This week we are recognising World Autism Awareness Day. At the STR Group, we acknowledge that recruitment procedures can often, unintentionally create barriers for candidates who have autism. There are many small adjustments you and your organisation can make, to both encourage autistic candidates to apply for your job role and to make them feel more comfortable during the interview process.
Did you know
According to ONS data, just 22% of adults with autism are in any kind of employment.
Three top tips to encourage autistic candidates to apply for your job role
- Eliminate unnecessary “skills” from the job descriptions that are often added by default, for example “excellent communication skills” or “good team player”. These could discourage those with autism from applying for the role, meaning suitable applicants may assume themselves to be ineligible for a role, even when they have strong skills that are directly relevant to the required tasks.
- Include strong skills that are directly relevant to the tasks involved e.g. “accuracy”, “an excellent memory” or “detailed knowledge”. These attributes are shared by many candidates, whether they have a developmental disability or not.
- Make reasonable adjustments during the interview process. This can allow a candidate with autism to fully showcase their competencies and make them feel more comfortable. Simple changes you could make include providing:
- Interview questions in advance
- Clear ‘on-the-day’ interview instructions e.g. with photographs of the building entrance
- A calm, quiet space for the candidate to wait before their interview
If you are a candidate in need of support finding your next role, or an organisation struggling with a skills challenge, contact us today.
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