A Technology Collaboration Enables Job Seekers Living With Disabilities
5 MIN READ
2022 concluded with a significant improvement in the technology that supports both disabled Job Seekers, and Administrators of open jobs being posted online. The vision began in 2018 with the launch of Microsoft’s 5-year AI for Accessibility program. Microsoft committed $25M to leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to create new assistive technology and solutions to improve independence and inclusion for disabled people.
2021 introduced a collaborative partnership between Microsoft and Zammo.AI, an industry leader and pioneer in Conversational AI. Zammo was awarded a grant from the tech giant, and was invited to participate in the program. Their engineering team wanted to improve the user experience for disabled job seekers by enhancing their interface options to include voice. They reasoned that the AI, coupled with the speed of machine learning would ultimately enable easier browsing, filtering, and applying for employer job postings on their websites or job boards like Indeed or LinkedIn.
To get a better understanding of the numerous challenges of job-seekers living with disabilities, Zammo partnered with Open Inclusion; recently voted one of the leading Product Research Companies in London by Best Startup London. Their organization provides market and design research, user engagement, innovation, product, environment and service design. Their collaborative participation in surveys, interviews, and focus groups in both the U.S. and UK yielded global feedback and input from more than 300 men and women from various age groups. They helped Zammo to learn that their solution needed to address several challenging barriers including:
- Online form completion; including understanding the form fields, saving data, returning to forms, and navigating between documents.
- Inaccessible websites and job posting platforms
- Lack of inclusive communication options
- Unclear or unresponsive search results when trying to find the needs of relevant job vacancies.
- Lack of acknowledgement or assurance that the Employer understood accessibility and inclusive design in the workspace.
45% of Job Seekers reported abandoning job searches and applications on mainstream websites and job posting platforms both in the US and UK.
Zammo’s solution provides a win-win for both the Job Seekers and the Administrators of the employer job posts or popular job boards like LinkedIn and Indeed that are becoming more widely used. People now have access to an inclusive voice / chat interface that can be leveraged in several stages in the job search and application journey.
The technology behind the solution includes an intelligent chatbot hosted in an Microsoft Edge browser extension to provide a continuous interface across domains. The extension uses Azure OpenAI technology and allows a job seeker to continue their conversation with the chatbot throughout a job search journey across multiple unrelated job postings, job providers, or web domains. Zammo’s intelligent AI-powered chatbot acts to provide an interface for employers and administrators to expand their core content and nuance responses to resemble more human-like back and forth conversation across both voice and/or typed chat entries.
Employers & Job Board Administrators
Employers and job board administrators can provide sufficient information, easily maintain, and create advanced workflows to make the experience as seamless as possible for job candidates.
Zammo’s solution delivers a standardized and accessible experience across access needs. Long form content can now be presented in a more user-friendly question and answer format; enabling employers and job board administrators to create more nuanced back and forth conversation workflows. The solution now enables greater personalization from the job seeker; deepening the discovery for the employer or job board admin.
The solution even provides for the flexibility for Auto-Translation into over 100+ languages, ability to transfer to a live person if desired while staying in the same interface, exporting the transcript of the conversation with sought after information, and more. Data is collected from applicant-provided information, questions, and feedback; providing the user with a robust visual dashboard of insights from the Job Seekers including areas of improvement.
Existing interfaces on major job boards are difficult for people with limited vision, mobility and dexterity. This is underscored with the struggles of navigating job boards through the use of screen readers.
Zammo’s Team engaged with current job seekers who had a range of access needs, including sight loss (50%), mobility and dexterity needs (40%), neurodiverse (11%), mental health needs (10%), chronic health needs (17%) and carers (6%).
An intelligent chatbot interface can be easily created and deployed by the job board website or employer on the page featuring their open positions, enabling both voice and typed responses from disabled applicants.
Utilizing a browser extension, job seekers can now experience a much lower barrier to getting the information the employer needs - across domains. That’s right, as they navigate from site page to site page, the extension is introducing the intelligent bot to the content on the page and enabling advanced interaction.
Microsoft’s continued investment and exploration of Conversational AI is expanding to include Bot Logic, Speech Capture, and Speech Synthesis, to anchor more and more technology solutions. Zammo is looking forward to participating in more projects like this one, where their software platform can be utilized by enterprises and government agencies to improve independence and inclusion for disabled people.
Alex Farr, Zammo.ai’s CEO, remarked “We have been fortunate to collaborate with Microsoft, Open Inclusion, Our Ability, and other organizations on accessibility projects like this one for the past several years. I am continually amazed at how like-minded teams, focused on a unified challenge, can really create lasting impact with the help and support of Microsoft technologies.”
Zammo.ai is the world’s only no-code, voice-first, conversational AI solution for the enterprise. Powered by Microsoft Azure, their cloud-based platform is easy-to-use, reasonably priced, and non-IT business professionals can create and deploy informational content within a day.
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Eager to learn more? Check out our videos showcasing how Zammo’s no-code platform is revolutionizing business for enterprises and government agencies.
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