At RAS, we believe that successful talent management starts with the right recruitment and selection.

We recently received a letter from the Aldingbourne Trust in relation to the recruitment experience of one of our newest colleagues and their appreciation of one of our Recruitment Advisors…

“My name is Debbie Mott, I work for the Aldingbourne Trust, in the WorkAid team, our head office is based at our Country Centre site in Fontwell, near Chichester, West Sussex. 

I work with a team of employment consultants who are based throughout various locations in West Sussex. We specifically work with adults who are anywhere on the spectrum of learning disabilities and autism. In my work I offer holistic and personalised support to adults looking to gain fulfilling and sustainable paid employment. 

Our client’s come from a variety of employment backgrounds, from those who may be looking for their first paid job right through to those finding the next steps in their careers, but they are all very keen and determined to succeed in all they set out to achieve; they are just looking for the chance to fulfil their career goals and aspirations.

K’s story

K came to Work Aid in early 2020 after finishing his full-time education in a catering training establishment after which K had been looking for work for several months. K used our support to access a volunteer opportunity within a local charity shop where he was able to build on his existing transferable skills as well as gaining many new skills, including raising his own confidence within a workplace.

Letter from the Aldingbourne Trust about our inclusive recruitment programme

Determined to keep looking for appropriate paid work and seeing how COVID-19 was having a large impact of the hospitality industry, he set out to look for new opportunities.

Together we came across a position advertised by Retail & Asset Solutions (RAS) who were  for retail stocktakers.

K applied for the job and submitted his CV. He was very open and honest about his lifelong disability, which K has always been keen to do.

K heard back early on in his application to say that he had been successful so far and was offered an online interview with Simone White-Yule. He was nervous, though keen to make a good impression. A couple of days later the online interview took place, and I supported K to make a request around reasonable adjustments, which prompted Simone to call following the interview.

In this call I learned that Simone understood autism and with this was therefore able to appreciate  some of the assets that people with autism can bring to a workplace, qualities that many organisations consider valuable, such as high levels of enthusiasm, areas of expertise, reliability with added attention to detail and a sought-after ability to work in a consistent environment. Simone was able to set aside the standard expectations placed upon an application, such as one having an extensive working history. We openly discussed possible concerns, about how K would cope in some situations such as with his understanding of routine and assignment commitments, and together we were able to talk these through and find solutions.

Simone was keen to see if she could advocate on K’s behalf to consider offering him the role. With her tenacity, understanding and the desire to also see K succeed, she was able to be the key link to  K securing employment.

K was soon offered a job start! K himself was ecstatic as he had also appreciated how Simone had presented him with the honesty and integrity his application deserved. Simone had not just managed to secure K paid employment, but had renewed K’s faith in the process of application where a disability is disclosed. A true acknowledgement that when reasonable adjustments are put into place at the very start of the application process, how a pool of talent can be accessed without unnecessary assumption, stereotyping, bias, and discrimination.

Many people with a disability will suspect being honest and open about disability can disadvantage them in applying for jobs, and because of this, many often choose not to disclose their disability.

Three in five UK employees have experienced disability bias ( and there still appears still to be many myths surrounding disability in that it may cost employers additional monies and that a disability means ill health, especially where the disability is often ‘unseen’.

Throughout K’s application RAS demonstrated that they clearly have diversity, inclusion, and employee engagement strategies at the forefront of their work with practice policies that are set out to remove any unfair discrimination. Simone certainly approached K’s application in a way which has contributed to an open and inclusive workplace culture, especially when making reasonable adjustments in the selection process. 

RAS are championing positive action to address a current under-representation among disabled people in the workforce, and in doing so are building a culture where every candidate is valued and it is true that a corporate image and reputation can be enhanced when working in an inclusive way.

Keep up the wonderful work RAS! we certainly look forward to working with you again in the future!

Debbie Mott

Recruitment Consultant
Aldingbourne Trust