Autism and recruitment

During our recent recruitment process using one of the government's scheme to help young people to gain work, we got asked by one of the young people if we support autism at work. He was interested in taking part in the training provided by the government and then going for an interview with us. At this stage we don't have any information and he is coming for an interview as part of the scheme. Just want to see ig anyone has got any good ideas on how approach this. I have not got experience in managing autism at work and during the recruitment process. Thank you.

  • Hi Nena,
    If you haven’t done so already, I would recommend taking a look at the employer’s guide on the National Autistic Society website. They take you through lots of practical hints and tips that can enhance the experience for applicants and make it less off putting for autistic people - such as considering whether some attributes that feature in job descriptions really are necessary to the job role. All looks very sensible and helpful for all applicants.
  • A good friend has 2 sons in their 30s who have Asperger’s syndrome. Both hold down basic jobs, one in a café the other in a warehouse. For both of them a “buddy” has been appointed to work closely with them and to provide reassurance and guidance if situations become complicated or stressful. This way, potentially difficult situations are defused before they arise. The buddies have been given a symbolic pay rise to reflect these common sense duties, and seem to enjoy it. This approach seems to work well for both of them, and staff are encouraged to interact with them as much as possible in the same way as with other colleagues.
    Hope this helps and I’m sure others will bring ideas to the table.
  • We employee a number of Autistic staff, as a mass data organisation they have a much stronger skill set in some cases than non autistic employees. There is a lot of guidance that you can read and try and apply but each case is very different. The spectrum is wide and in many cases you simply wouldn't know someone had Autism unless they directly communicated it.

    Gain the knowledge as best you can from resource but they simply engage with the individual and discuss their condition and see what it is they require so you can make reasonable adjustments. Try not to over complicate the process as a chat works wonders in a majority of cases.
  • Thank you, Kat. That is quite useful.
  • Thank you. That is such a good idea.
  • Hi Nena, are you a disability confident employer? This may serve as a platform for the business to work from towards becoming a neurodiversty smart employer. There is much in the way of support and guidance on the topic of attracting, recruiting and managing neurodiverse individuals. ACAS has practically guidance and the CIPD have done research on this, the link of which I now hopefully attach for you... www.google.co.uk/url
  • www.donaldsons.org.uk/.../ Hi Nena, this charity can help to build your understanding of how to manage neuro diverse staff
  • Autism has a very broad spectrum, so I'm with Alun above. Speak to the person find out if they had any support in place at school / college and could that be replicated or adapted to meet their needs. Does the individual have other ideas and suggestions that could be incorporated or adapted?
  • Johanna

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    25 Jun, 2021 11:17

    Hi there we have some CIPD neurodiversity resources here that may be useful: www.cipd.co.uk/.../neurodiversity-work and this podcast may also be helpful: www.cipd.co.uk/.../neurodiversity
  • Lots of great resources and tips here.
    From personal family experience, when looking at the resources and talking to the candidate, review what parts of the recruitment process itself may present problems and see if these can be adjusted; for example 'open text' online questions and timed activities can be very stressful / detrimental for some .
  • The best source of information is autistic people themselves; listen to what they have to say as they are the experts.
  • hi there I am new to this. I am hopefully starting my CIPD L5 in September. speaking as a mum to my lovely son who is 20 on Monday and was given his diagnosis in 2015- it was a long journey to get there. over the past few years my son would gain employment and he would be able to remain for a matter of months, but it becomes apparent of his difficulties surrounding instructions and remembering what he needs to remember to fulfill the job requirements. we have found that although we have disclosed his situation, many employers are ill equipped when recruiting or training an employee on the spectrum. the best advice I can give you is as someone else has mentioned is to refer to the NAS employer website for tips. also,ask the potential employee how best they work. do they have any triggers and can you as an employer look at mitigating these ? a buddying up with any employee, as someone else mentioned. allow the potential employee the time to process information and instructions. keep the wording concise and very clear. perhaps write up , with their input , a personal manual for them which they can refer to ? as always, just as with every other employee, there is not a 'one size fits all', but by listening to his voice and asking what he needs, you will be moving in the right direction. Good luck, and well done.