Working for People with Sight Loss

The popular job sites – how accessible are they?

 

Looking for work can be a daunting and stressful experience, even more so if you are visually impaired. While there is plenty of Irish job searching platforms, some are more accessible than others.  

To make this process a bit easier, we rated the home pages of nine Irish job searching sites by their accessibility and usability.  

We used WAVE Web Evaluation Tool to identify any accessibility errors while our skilled IT trainer in the Cork office, Brian Manning, went through all of them to help us rate their usability with the JAWS screen reader.  

9) Recruit Ireland (www.recruitireland.com/)  

Recruit Ireland homepage

Recruit Ireland found itself on the very bottom of our list, as on its home page, the WAVE tool identified as many as 34 errors (such as missing alternative text, missing form labels, empty form labels and empty links).   

Missing and empty form labels mean that text labels are not associated with the form correctly (or at all), so its purpose or function may not be presented to screen reader users.  

WAVE also detected 53 errors linked with low contrast between text and background colours. There are no accessibility settings on the site that can be used to enhance contrast or enlarge text.  

Brian’s commented that it is easy to navigate with JAWS, as the website uses a heading, which is good, and the search terms are laid out well.  

8) Jobs Ireland (www.jobsireland.ie)  

jobsireland.ie homepage

Second to last on our list is, quite disappointingly, Jobs Ireland – the Public Employment Service of the Department of Social Protection. On its home page, WAVE detected 24 errors, from missing alternative texts and forms without corresponding labels to empty links and labels.  

There are also 8 errors linked to low contrast. Although the website offers accessibility settings at the bottom of the page, the tool doesn’t seem to be working properly as nothing happens when you try to change text size or choose different contrast options.  

Brian rated Jobs Ireland as fairly accessible with JAWS, as all results are headings which, again, is good for screen readers.  

7) Abodoo (www.abodoo.com)  

Abodoo homepage

This platform is focused on remote working, matching candidates with the job considering their skills and experiences. On their home page, WAVE detected 13 errors, most linked with missing alternative texts and empty links that contain no text. There are also 33 errors marking very low contrast.  

Once you log in to your profile, there are only 5 standard errors (missing alternative texts, empty buttons and links) and 9 contrast errors. The site doesn’t provide any accessibility settings to ease navigation for people with visual impairments.  

6) Jobs (www.jobs.ie)   

jobs.ie homepageNext on our list is Jobs, on which’s home page WAVE detected 19 errors: missing alternative texts, missing form labels and language, links with no text and broken references. There are also 15 errors indicating very low contrast, and the site doesn’t contain any accessibility settings.  

While there were more errors detected on this site than Abodoo above, Brian’s test showed that the website is well laid out for screen readers, and easy to check by category or location.    

He added a witty remark that he was “disappointed however as they are looking for two artic drivers in Cork” and he “did not seem to qualify”.  

5) Irish Jobs (www.irishjobs.ie)   

irish Jobs homepageWhen you scan the Irish Jobs home page with the WAVE tool, there are 8 errors detected. Similar to issues on the other sites we scanned, it’s linked to missing alternative text and form labels, empty headings and links, and broken menu elements.   

There are also 41 low contrast errors. If we move to their Job Search page, the situation gets even worse, as WAVE detects 9 errors, and as many as 163 contrast errors, while there are no accessibility settings or tools on the site that could help user to improve their experience.  

When it comes to usability of the website, Brian advised that it was again well laid out all the results are listed as headings which are particularly good for screen reader access.  

4) Public Jobs (www.publicjobs.ie/en/)  

publicjobs.ie homepageWhile the Public Jobs homepage has a higher number of main errors than Abodoo and Irish Jobs, we took into consideration that this Public Appointments Service website has both accessibility tools on top of their page, and a dedicated accessibility statement that you can review here.   

WAVE detected 16 errors on the main page, mostly due to images that don’t have alternative text, links with no clear function or purpose and empty buttons and links. There are 6 contrast errors, and when you move to the Job Search page and apply accessibility tools, WAVE detects only 4 errors (missing form labels, empty button and missing menu items), with 6 contrast errors.  

When it comes to usability, Brian advised that the website is perfectly navigable but limited in content.  

3) Active Link (www.activelink.ie/vacancies)  

activelink.ie homepageActive Link works with non-profit organisations to exchange information and news about the voluntary sector, including advertising vacancies for different organisations across Ireland.  

WAVE scan detected 5 errors on the main vacancy page, that include empty buttons and multiple label elements associated with form control, which means assistive technology may not read the appropriate label. There were only 4 low contrast errors, but there are no accessibility settings or tools.  

Brian deemed the website itself well laid out, even when you and the information were clear and direct and accessible.   

The downside of this site is that job ads often lead to PDF documents provided by employers. They usually contain additional information about the application process and person specification but are not necessarily accessible with the screen readers.  

2) Monster (www.monster.ie)   

monster.ie homepageIt’s a close call between Indeed and our winner: both don’t have any critical or contrast errors on their home pages.  

Monster Job Search page doesn’t have such impeccable ratings though, as WAVE detected 20 contrast errors. It also offers the Accessibility Centre, which provides a visitor with a step-by-step guide for using their website with a screen reader. You can access it by following this link.  

The reason for us to place it in second place is that Brian rated it a bit more challenging in getting the information for a screen reader, but once that’s done, you get more geographical relevant information and, again, the vacancies are set out as headings.  

1) Indeed (https://ie.indeed.com/)  

indeed homepageIndeed found itself on top of our list, as it seems to be most accessible and usable for job seekers who are blind or visually impaired.  

The WAVE tool doesn’t detect any critical or contrast error on the home page, however, when we move to their Job Search page, 4 errors are detected (empty heading, buttons and link).  

While some job adverts take you to employers’ websites that might be less accessible, you can apply to most of the jobs directly through Indeed, which will ensure that the application process goes (in most cases) smoothly. Brian rated it as a good website to navigate, with well laid out categories.