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To Adjust or Not To Adjust…?

07 June 2011

During a recent Recruitment and Retention course that I was delivering, a senior delegate brought up the topic of how to respond when a candidate has Dyslexia or Asperger’s syndrome. In this particular instance, the candidate requested more time to complete a test, which was duly granted but the question raised was where does the employer stand on this and is it fair?

Dyslexia and Asberger’s both arise from the same genetic background, affecting somewhere in the region of 10% of the population across the world. The conditions suffered can affect the development of the brain and this can impact upon visual or auditory processing skills, as well as weakness in memory. It should also be said that some strengths can arise from these conditions, including creative problem solving skills and verbal communication. Both conditions are recognised under the DDA and as such, employers are required to provide reasonable adjustments. From a recruitment perspective, these adjustments may include:

1. Allowing additional time for instructions or questions to be read

2. Making sure directions for the location of the interview are clear, with visual aids where possible

3. Ensuring that you only ask one question at a time – good practice anyway!

4. Giving instructions for tests both visually and orally

For further information on best practice during the recruitment process, including information on the most effective methods of choosing the right candidate, contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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