When looking for staff, an employer hopes to find the person with the best skills for the job, and it makes sense to appeal to a wide range of people in the recruitment process. Yet people with an ASD are often hugely disadvantaged in typical recruitment processes. Many find getting a job much harder than doing or keeping it – meaning that employers are missing out on a potential pool of talent.
There are many minor adjustments which can be made to the recruitment process which help people with an ASD apply for jobs, and improve the chances of employers recognizing their skills as potential employees. Many of these may also benefit other candidates and enhance overall efficiency in recruitment.
Job advertisements often contain confusing ‘jargon’ and extraneous information or complex design which may be confusing to many applicants, including people with an ASD. It may be better to use clearly worded advertisements listing essential skills.
It is relatively common for employers to include in a job description or advertise skills which are not essential for the job to be done effectively. Typical examples are ‘excellent communication skills’ and ‘good team player’, which are often included as ‘default’ skills when they are not actually necessary. Many people with an ASD do not apply for jobs demanding these attributes as they are aware of their potential difficulties in these areas and assume themselves to be ineligible for the job (even where they have strong, directly relevant skills). When drafting advertisements and job descriptions, it is helpful to make a conscious effort to consider objectively what abilities and experience are genuinely essential for the job to be done well, and to omit those which are not.
It may be helpful to people with an ASD to include a section on an application form which gives applicants the opportunity to highlight any help or adjustments they may want at an interview. Clear guidance about what information the employer needs on the application form can also be helpful.
Or CONTACT Suzanne Ford at (613) 492-9000 or (613) 266-3205
We are proud to announce that we have won the award for Employment Ontario Ottawa Network – Commitment to Employment Equity 2016! It was an honour being nominated and we are so proud to receive this award recognising that our ‘hiring practices have helped to create a more inclusive and diverse work environment.’