In November 2018 the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) engaged Specialisterne to tap into autistic talent in order to improve their efficiency and create a more diverse work environment.
Through the Specialisterne Australia Federal Government Talent Hub they were able to create a new pathway for suitable candidates on the autism spectrum and as a result six individuals were subcontracted into roles within the agency’s IT department in Canberra. These roles included entry-level security, testing and systems administrations.
ABS hiring managers were actively engaged in the recruitment process
The four week candidate assessment program was uniquely tailored to the needs of the ABS and used our patient practical approach in order to effectively evaluate and assess the strengths of the candidates and their suitability for the available roles while avoiding the anxiety of traditional recruitment methods. ABS hiring managers were actively engaged in the recruitment process.
Throughout the four week period the nine candidates were challenged with a variety of tasks and activities directly related to work they may be involved with at the ABS. A highlight of the program included an innovation challenge where participants used Mindstorm Lego robotics to solve potential security vulnerability issues and automation within the agency and presented their solutions to their group including hiring managers and guests from ABS.
Throughout the entire program Specialisterne worked with the ABS to build their capacity and aimed to enable their staff through a series of autism specific training and awareness programs.
One of the ABS’s star recruits was Darien Judge, who was employed as a Cyber Security Operations Analyst. Darien found the Specialisterne assessment program a great opportunitty to demonstrate his abilities, giving him a chance to shine.
In this video, Darien talks to Specialisterne’s CEO, Julie Robertson, giving his insight into the recruitment and employment process from the perspective of an autistic jobseeker/employee.
What the hiring managers and candidates have to say:
“You can get the best out of people when they are matched for a role. Traditional interview processes are a social process and they do not suit everyone (that also applies to neurotypical people as well).”
“The best thing about being involved in the program is seeing the individuals participate and grow in the initial workshops. Seeing the candidate enjoying coming to work – adding value to the ABS and feeling good about themselves.”
“All the candidates were of high quality. a number of unsuccessful candidates may have also been good in the roles.”
“At ABS I am challenged and given opportunities to learn constantly, I am in a team and environment where I feel actively supported and encouraged.”