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  • Claire Proudlove

ATS Technology... Accessible for all?

Recently in relation to a social media post regarding ‘the best way to find a job’ an insightful comment was made about how Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) do not always work for neurodivergent applicants. This blog will explore the accessibility of ATS Technology for those with neurodivergent brains.

In an evolving world of work where equity is an essential part of any organisation’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) policy, barriers to entry for job seekers are not always clear. ATS technology and company careers sites need to be on point from an Employer Value Proposition (EVP) perspective and ensure the best talent can access career opportunities on offer.

Thumb pushing button with words on 'New Career- Start'
If only it was as easy as pushing a button!

With only 16% of autistic adults in full-time employment (National Autistic Society) and dyslexic, dyspraxic and dyscalculic individuals stating simple adjustments and wider understanding would improve their ability to be engaged and retained in work, talent attraction must evolve.

With the ever-present war for talent considering neurodivergent individuals as "talent that has been substantially overlooked.” (CIPD) Successful engagement brings diversity of thought and strengths including innovation, analytical thinking, focus and attention to detail.

Inclusivity and equity create organisational benefit for all, improving engagement, affecting change, and supporting a workplace culture that serves employee and community needs whilst positively impacting productivity, retention, and the bottom line.

So, what can be done?

  • Make your website and recruitment technology accessible. If budget allows, consider website accessibility tools.

  • Keep application processes straightforward and easy to follow. Consider other ways for candidates to apply, via email or telephone.

  • Offer the opportunity for reasonable adjustments throughout the attraction, engagement, and assessment processes (and beyond).

  • Evaluate your assessment process - Standard interviews can limit opportunities for neurodivergent candidates. Consider more inclusive assessments and take a skills-first approach. Remember some tools create bias by traditionally filtering out - spelling mistakes and CV gaps.

  • Remove unconscious bias - Educate and train your workforce and hiring community. Challenge individual biases. (See our blog here)

  • Be engaging, supportive and empathetic. Champion advocacy and do the right thing.

  • Work collaboratively with your recruitment partner to ensure attraction, assessment and onboarding is equitable and take a continuous improvement approach.

For tips on employing people with autism, visit the National Autistic Society.

To support employees with ADHD, see the welfare pack from ADHD UK.

Looking to attract more diverse candidates to your business? Check out our blog on how!

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