Autism and Recruitment
In our first two blogs we looked at raising awareness and starting conversations about autism, so people can gain a greater understanding of the spectrum of skills and talents which people on the autism spectrum often possess. But we come back to the 2016 report that found just 16% of autistic adults find themselves in full time employment. This week we start to look at the recruitment process. Contact us to show how we can support your business in making itself accessible.
As I touched on in my spectrum of opportunities blog, the processes which are used in recruitment and selection can in themselves exclude people right at the start of the process.
Job Descriptions and Person Specifications
Job Descriptions and Person Specifications often throw in several cover all elements: “Excellent Communication Skills”, “Experience Required in…”, “A commitment to ensuring excellent customer service”. What do these actually mean? Are they essential to the job role, and will they secure the right person for your organisation.
When you analyse the actual tasks required for the job, a thorough and comprehensive Job Description can be formed. For many people on the autism spectrum, this clarity and structure will help to make a job more accessible. The benefits for the business are also significant. Progress against specific tasks can be measured, and you can have an actual clarity about what each job role in your business fulfils.
I looked back recently at the Job Description for a previous job (many, many years ago!) - I didn't actually recognise the role which was described. Without clearly thought out documents, which are communicated through the correct channels, we as businesses could be missing out on hugely talented individuals.
Application Forms, can often look extremely daunting as well. Have you considered the format in which these are presented? Could the form be designed differently to ensure all can complete them and demonstrate their skills and talents. Some online forms provide such a sensory overload, that in themselves are a barrier to employment.
Telling your potential employer?
One question which we asked this week on social media was as to when, or if, people would tell their potential employer about a diagnosis of autism. The feedback was mixed, some had found employers willing to find alternative solutions to the process, whilst others found employers unwilling to make even the smallest of adaptations. This can have a huge implication for employers, and the need for employers to be supportive and accessible has never been greater.
Again, acceptance and understanding is key. The NAS report in 2016found this
“When we asked about the single biggest thing that needed to change to help autistic people get into work, over 50% said support, understanding or acceptance. And 60% of employers we polled told us they are worried about getting support wrong and they don’t know where to go to get information about supporting autistic employees.”
We believe that with small changes the workplace can become so much more accessible to people who want to work. From my experience the majority of autistic people do not want charity, they want opportunity. Work with us to help a create spectrum of opportunities which will benefit all of those involved.
Contact us and find out how we can work together to create opportunites