Onboarding experience at Autism Unlimited impresses judges

Autism Unlimited worked with CA3 to create a "two-way" onboarding experience, winning them the 2023 Use of Technology award.
Onboarding Unlimited! - Autism Unlimited with CA3

About the campaign

Autism Unlimited (AU) empowers those living with autism through a unique programme of education, care and support. However, the pandemic placed a strain on the funding and resources of the organisation, and it has faced huge challenges in attracting and recruiting great people into the social care sector. It was crucial for AU to offer an exceptional onboarding experience – too many new employees were leaving the charity within the first three months of employment.

Because starting a new job for a person with autism can be debilitating, AU called upon the support of employees across the charity to create an engaging, inclusive and anxiety-free experience. Welcometoautism-unlimited.org went live in March 2021, with a responsive portal supporting every new hire, their manager, and a work buddy at key moments in the joining process. Each new hire had a clearly defined and personalised onboarding process with a checklist of tasks, supported by global content and social touchpoints.

After the first day, the system ensures everything happens when it should, including a 12-week training and induction programme that’s detailed on the portal. Since the portal went live it has onboarded 224 new hires with a 97% engagement rate. The experience has had a direct effect on voluntary attrition and feedback from new hires with autism has been universally positive.

Judges’ comments

Our judges described the “two-way” approach to onboarding as highly innovative, as it enabled line manager and buddy engagement and solid interaction to enrich the new joiner experience. The panel said the solution was crammed with user-centric features aimed at giving new employees context and putting them at ease.