Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Neurodiversity is a term created in the late 90s by sociologist Judy Singer. Singer recognized early that neurodiverse minds were oppressed in the same way that gay people and women were in the 90s, and that neurologically diverse people needed a movement of their own. 

Over two decades later, we’re still fighting for equality for neurodiverse talent in the workplace. An Office of National Statistics (ONS) study showed that over 75% of Autistic individuals in the UK are still unemployed, meaning, as employers, there is a lot more we can do to create safe workplaces for neurodiverse talent. 

Benefits of hiring neurodiverse talent

Hiring neurodiverse talent is more than just a campaign for employer branding. Neurodiverse individuals bring remarkable focus, pattern-recognition skills, attention to detail, and complete transparency to their teams and businesses. 

In fact, Josh Bersin reveals that inclusive companies are 1.7X more likely to be innovation leaders, and even more likely to be able to cope with change, making neurodiverse talent necessary for the future of work. 

How do we create recruitment strategies and workplaces that attract neurodiverse talent?

As an employer, it’s important to learn to effectively hire and nurture neurodivergent talent, and put provisions in place to minimize any barriers.

Here are four ways to start creating the most inclusive workplace and attracting neurodiverse talent. 

  1. When starting your Neurodiverse Hiring initiative, it’s important that training is available for all employees, so that there’s a mutual understanding of why neurodiverse talent is important, and ways to help them feel comfortable. 
  2. Neurodiverse talent are renowned for having some incredible skills, so it’s important that you, as an employer, align your suitable job roles to the skills they would excel in. For example, an autistic candidate who is very focused, with strong problem-solving and analytic skills would be more suitable to a Data Analysis position, as opposed to a customer service role. It’s important to allow your neurodiverse talent to flourish and to support them in using their best skills.
  3. To build an organisation that attracts neurodiverse talent, it’s important that your employer brand is neurodiverse-friendly. One way to do this is by interviewing a current neurodiverse employee on their experience with the company, and sharing it on your careers page and social media.
  4. When conducting interviews with neurodiverse talent, it’s important that you make reasonable adjustments for them. It’s also recommended that you or your recruitment consultant offer as much detail into the recruitment and interview process as possible. This will ensure they are comfortable and ease any anxiety.

For more information or support when hiring diverse talent, reach out to one of the consultants for advice and guidance.