Traditional employee selection processes will only attract to you traditional employees.  Whilst non-autistic job applicants are able to reframe their experience and package it in the best possible light for the benefit of being selected for interview (and some even lie), autistic people will not. Automated selection of online submissions based on the competency frameworks used in most job descriptions is likely to screen out anyone who does not know how that process works. It will exclude people unable to generalise their knowledge to meet the employment profile if the terminology used isn’t identical or doesn’t reflect a completely accurate representation of their skills.

Work experience is a way for autistic people to prove their capabilities

You might like to consider the following:

  1. Think about the portfolio of skills, abilities and personal values you need
  2. Look at potential employee’s CV to see if it matches a vacancy you have
  3. Use a technical assessment to review skills which can be completed online
  4. Do not screen out applicants with a patchy employment history. It may be because their previous employer was not making reasonable adjustments, or they may not have had a supportive employment environment in the past.
Employers need to be actually aware of what autism can entail- rather than paying lip-service to being 'inclusive' but caring little when it comes down to it.

Parent of an autistic jobseeker

Having decided to employ an autistic person because you value the skill sets they could bring to your company, you may wish to approach schools, colleges and universities where the candidate may be studying the skill you need. Alternatively, you could look for specialist recruiters. 

Since diagnosis, I have always been open and honest at interviews about my autism. This has generally not been a problem for me.

Kevin - Autistic employee

Make sure that the selection process examines and tests the skills you need the employee to use in the job.  If you are looking for someone to do training or coaching, an interview could be appropriate. If you are looking for a data analyst, give them sample data to analyse and see how accurate and effective they are.  Although interviews are popular in recruitment, they are a very poor way of assessing an applicant’s skill in the workplace. Autistic people in particular struggle with interviews as they are usually held in an unfamiliar place, with people the applicant hasn’t met before, and test interpersonal skills, which may not even be a key requirement of the job.