Finding the right candidates to fill the job openings in your company can be a long and arduous process. You might have cast a wider net of prospective hires, though chances are that your current interview process may be weeding out untapped talent, overlooking and limiting opportunities for neurodiverse candidates.
While it may not be intentional, the minimal effort in hiring neurodivergents may be affecting the success of your business. How, you may ask?
For starters, people who are neurologically different, or those who have differences such as autism or dyslexia, tend to have higher-functioning brains, with higher-than-average abilities. As the Harvard Business Review reiterates, studies show that neurodiverse populations “can bestow special skills in pattern recognition, memory or mathematics.”
Such research has and continues to influence globally recognised companies, acknowledging their shortcomings to be more inclusive in their hiring process. One of the first to pave the way for a neurodiverse workforce, Microsoft has gone above and beyond with their “Autism Hiring Program,” a multi-day process that takes a holistic approach to the traditional interview process, incorporating team building, interview preparation and technical skills assessments over several days. From this programme, Microsoft have employed some of the brightest engineers, data analysts and scientists.
Goldman Sachs is another corporation heading in the same direction. Back in April 2019, they launched their Neurodiversity Hiring Initiative, an eight-week paid programme open to people with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, developmental disorders and mental health conditions. On top of desk experience, participants are mentored and trained in a myriad of areas throughout the internship, from professional development to technical skills, according to Fortune.
Another notable example is a lesser known but widely respected software testing company Iterators, which have been celebrated for limiting their hiring pool to qualified neurodiverse candidates.
However, it’s not just the interview process that needs to be adjusted to maximise the potential of the workforce. With workplace wellness programmes on the rise, it’s vital that employers tailor employee perks to not only their interests but also their needs. As Pain Free Working reveals, management need to look beyond discounted gym memberships to maintain employee morale.
Addressing individual needs, such as specialised working conditions for neurodivergent employees, goes to show how much the company cares for their workers. It’s as simple as a company investing in their own people. Thus, together with the business, everyone can thrive.
And with our workshops here at Exceptional Individuals, we hope to facilitate these positive changes, starting with a change in workplace attitudes as a stepping stone for new and improved policies.
‘How a neurodiverse workforce benefits your business’ – written by: Jackielyn BlarewoodFor: exceptionalindividuals.com