Frequently Asked Questions
As a business, auticon operates on the free market. Unlike a charity, a limited company is able to make a profit. Economic return, however, is not an end in itself for us, but an essential basis for investments and growth, which in turn ensure the sustainability of the employment that we offer.
We wanted to create an enterprise that deals with autism confidently and realises the potential that people on the spectrum bring to the labour market. Our goal is to shift public perceptions of autism towards what people with autism can do well rather than what they may find difficult. We are convinced that our employees are at least as skilled as non-autistic staff – and in some areas even surpass non-autistic people.
Being a business, however, also implies that we don’t get any special treatment and are exposed to competition, just like any other company. Our clients expect professional services and in turn our employees can expect sustainable careers.
- An autism spectrum diagnosis (or in the process of obtaining diagnosis)
- The right to work in the UK
- Of working age
- Have at least one of the following: Studied towards a STEM degree, 1+ years of relevant professional experience, or the ability to code in at least 1 modern commercial programming language
We realise that many autistic people take unconventional career or education paths, which is why we focus on the actual skills of our candidates rather than their CV. Formal IT training or a degree is not essential. We do, however, expect a certain degree of IT expertise and the willingness to learn new skills. Successful candidates will need to demonstrate their technical aptitude over the course of the application process.
auticon currently employs approximately 10% of everyone who applies for a consultant position and meets our minimum criteria as specified above.
We realise that we will only be able to play a small role in alleviating the autism unemployment issue, but we think it is better to start somewhere than not start at all. As a business, we need to make sure that our candidates are suited to the role of auticon IT consultant – we cannot employ a candidate out of charity if they do not fit our requirements. Our clients expect professional and high quality services, and our employees can expect rewarding and sustainable careers at auticon.
In the future we’re aiming to tap into further business segments, such as the legal sector. We are also looking at branching out geographically across the UK to create as many career opportunities as possible for skilled autistic people.
All auticon employees work in permanent employment contracts – without exception.
The salaries we offer are based on industry standards, the size of our company, and depend on each applicant’s respective experience and expertise. Our starting salary range for junior consultants without much professional experience is between £25 and £30k gross per annum.
On top of that, we offer a variety of additional benefits, such as
- sustained and on demand coaching (for consultant positions only)
- private medical insurance including mental health cover
- season ticket loans
- flexible work conditions
- excellent opportunities for progression and professional development
All employees, including consultants, receive a continuous monthly salary, even if they are not currently on assignment with a client. The times between assignments are usually used for professional development, intensified coaching, or annual leave.
Most auticon employees work full time (between 30-40h per week).
Visit www.auticon.co.uk/careers for further information on our current vacancies and on our recruitment process.
On average, auticon employees work from home 1 day a week.
We pride ourselves in being a flexible employer and will consider and discuss every request to work from home. However, this always has to be reasonable for the company and we cannot currently offer employment to candidates who want to work from home full time.
We do require the ability to commute and work within London if required by your respective line manager or a client. For consultants on client assignment, opportunities to work from home heavily depend on the respective client and whether they are happy for their consultant to work remotely some of the time.
Our consultants are appointed to client projects that are carefully matched to the consultant’s interest and expertise. Many of our services are offered via service contracts. Each assignment is individually coordinated with the consultant, management and job coaches. Our consultants mostly work on site within the respective client department.
- Our consultants are all auticon employees. We’re not an employment agency and do not refer our employees on to other potential employers.
- We aim for our consultants to work on site within the client team. We believe that rather than having our consultants work remotely, heterogeneous teams represent genuine inclusion.
- Before the start of each assignment, a job coach assesses the client’s corporate culture and workplace settings to inform and prepare the consultant. Job coaches perform a workplace assessment for the client and give recommendations on reasonable adjustments. Job coaches also brief the client in terms of autism and any specific preferences their new auticon colleague might have.
- The client nominates one continuous contact person for our consultant on site. The job coaches remain in the background but are available at any point to consultants as well as clients.
auticon’s business model is based on the idea that heterogeneous, neurodiverse teams bear significant additional benefits in terms of productivity, innovation and output quality.
No. All our employees, including consultants and job coaches, work in permanent contracts at auticon. We’re not an employment agency and do not refer our employees on to other potential employers. Our consultants, however, do normally work in client assignments on site with the client – within a fully supportive environment.
All auticon employees receive a continuous salary, even consultants in times without assignment. The times between assignments are usually used for professional development, intensified coaching or annual leave.
auticon employs highly specialised job coaches, offering individually tailored support to consultants and acting as a continuous ‘safety net’ in the background. Job coaches facilitate the communication between consultants and clients and are available whenever either party needs support or advice. Depending on each consultant’s individual preferences, job coaches may also facilitate workplace adjustments. All our clients receive comprehensive workplace assessments and training.
auticon currently employs more than 200 members of staff altogether (in the UK, USA, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland). More than 150 of those have an autism spectrum diagnosis (November 2018). Some auticon employees have multiple disabilities, and some employees who aren’t autistic have other neurodiversity spectrum diagnoses, such as dyslexia or ADHD.
All auticon IT consultants have an autism spectrum diagnosis and so do some members of the administrative team.
auticon’s benefits can best be described as a win-win-win situation:
- Skilled autistic jobseekers are offered autism-friendly employment that focusses on their individual strengths and talent. A fair salary promotes financial independence. The recognition our consultants receive for their successful work often brings with it a marked increase in confidence and self-esteem, altogether increasing quality of life.
- Society also profits from the auticon model as long-term unemployed persons and benefit recipients turn into tax payers (approx. three quarters of our consultants received some kind of benefits before working at auticon). The occupational success our consultants experience often reduces need for costly support or mental health services. Finally, auticon offers a successful role model for genuine inclusion and promotes neurodiversity awareness and understanding in wider society.
- Our clients receive services of superior quality and witness how neurodiverse teams can add value. Our clients often feed back to us that communication within their departments significantly improves upon the assignment of auticon consultants. Communication becomes increasingly clear and straightforward.
As a limited company, we are able to make a profit. As we are a social enterprise, any achieved profit is reinvested into the growth and sustainability of the company.
auticon’s daily operations are 100% self funded – all our income is generated by the work we do for our clients (we charge our clients a day rate for our services).
Our investors, who helped us set up in the UK, include Sir Richard Branson/Virgin Group and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.
All our IT consultants are on the autism spectrum, without exception. An autism spectrum diagnosis is essential to work as an auticon consultant.
Positions within our ‘back office’ team, i.e. anyone who works at auticon and isn’t a consultant, are open to anyone. Our back office team is neurodiverse.
Candidates who wish to work as auticon IT consultant do need an autism spectrum diagnosis – we can only employ consultants who have a valid diagnosis. We do not need to see the entire original diagnosis, but will need to see some kind of evidence, e.g. confirmation from your GP, therapist or other qualified healthcare provider.
You are welcome to apply for a consultant position if you self-identify as autistic and are currently in the process of getting a diagnosis. Please note that we can only employ consultants who do receive a diagnosis at the end of that process.
Any non-consultant vacancies at auticon are open to candidates with or without autism spectrum diagnosis.
Unfortunately we are unable to offer training opportunities to anyone who isn’t employed at auticon.
All our employees receive regular training and opportunities for professional development, but we do not currently offer any training for candidates external to our organisation.
Keen to work at auticon? Visit our careers page for further information.