Specialisterne NI is a specialist consultancy that recruits and supports talented people with Autism, Aspergers, or communication difference in the workplace. We work with people who may have a diagnosis of Autism or Aspergers, or who can find communication in the workplace difficult. Our experience helps employers recruit and retain people with communication difference in the workplace, and grow diverse, effective teams.

As part of the Specialist People Foundation, we contribute to a global aim of one million jobs for people with Autism.

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Autism & Aspergers Talent Recruitment


Launching Recruit+/++

  • R+R++ logos VLogo New

In Autism Awareness Month Specialisterne NI is delighted to launch Recruit+ and Recruit++, 2 new programmes designed with input from autistic people and employers to provide the supports which can help autistic people secure careers.

Recruit+/++ programmes are part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014 – 2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Specialisterne NI are Autism at work specialists and are part of the Specialisterne International network. Specialisterne have been working for 14 years over 14 countries to secure 1 million careers for autistic people. We support autistic people to start out in or continue a wide range of careers and job sectors, and to work at a level that matches the individual’s skills.

Recruit+ and Recruit++ are designed to include the additional supports (that’s the + in the title!) that may help autistic people get ready for and secure a career.

Recruit+ and Recruit++ are participant led.

  • The programmes have been designed further to input from autistic people, colleges, training organisations and leading employers.
  • We listen to you to make sure the activities are what you want, which includes connecting you to employers in your desired career area.
  • Recruit+/++ has Participant and Employer forums which help make sure the programme is relevant to participants and prepares participants for actual job opportunities available.
  • Participants can choose between 2 programmes: Recruit+ , which offers light support: or Recruit++ which offers more in depth support.

Specialisterne NI’s  Recruit+/++ team specialize in Autism at Work. 

Our team have studied Autism at university, and have experience supporting autistic people to secure and succeed in career opportunities, with many at graduate and experienced level. We continue to learn about Autism and we share what we learn with participants, so we can develop new strategies together. Our participants tell us this makes a difference:

The Specialisterne team understand the frustrations and challenges of job seeking for people on the autistic spectrum; however, just as importantly, they understand the unique skills and value that people on the spectrum can bring to employers. The team encourage you to recognise your strengths and support you through every step of the job seeking process. I can thoroughly recommend the support Specialisterne provide for job seekers on the autistic spectrum.

We also have recruitment consultancy experience. The Recruit+/++ manager has over 10 years in recruitment consultancy prior to working in Specialisterne. This means we are connected to a wide range of employers and ask employers to advise and mentor participants so that your programme gets you ready for actual job roles and current work environments.

As part of the Specialisterne International Network, who have supported SAP, Microsoft and other international organisations, we learn what is helping autistic people and employers in 14 countries and share this with participants.

There are 4 stages to Recruit+/++


  • We meet with you to identify what you would like to have happen in relation to your career, and how you would like Recruit+/++ to help you.
  • A Lego Mindstorms Workshop. You will have opportunity to build a Lego Robot in small teams and explore skills which you could use in a job role.


  • You will have opportunity to meet an Autism Job Coach 1-1 at weekly bookable slots where you can find out more about working while on the Autism Spectrum, as well as support to apply to jobs and get ready for work.
  • You will have opportunity to take part in a new Thriving at Work Programme which has been developed by leading Aspergers Specialist Psychologists Professor Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett, as well as Specialisterne Australia. Thriving at Work helps get you ready for work and includes anxiety and work management strategies. It includes small group sessions, workbook and certification
  • There will be weekly Recruit+/++ Learning Hubs 3-hour sessions where you can study for NOCN Level 2 Certificate in Employability with the Specialisterne NI team.


  • We will connect you to mentors in your chosen career areas, who will form your Recruit+/++ Career Network. This will help you learn what you need to do to get a job in your chosen career area, and any tips or ideas.
  • There will be fortnightly Career Clubs (2 hours) where participants can job search and learn more about interview skills and what employers want.
  • In Recruit++ there will additional support which includes quarterly Social Curriculum Academies, in different career areas, where employers help participants get ready to get the career they choose.


The Specialisterne NI Recruit+/++ team will support you to make job applications, secure interviews, attend mentor sessions, and start out in jobs.

As with all Specialisterne NI programmes, participants can access the parts of the programme most useful to them and only take part when feeling comfortable to do so.

To register for Recruit+/++, please contact Sharon Didrichsen on 07565 936191 or email sharond@specialisterne.com for additional details or to request a Recruit+/++ Expression of Interest form. The Specialisterne NI Recruit+/++ team will meet with participants in order of receipt of Expression of Interest forms. There are a limited number of places available.

These projects are part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014 – 2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Recruit++ is part funded by the Belfast City Council.


How can we help?

If you are a job seeker and experience communication challenges which may be related to Autism or Aspergers, we can:

  • assess your skills , and advise on what job roles may best suit your communication profile and skillset
  • job search and support you through the interview process
  • carry out a mock interview to help you perform at your best

If you are in a job role, and experience communication challenges which may be related to Autism or Aspergers we can provide Communication Coaching, that helps you understand Autism and how to Communicate Effectively.

If you are an employer and would like to recruit or develop the skills of employees with Autism, Aspergers, or related communication difference we can:

  • introduce CVs of candidates who match your job roles
  • run assessment days for your direct applicants with Autism, Aspergers or related communication difference
  • train staff in how to interview or develop the skills of people with Autism, Aspergers, or related communication difference
  • Provide communication coaching for existing employees or new starts so that they integrate well into a team

Lego Assessment

For the team at Specialisterne NI, ‘playing’ with Lego is all in a day’s work, a social enterprise recruitment consultancy that pairs people on the autistic spectrum with highly skilled jobs in the burgeoning IT sector.

At Specialisterne NI, we use Lego Mindstorms Robots to identify skills and any support needs of participants. By building Lego Robots in small teams, participants demonstrate skills in completing a systematic task, as well as self and team management. We then share what we see with participants and where appropriate use this information to match participants to job roles. When completing the assessment for a current employee, we use the information to help the employee perform at their best in the workplace.

Specialisterne opened in N. Ireland in April 2014 and as a first project supported participants on the Autistic Spectrum in the DEL2014/15 Software Test Academy, all of whom secured job roles.