Public Sector and other publicly funded organisations are making Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) a priority, and as a result, we are seeing an increased emphasis on diversity in tenders. October is ADHD Awareness Month, and this week is both Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Awareness Week, so we felt this was a good opportunity to share some best practice on increasing the neurodiversity of your workforce.
Employment and Neurodiversity
Unemployment runs as high as 80% for Neurodivergent people. . Due to their different needs, everything from the job advert through to the interviewing process can exclude these candidates.
Additionally, many employers are unaware of the advantages of hiring someone with, for example, Autism. A few of these reasons are listed below:
- Neurodiverse people can bring in new perspectives that others may not think or know about.
- They are highly observant and can spot patterns more easily – meaning that if something isn’t working as it usually would, they may notice it more quickly, allowing for change and improvement. This is one of the reasons that GCHQ hire neurodivergent people.
- People with autism and ADHD can be more productive if they love what they’re doing – they will hyper-focus on the roles they enjoy, allowing you to build a role that is mutually advantageous.
Improved Hiring Processes
To help attract neurodiverse candidates to your roles, make these simple changes to your job adverts
- Keep your adverts and job descriptions clear and concise? Make sure they explain exactly what is expected of the candidate?
- Limit the skills required to those important to the role? (Take out options such as good communication skills if it’s not actually needed for the role)
- Avoid the use of jargon, keep the working as simple as possible.
- Include an Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement welcoming applicants from all backgrounds, stating that you are happy to discuss any reasonable adjustments if required.
- Use a dyslexia-friendly font such as Arial to make it
Many people with neurodiversity suffer from anxiety, so making them feel as comfortable as possible about the application process will see an increased number of applications.
Supporting Neurodiverse Candidates at Interview
Interviews can be anxiety-inducing for neurodivergent candidates; they’ll be in an unfamiliar location, speaking to strangers, and completely out of their comfort zone.
A quick phone call or email to offer the interview and ask about any additional requirements will go a long way to ease any apprehension and says a lot about your company and its commitment to diversity. This will make candidates feel a lot more comfortable and confident when they meet you face to face.
Some things to offer include:
- Would they be better suited to an informal half-day session where they can prove their knowledge and skills in a safe and comfortable environment for them?
- Do you need to make adaptions? (Changing the interview room to a quieter location, maybe a remote interview, if face to face, meet them at the door and walk them to the room)
- Communicate your thoughts clearly, the interviewee may not be able to pick up on body language or tone cues as easily as others.
- Find out if the role is for them, if you force them into a role they don’t, or can’t, do, you will not get their full commitment and they will lose interest in the job.
- Allow the candidate to have a copy of the interview questions beforehand so they know what to expect.
Onboarding People with Neurodiversity
It can be helpful to talk to your new hire and see what, if any, accommodations they would like during the onboarding process. This could include:
- Asking how they’d like to be introduced to current employees, icebreaking activities may not be suitable and meeting everyone at once could be overwhelming for them.
- Ensuring their colleagues are aware of any accommodations or support that the new hire might require.
- Ask them if there’s anything they need to make them more comfortable in the workplace, i.e., noise cancelling headphones.
Struggling with ED&I Responses?
If you’re currently losing marks due to ineffective ED&I responses, then please get in touch. We support businesses both large and small to improve their systems and process in order to win more tenders. Get in touch today to find out more.