CBC’s The National: People with autism recruited for skilled jobs

Post was published at CBC’s The National: People with autism recruited for skilled jobs by daniel in In the News.

CBC’s The National, Oct 17, 2017: People with autism often struggle with job interviews. Specialisterne is recruiting people on the autism spectrum for firms in need of skilled workers.

“Most of our recruits don’t like job interviews,” says Alan Kriss, who runs the company’s Toronto office.

“The interview is a barrier the way a step is a barrier to someone with a wheelchair and this is a ramp. This is our ramp.”

The “ramp” is an out-of-the box approach to assessing autistic people’s skills by allowing potential hires to show rather than tell what they can do.

Specialisterne holds workshops where candidates are given a complex task such as building a robot and then testing it. How they manage the exercise, Kriss says, can reveal a lot.

“What we’re saying to business and to the industry is that there is a talent pool of people that are ready and capable of working and the processes that you’re using right now are probably not allowing you to access that talent pool effectively,” says Kriss.

“If you want to increase the pool of labour available to businesses in Canada, let’s find other ways of connecting you to them.”

Specialisterne’s goal is to brand and sell the autism advantage and help 25,000 autistic adults in Canada find jobs.

Momentum is building. So far, Specialisterne has helped nearly 100 people with autism in Canada find work over the past four years. The number may seem small, but Kriss says it’s huge given these people stood much more limited chances before.


Reporter: Ioanna Roumeliotis

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