How we’re championing neurodiversity at Telstra
This also includes to the millions of people who are living with disabilities and seeking employment. You see, we’re proud to say that diversity and inclusion is truly in our DNA, and we’re committed to fostering an environment where our people with diverse skills, life experiences, backgrounds, and beliefs can thrive and bring their authentic self to work every day.
We know that people experience and interact with the world around them in different ways. There is no one “right” way of thinking, learning, and behaving.
A person who is neurodiverse may have a wide range of strengths and challenges. Neurodiversity includes neurological and developmental conditions such as ADHD and autism, as well as learning disabilities such as dyspraxia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and Tourette's syndrome. In the world of work neurodiversity can present significant barriers to entry and progression. These barriers are unique to each individual, but they usually manifest themselves in challenges with communication, comprehension, socialisation, or processing – all areas that can put those individuals at a disadvantage compared to someone who is neurotypical.
At Telstra, we’re proud to be counted among the organisations who have completed AND’s Disability Confident Recruiter Program (DCR). In late 2020, we ran a recruitment pilot that I was lucky enough to be part of. We partnered with a company called Specialisterne, which works closely with neurodiverse talent.
I’ve learned so much already and we’ve only just scratched the surface with neurodiverse recruitment at Telstra. There is so much more we can achieve – and I’m really excited about the possibilities.
Customised support and adjustments
For all roles at Telstra, our application form provides the option for candidates to identify as having a disability and we also have a dedicated page with further information on how we can help.
If a candidate identifies as being neurodiverse, we contact them by phone or email to discuss any suitable adjustments that may assist them with the recruitment process and talk through a plan moving forward. Adjustments that we can provide include extended HireVue assessments, one-on-one information sessions, providing interview questions early and interview coaching.
As a result, we form a close partnership with our neurodiverse candidates throughout the recruitment process, and we are committed to keeping them informed and making them feel fully supported. As well as the support of the recruitment team, they have a contact in our Learning & Development team, their manager, and the Donesafe platform, ensuring the hand-off to their onboarding is consistent.
A recent success story
In a recent Graduate campaign, one candidate advised it was the first time that they’d ever disclosed in their application that they have a disability and made it past the first stage. They identified as being neurodiverse, so I contacted them to explore how I could best support them through the recruitment process.
We agreed on a plan that would enable them to fairly participate in the recruitment process, including receiving the interview questions early to digest them ahead of time, and advising the interview panel prior to the interview that they have a disability.
Advising the panel ahead of time assists with removing obstacles for the candidate. The panel know to focus on their answers rather than behaviours. This particular candidate has Autism, Anxiety, and ADHD, so he advised that maintaining eye contact is difficult for him and the interview team were able to fairly assess their skills without this being a hindrance.
With the personalised changes to the recruitment process, the candidate interviewed extremely well, overcoming challenges they had previously faced with articulating their skillset under interview conditions. Excitingly, this person was successful in receiving an offer of employment and is now onboarding to become part of the Telstra team!
Ultimately, neurodiverse employees bring a fresh perspective and different way of doing things, making our workplace innovative and exciting. I’m very much looking forward to helping more people who identify as neurodiverse achieve their full potential with us.
We're committed to attracting the best talent to Telstra, and that means embracing individual differences and all abilities. Explore open roles here, and if you require any adjustments or accessibility support during our recruitment process, email us at DisabilityandAccessibility@team.telstra.com, noting your preferred method of contact.