How can employers adjust the recruitment of people with autism?


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How might employers adjust their recruiting process to see what a person with autism has to offer their organization?

Lisa Morris

Director, Hay

Different adjustments can be made for different individuals.

Rather than recommending a universal set of adjustments, our advice is to ask candidates during the application process or before an interview if they need any support or modifications.

Be careful to avoid stereotypes, as the level of adjustment required for each person on the autism spectrum varies.

Some of the following actions may help.

For example, provide a quiet and private space for the candidate to wait before the interview, if it is held in person.

Then, during the interview, be aware of the social and communication challenges the candidate may face.

For example, focus on identifying a candidate’s skills rather than letting a lack of eye contact or difficulty answering questions obscure their skills.

When asking questions, be prepared for a deadline if the candidate has to deal with what was asked before responding.

Try to ask specific questions rather than general ones.

The candidate can give long and detailed answers, so allow more time for the interview.

Conversely, you may sometimes need to ask the candidate for more information.

It is also advisable to seek advice on best hiring practices, as there are many resources available to help employers.

Megan Nicholson

Andrew Sullivan

General manager, Sullivan Consulting

It is the employer’s responsibility to be impartial during the recruitment process to ensure that each candidate is treated fairly and receives appropriate assessment.

Many disorders, medical conditions and disabilities do not reflect the skills, work ethic, cultural suitability of the workplace, and other factors that are valued in potential employees.

Therefore, employers should not adjust the recruiting process unless a candidate specifies the challenges they may face in the role.

When presented with this information, employers must adapt to the specific circumstances.

One way would be to give less weight to certain selection criteria.

Alexandra rosser

Responsible for the organization Psychology consultation, Stillwell management Advisers

Ideally, employers should seek external advice or, if they are already fortunate enough to have employees on the autism spectrum, internal advice on the type of adjustments that would have a significant impact.

Adjustments to consider could include a statement in the advertisement or on the company’s website that applications from applicants with autism and neurodiverse are welcome; advertising through specific social media channels designed for spectrum users; provide a point of contact within the organization that candidates can call to discuss their specific needs, train internal recruiting staff on best practices for interviewing people with autism; avoid very stimulating places for interviews; and provide alternative or additional interview options for applicants with autism to better demonstrate their skills and experience.

Employers can also partner with organizations that have specifically developed a pool of talented people across the spectrum and can help employers match their jobs to the right candidates.

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