Current hiring practices are failing autistic job seekers.
How can our hiring platform bridge this gap?
UX design lead
Onboarding flow that
August 2019 - present
BRIDGING THE GAP
We developed a step-by-step onboarding flow for autistic job seekers to generate a holistic employment profile. Based on the questions asked during onboarding, recruiters will be able to understand a candidate’s career interests and accommodations through a generated resume.
Developed with the help of neurodiverse job seekers and leaders at vocational centers, the flow collects information in four broad categories that allow for a holistic representation of each neurodiverse job seeker.
To understand the nuances of the job search process for autistic adults, we spoke to autistic self advocates and vocational center staff. We split up the job search process into a four-step framework, each step at which an autistic job seeker can face challenges.
On top of that, recruiters that are looking for autistic candidates find them far and few in between.
Strengths and Personality
Job seekers are asked about their strengths, skills, and career goals.
Job seekers enter their previous jobs and relevant projects – neurodiverse job seekers often do not have experience in the fields they want to enter.
Job seekers are asked about their ideal work environment and accommodations they need to do their best work.
Basics like contact info, work authorization, and commuting preferences.
Before putting pen to paper, I set three design goals to ensure accessibility and ease of use for our user group.
1. Non-stimulating UI
Minimal UI ensures that users are not overstimulated by the visual design.
2. Chunked information
Present information in chunks to ensure comprehension and understanding.
3. Multiple modes of representation
Represent information through text, graphics, and description to reinforce meaning and appeal to different modes of understanding.
Keeping these principles in mind, I designed the step-by-step survey with one question per page. Each answer card consists of a headline, a visual, and a description. Through iterative user and expert testing, I refined selection methods and increased progress visibility. Although I originally designed the UI from scratch, due to development constraints, all further iterations were created in Paperform.
DESIGNING FOR INCLUSION
1 - SEARCH
"Even if I have the skills for the job, complex, hard-to-navigate systems make it hard to find the right position."
3 - INTERVIEW
"Interviewers often do not know how to accommodate autism and judge candidates for their weakness rather than their strengths."
2 - APPLY
"Once I find the right position, it’s difficult to apply to similar ones because titles and requirements are labelled differently."
4 - ON THE JOB
"Employers are not aware of accommodations for autistic employees, which prevents me from doing my best work."
Once a candidate completes the onboarding process, a Mentra profile is generated, and they are eligible for any job on Mentra without having to complete extra application materials. Recruiters reach out to candidates based on system-generated matches for open positions.
We are currently conducting exploratory studies with recruiters and hiring managers to understand how Mentra can address their needs and workflows. If you're interested in taking part, please reach out to me here or on LinkedIn.