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Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra

In November 2018 the 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 agencies IT department. These roles included entry-level security, testing and systems administrations.

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. The four week program consisted of a variety of onsite workshops, simulated activities and practical work experiences. With the program being offered onsite it allowed the ABS 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.

Throughout the four week period the nine candidates enjoyed being 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.  These programs included several general autism awareness training sessions, specific training for identified mentors, leadership training which included both small group and 1-1 sessions along with three months of post placement support.

“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”, said one of the successful candidates.

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