Will Brown April 25 2024

Embracing Neurodiversity in the workforce

At t-three, we are committed to recognising and harnessing the unique contributions of neurodiverse individuals in the workforce. In celebration of Autism Acceptance and Awareness month, this blog seeks to spotlight the importance of inclusive recruitment practices. Which wield the power to grow and develop a team from diverse backgrounds, whereby those with neurodiversity are not disadvantaged but rather celebrated and integrated fully. Culminating in an organisational foundation that drives meaningful progress forward.

Understanding Autism in recruitment

But before we go on to discuss some of these practices, it felt important to discuss Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) within the context of recruitment. ASD is characterised by difficulties in communication and behaviour, sometimes leading to problems in social interaction. Consequently, these factors may disadvantage Autistic candidates in traditional recruitment process, as many recruiters and employers lack awareness of Autistic individuals' strengths and needs.

The spectrum, like a kaleidoscope, spans wide with abilities and needs. Therefore, grasping the nuances is critical to inclusive recruitment. But thankfully, with small adjustments, employers can make the process much easier and more pleasant. Meaning they can not only attract, but successfully accommodate ASD candidates.

Making accommodations in recruitment:

Inclusion checklists:

Highlighting one of our clients, Transport for London (TfL), we see a great example of inclusive recruitment in action. Like many forward-thinking organisations, they have created an inclusive recruitment checklists – which can be tailored for specific ASD accommodations.

In ASD, anxiety often comes because of unpredictability, but a clear and transparent checklist of tools and processes which recruiters use for hiring can reduce this. It also ensures a focus on the essential skills and qualifications necessary for the job rather than social norms and expectations, meaning ASD individuals are less likely to be disadvantaged.

Structured interviews:

Making the questions of the interview specific and concrete rather than open-ended or abstract can do more justice to the ASD population. Interviewers should also solicit more information where needed and say when enough has been obtained.

The use of clear unambiguous questioning, reduces the cognitive load of interpreting what is being asked, allowing ASD candidates to better demonstrate their capabilities. Additionally, prompts and indication help to manage conversational flow, which may be supportive for those who might struggle with understanding social cues.

Bias reduction training for assessors:

Often, in the hiring decision, unconscious bias works to the disadvantage of the ASD and neurodiversity diverse individual. Therefore, hiring teams should undergo training to mitigate this. It equips the team with the skills to reduce biases by ensuring a focus on relevant criteria (works well in tandem with an inclusion checklist) and avoids penalising for exhibiting ASD traits - like avoiding eye contact. Assessors learn to concentrate on the candidate’s competencies and how they perform job-related tasks, ensuring a fairer evaluation.

Environmental adjustments:

Whether remote or in-person, adapting spaces where interviews occur can be critical. Creating a sensory-friendly environment where the noise levels and distractions are kept at a bare minimum, and accommodating for those who have discomfort in unfamiliar settings, can significantly reduce the interview distress that many ASD candidates suffer from. Being thoughtful about this ensures ASD candidates can perform at their best.

Alternative Assessment methods:

Traditional methods may not bring out the best of ASD candidates' abilities. Therefore exploring other options like work trials, portfolios, support internships, or practical tasks tailored to specific job demands, can allow ASD candidates to engage in a more relaxed manner – whilst still showcasing their technical and problem solving skills.


This list is by no means exhaustive, and inclusivity is far beyond merely just fulfilling a quota. It’s about recognising and engaging with the steps we can take to continually support neurodiverse individuals. Practices like these and others enable us to harness and celebrate the unique strengths of our ASD colleagues and friends, culminating in an organisational fabric that shines brightly with unique talents and strengths.


JPMorgan found after three to six months working in the Mortgage Banking Technology division, autistic workers were doing the work of people who took three years to ramp up - and were 50% more productive" – CIPD report


Check out how you can make assessments more accessible to neurodivergent participants


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