Adjusting Recruitment Procedures for Applicants with a Neurodiverse Condition

Posted in : Seamus Says - Employment Law Discussion on 2 October 2020
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Issues covered: Recruitment and Selection; Policies and Procedures; Neurodiverse applicants

Scott: Do you have any guidance or advice as to how an employer can adjust their recruitment processes to help attract or support people with neurodiverse conditions, particularly at the moment where everything is working from home?

So have you had any experiences there where people . . . people are still recruiting, albeit there are redundancies going on all over the place. Is there anything an employer could do in their ads or in the way that they work or in the processes that they have that say, "Look, we are neurodiverse-friendly", or, "We have things in place that will help"? Is there anything that you're aware of?

Louise: We're kind of in a position now where neurodiversity is becoming a bigger sort of topic. And looking at internally what Texthelp have done over the past years, we've tried to provide resources that can give a bit of help and guidance on certain conditions. I think you've just maybe brought that up on the slide now. So we have an Unlocking Neurodiversity Guide, which really breaks down some of the neurodiversities, the benefits that they can bring to the organisation, and certain things that you can try.

But even looking beyond the sort of resources that we're looking at, there are schemes out there again . . . I don't know if everyone is aware of this, the Disability Confident Scheme. So, again, that's a much broader scheme that looks at working with organisations to make them fully inclusive from a disability point of view.

And just to sort of touch on what Seamus was saying there about how it can sometimes get to the breaking point before needs are addressed, if you look at the organisations in physical buildings before, if you're creating a building or an office space, you're considering ramps into your building, you're considering lifts in your building, your considering the size of door frames, all the physical disabilities in mind. So, if you're thinking already of those physical disabilities, it really should be something that you think of in terms of those hidden disabilities to actually make sure that you have in place those supports for individuals. So that's just something to be mindful of.

Again, every organisation is slightly different in terms of the way you recruit and in terms of the way you advertise. So it is mindful to think of if you're putting information on your website, for example, is your website accessible? Have you hidden it on the 35th page down a career's website? So, for somebody with a processing condition, they may never actually get to see that CV, to see that job description, because it's maybe hidden in so many different spaces or it's diverted off another page or it's hidden somewhere else.

So even thinking about your website as well, not just even your physical office space, because your website, in many cases, is your shop front, especially now with COVID, where everything is online and people are accessing your website for support.

We do provide a website support tool called Browsealoud. Since COVID, we've seen a 50% increase in our usage. Because everything is going online, there is no other way to access services, so even thinking about things like that and making your recruitment process inclusive can really help.

Scott: Okay. Thank you very much, Louise. We just had more of a comment come in there from someone who works at Specialisterne, who are a fine organisation based up at Queen's. They primarily assist autistic people with employment programmes and issues. However, they also assist companies with rolling out awareness training to other employees. So it's worth checking them out and you can get help with them. I've dealt with Specialisterne in the past. They're a fine organisation that's coming in there.


This article is correct at 02/10/2020

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