Neurodiversity is a term that refers to the natural differences between people and how they experience and interact with the world around them. Although the word neurodiversity refers to the differences in all people, it is often used to refer to those with Autism and other neurological disorders, for example, learning disabilities.
As it is thought that up to 15% of the population are neurodiverse (ADHD Aware), it is important to have a recruitment process that is inclusive of all to get the best out of candidates.
There are some misconceptions when it comes to employing neurodivergent people, but it is key to look past these and ensure that support is provided to make these candidates feel at ease and therefore perform at their potential.
Please see below some of the best practices for your recruitment process to consider neurodiverse candidates:
1. Job Adverts should be kept accessible and easy to understand. Provide clarity that applications are welcome from all backgrounds. Have you considered running your advert through a tool that can identify biased, vague or un-inclusive language before posting?
2. Hosting Recruitment Days can be a great way to provide insight to your organisation and how individuals could be supported. We at Cohesion have experience of running these sessions with hiring managers. Ensure that all staff attending receive suitable training prior to event to be able to provide a meaningful experience for the target audience.
3. Consider the format of your Application Form as some candidates may require support if it is too lengthy. Ask yourself ‘why are we asking this question, what is it telling us about the potential of this applicant?’ If the answer is you don’t know, you shouldn’t be asking it. Offer support if possible. Review your Entry Requirements to avoid automatically deselecting candidates unfairly, and as a minimum, have the option for candidates to provide information on extenuating circumstances. Throughout each stage of your recruitment process you should offer candidates the option to receive reasonable adjustments but do be mindful that candidates do not have to disclose or ask for additional support, which is why having an inclusive process is important.
4. Final stage processes and Interviews can be daunting for all candidates. Consider what format of interview is best suited to the role they are applying for – in some cases an assessment may be suitable. Offering support ahead of the interview can be a great way to put minds at ease and make candidates feel confident to nail their interview! We are seeing more organisation share their competencies or questions ahead of interviews to help candidates prepare effectively and remove the anxiety around the uncertainty of the questions.
5. The assessment criteria may need to be altered as if you are assessing communication then the negative indicators (such as ‘makes eye contact) may need to be removed, as some candidates may struggle with this naturally so therefore will be disadvantaged.
6. When the offered candidates are getting ready to start for their first day, ensure clear communications are sent out during the onboarding process and set up any support that is required. For example, what time they should arrive, where to go, who they will be meeting, what to expect on the day.