What does accessibility mean for the neurodiverse?
Getting to the interview itself can be a nightmare of diary management, bus timetables, planning and organisation… and that’s before the interview has even begun!
The neurodiverse community possess a lot of skills that are needed in the workforce, so why do they face so many obstacles in the recruitment process? As a Disability Confident Leader and a firm advocate for neurodivserity inclusion, Genius Within have come up with a few helpful tips to make recruitment inclusive for neurodiversity.
Firstly, you need to match your recruitment technique to the job skills. If you need an analyst whose job is to crunch numbers, you do not need an assessment centre but you might chose a numerical cognitive test. If you have a job that relies on visual skills, don’t use a talking-only recruitment technique!
Being neurodiverse accessible doesn’t mean avoiding any recruitment methods, it just means making sure that (1) the method matches the actual job and (2) you must allow the same reasonable adjustments in recruitment as would be available in the eventual job.
There are ways to ‘buffer’ the standard forms of recruitment…
Some of our founder’s (Dr Nancy Doyle) preferred methods of recruitment at Genius Within are:
It is important to remember that there is no blanket method of recruitment inclusion for all conditions. The umbrella term ‘neurodiversity’ covers a range of conditions, bringing with them their own set of difficulties. This can make it confusing for a recruiter to know the best way to make recruitment inclusive, as each individual requires different needs. It is important to know what difficulties are associated with each neurodiversity, and so…
Here’s a handy summary of typical difficulties and typical adjustments per condition.
But remember! Conditions overlap and sometimes people are misdiagnosed. So the best approach is always to just ask “how can we support to work at your best?” and to throw in a few examples.
Now, it can be easy to get caught up in focusing on the difficulties that come with being neurodiverse. There are however, just as many (if not more) strengths as there are difficulties, and recruiters should be wising up to these. Take a look here, see how many strengths are associated with these neurodiverse conditions (that’s not even all of them!) For neurodiversity strengths to shine in the recruitment process, adjustments to make recruitment more inclusive must be made.
A final note….
The good news is that though recruitment might not be the best place to ‘shine’ and a new job transition can be harder for neurodiverse people, all people with disabilities tend to make incredibly specialist, loyal and reliable employees once they are settled. Research globally and in the UK has repeatedly indicated that employees with differences have lower turnover and lower absenteeism, as well as higher company loyalty when adjustments and accommodations are in place. You can get adjustments in situ from day one, we do not recommend waiting until there is a problem! Contact us here to speak to our team about assessments or coaching, or go through our Genius Within Strategy Questionnaire here. You can acquire a free assessment via Access to Work, find out more info here.