Managing Director of Avantix is reaping the benefits of hiring someone on the autism spectrum
Brisbane-based information processing solutions company, Avantix, is learning that there are significant business benefits that flow from taking a disability-inclusive approach to employment.
Duncan Lord, Managing Director of Avantix said that after reading about success stories where other companies had employed people on the autism spectrum, he was keen to see if there would be a natural fit for the business.
“We help customers transition from paper-based processes to a digital format. We thought that there would be a good alignment between the skill set of the work we do, and the general strengths of someone on the autism spectrum,” Duncan said.
“We initially had a temporary position that we were looking to fill for three months.
“I’ll be honest and say that yes, we did have some concerns surrounding possible radical changes required to suit the needs of someone on the autism spectrum.
“We were afraid that the changes could be disruptive and impact productivity,” Duncan explained.
To gain a better understanding Duncan contacted EPIC, a local disability employment service, who was able to guide Avantix through the process and connect him with local job seeker Liam Gaughan.
“My concerns were actually a lot greater than the reality of bringing Liam on board. Actually, all of my concerns surrounding hiring someone on the autism spectrum were completely unfounded,” Duncan said.
EPIC provided a support system to both Liam and Avantix to ensure a smooth transition into the role.
“Liam has been incredibly impressive in his position. So much so, he was offered a permanent role.
“His thoroughness over a long period of time and the laser-sharp focus that Liam is able to apply means he has reduced mistakes and improved input times. He has made a big difference in that regard.”
Duncan admitted that he believed the stigma surrounding employing someone with a disability before he hired Liam. He thought it was safer to stick with the status than to try someone new.
“Business is difficult at the best of time, it’s the concern that it wouldn’t fit.
“If you’re in the same boat as us and are thinking of employing someone with a disability, I’d suggest that you look at your processes, investigate the strength of people with autism, see where it’s a good fit and take the leap because you won’t regret it.”
EPIC Assist is a local disability specialist that works with businesses who want to make their operations more disability-inclusive. Find out more by calling 13 EPIC or visiting the EPIC Assist website.