The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) understands the value of a neurodiverse workforce and in September 2018 engaged Specialisterne to tap into autistic talent in order to improve their efficiency and create a more diverse work environment.
The ATO partnered with Specialisterne in 2018 to tap into neurodiverse talent. Twelve candidates were assessed over three weeks through Specialisterne’s tailored recruitment program consisting of onsite workshops, simulated work activities and practical work experiences. The program allowed the ATO to adapt their existing hiring process for people on the autism spectrum to create an opportunity to demonstrate and showcase their skills.
Practical, patient approach to recruitment
By using our practical patient approach participants were slowly eased into the program which aimed to reduce any additional stress or anxiety that can sometimes surface during traditional recruitment methods. By avoiding the anxiety of completing an interview, participants were able to take the time to become more familiar with the workplace environment and to better understand the organisation and its culture all whilst obtaining valuable hands-on experience.
“It was much easier and less stressful than normal application processes” commented one candidate.
Such was it’s success, in 2020 we embarked with the ATO on a second program nationally.
Building and programming robots
The four week assessment program consisted of a variety of onsite workshops, simulated activities and practical work experiences. With the program being offered onsite it allowed the ATO hiring managers to be actively engaged in the recruitment process and to observe the participants interactions with other candidates as well as to observe how they handled the various activities.
What the hiring managers have to say:
“I think it has been an awesome program and I have only been involved for a short period of time. The support people offered are wonderful, both Specialisterne and EPIC Assist. I couldn’t rave enough. The guys working with me in the program have been great and I am really excited to see them excel and their careers take off.”
“Very successful placement for a very high performing and valuable new team member.”
“Biggest learning is how amazing they can be when you tap into their special talents.”
“Very suitable, driven by proficiency in systems and understanding of broad concepts and continued willingness to learn.” [about the successful candidates]
What the candidates have to say:
“Having a job for the first time is a big one, it’s given me routine and a schedule as well as an outlet to being productive and part of a team.”
“Not only have I been able to show all that I am, it has allowed me to be ME in order to do it, and that has been the most refreshing part.”
Through the Specialisterne Australia Federal Government Talent Hub, the ATO created new pathways for suitable candidates on the autism spectrum and as a result nine individuals were subcontracted into roles within the agencies IT department. These roles included entry-level testing, applications development & system analysts.