining New Talent

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Kyndall Elliott
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Accessibility is a serious responsibility for all businesses. This isn’t simply a legislative requirement, though. There are various commercial imperatives for company leaders to adopt consistent, meaningful, and even innovative measures to support workers with disabilities and additional needs. Prioritizing accessibility can positively impact recruiting and retaining new talent. Your company policies can send a message to those living with disabilities about how effectively they’ll be supported. However, it’s vital to note that workers and candidates who may not appear to be navigating visible disabilities will also pay attention to how genuine and extensive your efforts are.

So, let’s take a moment to explore how accessibility relates to recruitment and retention.

It Promotes an Inclusive Culture

One of the most important reasons accessibility can assist with recruiting and retaining talent is because it promotes an inclusive culture. The current workforce tends to prioritize meaningful inclusivity, among other elements of diversity. One survey found that 39% of respondents reported resigning due to a perceived lack of inclusion within the company. The more inclusive and accessible your culture is, the greater the sense of belonging, positivity, and engagement can be.

True inclusivity is one of the key components of making an accessible workplace. This involves taking steps that ensure all workers feel supported at work. Provide equal development opportunities regardless of background and include diversity and inclusion as a core part of basic training. It’s also vital that the physical environment meets Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance standards, which require that all spaces are easily navigable and practical for all contributors.

To maximize impact on recruitment and retention, your inclusive culture must be a core component of the hiring process and ongoing company development. During interviews, candidates' opinions and experiences of working in an inclusive workplace are worth discussing. Ensure accommodations are available during onboarding and the company’s cultural standards are outlined in workers’ documentation. Importantly, employees should be involved in leading, cultivating, and influencing efforts throughout the business. This helps accessibility stay visible and keeps employees meaningfully engaged.

It Bolsters Workplace Safety

Safety in the workplace is a key responsibility for all business owners. After all, there’s a clear duty of care to ensure you’re not subjecting employees to conditions that negatively impact their wellness. In addition, maintaining a safe environment can impact recruitment and retention. After all, workers who feel at unnecessary risk are unlikely to be comfortable, happy, or engaged in their roles. Not to mention that a reputation for repeated accidents can disrupt your ability to attract candidates. Accessibility can play a role in ensuring your business is a safe and supportive space.

On the most basic level, accessible workplace layouts and features tend to align with high safety standards that support everyone, not just those living with disabilities. For instance, maintaining clear throughways in offices, warehouses, and production floors enables those who use mobility aids to navigate these areas. But this also presents fewer trip hazards for all workers. Having sufficient lighting not only helps those with vision impairments but also assists all employees in avoiding obstacles and reducing eye strain.

Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that it’s not just the physical components of accessibility that make a difference here. For instance, stress can negatively impact workplace safety. If workers feel under pressure, this may lead to dangerous errors, distractions that result in carelessness, and poor safety communication. It’s important to adopt accessibility measures that support mental wellness. This may include flexible workplace schedules, stress management training, and providing access to mental health resources.

It Improves Employer Branding

Employer branding is increasingly important in the contemporary employment landscape. Particularly since the Great Resignation, workers are more discerning about who they’re willing to work for. Good employer branding is a tool that promotes how positive an influence the business is both to potential candidates and current workers. Building a brand that demonstrates how accessible your business is can contribute to its strength.

Ensure that content is related to your accessibility efforts on your career pages and general website. This can include behind-the-scenes videos of your measures alongside blog posts on how inclusion fits into company culture. It’s also important to ensure that this content and job applications can be adapted for easier use for those living with disabilities, vision impairments, or neurodivergent traits.

Another key component of solid employer branding is authenticity. While content made by your business can be impactful, these materials may still be treated with a little cynicism or hesitation. Therefore, it’s wise to encourage employees to create content related to their experiences with the company’s commitment to accessibility, inclusion, and diversity. Videos, blogs, podcasts, and even social media posts are impactful because they can be treated as social proof.


Prioritizing accessibility can impact your recruitment and retention in a range of ways. Firstly, your efforts promote an inclusive culture, which can prompt greater engagement among existing workers and candidates. High accessibility standards affect workplace safety, influencing worker satisfaction and longevity. You may find, too, that featuring your accessibility standards on company and employee-generated content can improve your brand.

Remember, though, that your first responsibility for accessibility should be ethical. Your efforts must be led by a genuine commitment to supporting and welcoming all workers and candidates. When this is at the forefront of your company’s considerations, there are opportunities for everyone involved to thrive.

Content Contributor:
Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She is interested in better living through technology and education. She loves traveling to beautiful places and is frequently lost in a good book.

Ainsley Lawrence