For neurotypical applicants, finding a job is a tough process and that’s with all the odds stacked in their favor. For autistic job hunters, there are many barriers to overcome if they approach the job market independently. Firstly, the wording of job adverts tends to be abstract, and even a bulleted list of requirements will put off autistic applicants who understand this as a list of role-specific skills they must have instead of a guideline for their application. Secondly, the application process often requires a talent to write in abstract terms and to be able to translate concrete skills into a hypothetical position. Finally, the face-to-face interview relies heavily on an ability to read body language and understand subtle social cues which many autistic adults struggle with.
What is a Placement Agency?
Faced with all of these barriers to employment, it’s no wonder that autistic adults in British Columbia look for the best employment placement agency Vancouver has to offer. An autism placement agency is a group of autism experts who work with both autistic job seekers and potential local businesses to find successful job opportunities. They specialize in training for both potential autistic employees and their new employers and offer post-hiring support to make sure that the new position is a long-term success.
Why Should You Use A Placement Agency
Autism employment agencies bring many benefits to autistic job seekers. 5 of the most important benefits include:
- Personalized service - the old saying goes that once you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. This means that each person on the spectrum will present with a different set of strengths and weaknesses, interests, and career goals. An employment placement agency will get to know each individual personally so that they can tailor training and job opportunities to make the most of their skill set.
- Life skills training - for neurotypical individuals, the understanding of how to prepare oneself for work is a process that started in grade school. For autistic workers, the transition from supported school life to independence in the workplace comes with a myriad of challenges in just getting ready for work in the morning. Autism placement agencies will not only offer job readiness training but will also work with autistic applicants on how to set up a morning routine and navigate their commute.
- Autism awareness - sadly, there still exist a lot of negative stereotypes surrounding autism in Vancouver society. The common misconception is that because they have a diagnosed mental illness, autistic people are incapable of functioning in the workplace. An autism placement agency will work with the hiring company and train their entire staff in autism awareness so that all staff members understand what autism is and what it isn’t. This will help the new autistic hire to be accepted and incorporated into their team and make the onboarding process much smoother.
- Onboarding support and beyond - there is a definite difference between the concept of having a job and actually stepping into the office on day one. For autistic people who may not have any formal work experience, the onboarding support provided by autism placement agencies is essential to helping them get over the rough parts of starting a new job. The best autism placement agency Vancouver can provide will be one that goes beyond the initial onboarding support and remains available for support for both the employer and employee for the term of the contract.
- A variety of contracts - finally, an autism placement agency will be able to negotiate a variety of contracts to meet the needs of both the autistic applicant and their hiring company. For many autistic job seekers, the goal of full-time, permanent employment is almost overwhelming in the first instance. Better options can be part-time work that slowly increases to full-time hours or a contractor contract where they are hired by project rather than on a permanent basis. Autism placement agencies will be able to negotiate a variety of management systems, ranging from full supervision by the hiring company to the agency holding full responsibility for the autistic employee.
It’s easy to see that with all of these benefits, teaming up with an autism placement agency can boost your chances of getting a job. There are costs involved in signing up, but these are often insignificant compared to the money that you’ll make from working. Many of these agencies are run as not profit meaning that their costs are just to cover the costs of their autism experts.