Autistica campaign by House 337 spotlights “unjust” job interviews

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Creative agency House 337 and research and campaigning charity Autistica have created an arresting and simple campaign highlighting how difficult traditional job interviews are for autistic people and challenging employers to rethink the process.

Autistic Hire Different

The campaign, Hire Different, which will run for World Autism Acceptance Week from March 27, aims to tackle the high unemployment rates among autistic people, with fewer than three in ten autistic adults currently in employment in the UK.

The creative work shines a light on how the traditional interview process is stacked against autistic people by comparing and contrasting the challenges they face with those a neurotypical person might face in the same setting.

Difficulties understanding questions and body language, communication challenges, sensory issues and anxiety are all additional barriers to entry into the workplace for autistic people.

As a result, traditional job interviews too often inadvertently recruit for social skills rather than job skills, meaning employers can overlook the best candidates and autistic people miss out.

The campaign has multiple executions inspired by real accounts of job interview experiences by autistic people, which will run across DOOH in London and Birmingham & on social media.

As well as raising awareness of the problem, the campaign directs employers to the  Autistica Employers Guide to Neurodiversity which has guidance on how to run inclusive interviews.

They’re also encouraging people to support and get involved in their research around employment (www.autistica.org.uk/hire-different).

It is the first time Autistica, the UK’s leading autism research and campaigning charity, has worked with House 337, and commenced their partnership in October 2022.

The new work aims to speak to a broader audience beyond the autism community, and it kicks off a month of activity focused on employment for the annual Autism Acceptance Month of April.

Dr James Cusack, Chief Executive at Autistica, the first openly autistic charity CEO, said: “Autistic people face unnecessary barriers to work because of an archaic interview process.

“Our campaign tells their stories, explaining how companies are too often missing out on the perfect candidate – just because a person is autistic.

“At Autistica we are rethinking the traditional interview process. We’re sharing resources for employers to help them hire differently by making interviews more accessible for autistic people.”

Jo Moore, Executive Creative Director at House 337, said: “Our campaign focuses on the faults in the whole hiring/interview system that hasn’t changed for decades.

“It’s madness in this day and age that it has stayed the same and is in no way inclusive or considers someone who cannot interview well under these pressures and will miss out on a job, because of this.

The creative work highlights very simply, the issues that people with Autism face in the current process, letting the viewer see the need for a whole new way we approach interviewing.”