[03/07/23] Bayes Centre Community Profile: auticon
Bayes Centre community member auticon is a social enterprise and IT consultancy. Their social mission is to improve the employment prospects of autistic adults and promote neurodiversity.
How auticon started
Founded in Berlin, Germany in 2011, the inspiration for the award-winning social innovation company came from a dad who was concerned about barriers to employment for his own autistic son.
He realised that although his son had many strengths and fantastic IT skills, he would struggle to find employment. He turned the problem on its head and decided to set up an organisation where his son and others like him could be employed in a supportive environment that allowed their excellent cognitive skills and strengths such as sustained concentration, pattern recognition precision, error detection and sustained concentration to be celebrated and put to good use in the tech industry.
auticon has experienced significant growth since its initial launch in 2011 and now operates across 14 countries. The UK branch opened in London in 2016, and the Edinburgh team was established in 2019. They have a fantastic team of autistic consultants engaged in a range of exciting projects with their clients but they are always looking for more autistic talent to join them, and more clients to engage with their mission.
The original inspiration – a dad wanting to see a brighter future for his autistic son - is still at the heart of our organisation – but we do more than support individuals. We increase our impact by helping to embed neuroinclusion in entire organisations and being vocal about the benefits of neurodiversity in wider society.
Improving the employment prospects of neurodivergent people
auticon employs highly skilled and talented consultants who are on the autistic spectrum working within a traditional IT consultancy model .
The award-winning social innovation company offers autistic tech and data consultants for hire and tailored neuroinclusion training options. Their social mission is to improve the employment prospects of autistic adults and promote neurodiversity.
auticon offers access to untapped autistic talent who are available to join organisations on a temporary basis working as consultants and bring excellent skills and fresh perspective. This can be a great solution for organisations who are struggling to find the tech and data skills they need
In addition, for any organisation who wants to take measurable action on their equality, diversity and inclusion goals, auticon offers an easy, supported, and structured way to increase the neurodiversity of your organisation and ensure neuroinclusion becomes embedded.
A common misconception is that auticon is a recruitment agency. However, all of their autistic consultants are employed on permanent contracts by them, but are essentially available for hire by others who are looking to bring some specialist skills, expertise and neurodiversity to their work.
Whilst our consultants are working with clients, we as their employer are working with them and the client to ensure the success of the project.
Since auticon’s initial launch in 2011, the company has expanded its offering and is on an upward trajectory with the steady increase of their workforce.
Whilst the core of what they do is still employing autistic people to work as consultants and placing them with clients, their neuroinclusion services are becoming increasingly important as that is where they can scale up the impact they can have.
We now have over a decade of experience of being an autistic-majority company and we are in a pretty unique position to be able to share that experience of attracting, recruiting, hiring, onboarding and retaining neurodivergent talent with our clients through our training.
auticon's achievements and challenges
In December 2022, auticon won Social Enterprise UK of the Year Award 2022 at the UK Social Enterprise Awards. This was fantastic recognition of the work they are doing.
However, auticon’s biggest achievement is the year-on-year progress they are making towards their vision of a more inclusive world.
Our 2022 impact report showed that 82% of our consultants felt they can be their authentic self at work, 91% felt valued for who they are and 92% felt supported at work. In contrast, a recent survey of autistic people working in other organisations found only 44% said they can be their authentic self - so you can see the difference that working somewhere truly neuroinclusive makes on the individual
One of the biggest challenges for auticon has been finding talented autistic individuals with IT and Data skills to join their team.
Autistic people don’t typically look for jobs via the traditional recruitment methods, so we have had to think differently in our approach to attracting suitable candidates. Being based at The Bayes Centre has helped us forge strong links with Edinburgh University, speaking to students at their Careers fairs. The Bayes Centre also supported us with our own recruitment event which we held in the reception area at Bayes.
Basing auticon at the Bayes Centre
The Data Lab introduced auticon to the Bayes Centre and they were hugely supportive of auticon when they first expanded their operation to Edinburgh. After spending their first couple of months working out of the Bayes Centre, courtesy of The Data Lab, they could see first-hand all the benefits of being located there.
The Bayes Centre is a hub for innovation and is home to a range of interesting and exciting companies, giving us lots of opportunities for collaboration. The calm spacious environment also suits our autistic consultants providing them with a suitable working environment when they are not working on a client site.
Being part of the Bayes Centre community has been important for auticon as it has provided them with the chance to engage with so many exciting organisations working with all aspects of data.
As a relatively small organisation, word of mouth is really important to us, so we welcome all the opportunities to engage that just help us to become better known and increase understanding about what we do. Having the proximity to the research community at the University is also a real benefit – we love exploring the crossovers between our mission and some of the research that is underway at the university concerning autism and neurodiversity
Find out more about auticon
If anyone would like to find out more about auticon’s neuroinclusion services or hiring a consultant, please do reach out to Emma Walker – Regional Director Scotland.
If anyone would like to find out more about how auticon recruits please contact Sharon Cant – Recruitment Marketing Specialist.
If anyone is reading this and thinking they are not yet in a position to enquire about hiring one of auticon's consultants or engaging with their neuroinclusion services but has had their interested piqued, please check out their podcast hosted by Carrie Grant MBE. It is a really engaging way to find out more about the world of neuroinclusion and hear more inspiring autistic voices. It’s called “Autism: In conversation with Auticon” and is available wherever you get your podcasts.