The University of Bath’s Recruitment Team has received Ambassadors for Autism certification from the Centre for Applied Autism Research (CAAR), based in the Department of Psychology.
The team received the accolade after introducing a series of evidence-based alterations to make recruitment processes more autism-friendly, including improving communication with candidates, reducing sensory stressors in the interview environment and changing how information and materials are presented.
Following a successful trial in recruiting to Ahs and Estates, the interventions, including providing candidates with more information about how to find interview venues, more detail on timings during the assessment process and advance notice of who will sit on an interview panel, will be rolled out across the University.
Ambassadors also provide ongoing feedback to CAAR about the impact of the adaptations on their services and encourage service users to feed back on their experiences
Abigail Lyons, Head of Employee Recruitment and Experience, spearheaded the certification application. She was inspired to seek Ambassadors for Autism status after attending a CAAR training workshop. She said: “I’m really proud that we are now recognised as Ambassadors for Autism.
“I think it’s really important that our community is diverse and gives everyone a fair opportunity to succeed during our recruitment processes, so we can recruit really talented people.
“By making these changes we’re treating everyone consistently while making recruitment more autism friendly. We’re actually talking about some quite simple things that make a difference, like providing photos of what an interview room looks like for example.”
Dr Jade Norris, Research Associate at CAAR and creator of the Ambassadors for Autism scheme, said: "We are delighted to certify the University of Bath Recruitment Team as Ambassadors for Autism. It's been fantastic to see our research being applied by the University to make their recruitment practices more accessible to autistic people. The Recruitment Team have pledged to make particularly impressive adaptations for autistic candidates, including accommodating environmental and sensory needs, adapting interview questions, and providing interview questions to candidates in advance.
“Although autistic people have a diverse array of talents, skills, and experience to offer to the workplace, they remain the most under-employed of all disability groups, with employment interviews constituting a major barrier for many. The Ambassadors scheme therefore encourages employers to adapt their recruitment procedures to level the playing field for autistic candidates.”
Professor Mark Brosnan, the Director of CAAR, added: "It is a great pleasure to acknowledge the University’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion."