Hiring Neurodivergent Talent

Over the past decade, Diversity and Inclusion has become a pivotal part of business culture and recruitment. This has brought to light the importance of hiring neurodiverse talent, and the benefits they can bring to a business.

Neurodiversity refers to differences in cognitive functioning and includes individuals with Autism, Dyslexia, and ADHD. In the late 90s, sociologist Judy Singer recognised the need for an individual movement for neurodivergent talent, and coined the term “Neurodiversity”.

Since then, we’ve seen a number of large companies including SAP, Microsoft, and EY take a lead on neurodivergent hiring.

Case Study: SAP

SAP were one of the first large businesses to implement a neurodiverse talent initiative. 

In 2013, they launched The SAP Autism at Work programme, and have since seen a 90% retention rate of hires on the autism spectrum, and numerous success stories.

A key example of this includes Nicholas Neumann, who joined as part of the initiative in 2016 and single-handedly created a tool that reduced 2-3 days of work to just 20 minutes.

This success not only proves the extent of skills neurodiverse candidates can bring to a business but opens an untapped talent pool for companies, offering candidates that create a culture for new perspectives and new ways of problem-solving. 

Creating a workplace that attracts Neurodivergent Talent 

Actively creating a Neurodivergent Hiring initiative involves changes to ensure your organization can be made suitable and accessible for neurodivergent employees. 

  1. It is important that your Employer Brand shows inclusivity. Simple ways to do this include creating careers pages that show your employees, and who they are beyond their jobs. SAP have done this brilliantly, offering videos of their neurodivergent employees, their successes, and the reasons they enjoy working for SAP.  This is a great way to boost your employer brand, whether you’re attracting neurotypical or neurodiverse talent as it speaks for your inclusivity, which will pay dividends in candidate attraction overall.
  2. Similarly to reviewing your Employer Brand, it’s important to review your recruitment process as a whole. This includes discussions with any external recruitment agency partners to make them aware of your neurodiverse hiring initiatives, ensuring a synchronised employer brand message for any prospective candidates.
  3. Internally, it’s important that all your employees are on-board and have a mutual understanding of your neurodiverse hiring plans. It is recommended that all employees have disability training on all topics, including neurodiversity, and extra measures are put in place to support neurodivergent employees.

These first few steps should allow you to create a foundation for attracting and retaining diverse talent.

For further information or support, feel free to contact a Nicholas Bernard consultant.