Blog

Get expert advice on every topic you need as a small business owner, from the ideation stage to your eventual exit. Our articles, quick tips, infographics and how-to guides can offer entrepreneurs the most up-to-date information they need to flourish.

Subscribe to our blog

HR

Do you want to run a more successful business? Try incorporating neurodiversity in your hiring process

Posted by Shivali Anand

October 15, 2021    |     6-minute read (1091 words)

Diversity is a trendy subject in the corporate world, but it's more than simply a fad. Maintaining a diverse and inclusive staff today has a direct impact on a company's development potential. The general idea today is that diversity in the workplace refers to hiring people from various backgrounds, including gender, religion, color, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and education.

However, as organizations come to understand the importance of neurodiversity, the concept of diversity is broadening. Employers, particularly in high-tech environments, might benefit from such talents such as particularly creative problem-solving abilities. That’s why a rising number of companies are focusing their recruitment efforts on neurodiverse applicants.

What is neurodiversity?

The majority of people are "neurotypical," meaning they process information in accordance with cultural standards. The paradigm of neurotypical brain wiring has long been used to assess social and work settings. Neurodivergent people's brains may operate, learn and process information differently.

Advocates argue that differences such as autism or ADHD are not necessarily dysfunctional, as opposed to the long-held belief that brains must be one-size-fits-all. Instead, they say that people's neurological diversity should be acknowledged and valued and that society should continue to adapt to suit neurodivergent people's needs.

Neurodiversity and the hiring process

People with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and Asperger's syndrome are now referred to as neurodiversity (but a more comprehensive list typically includes other conditions such as bipolar affective disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more). Employers who opt to disregard neurodiversity risk missing out on talent, as an estimated 10% of the population is neurodivergent in some manner.

Furthermore, neglecting to examine how many sorts of thinking styles might collaborate, whether they have recognized conditions, means you may be actively fostering "groupthink" and failing to represent society's neurological composition.

Employers are increasingly realizing the benefits of neurodiverse employees and establishing hiring strategies to attract them. While these programs are more prevalent in larger companies, they are catching on in various industries. Employing neurodiverse employees may provide businesses with a competitive edge and financial and workplace cultural advantages.

How neurodiversity in the workplace is beneficial?

  • It broadens your perspective of your target audience.
  • The more unique your team members are from one another, the broader the spectrum of ideas and perspectives your company can tap into.
  • Neurodiverse people are a valuable but underused resource. Experts point to a talent pool to assist fill skills shortages that businesses regularly bemoan, notably in the IT and financial industries.
  • Studies indicate that diverse companies outthink and outperform homogeneous environments.
  • Individuals with dyslexia often have above-average intelligence and outstanding creative thinking skills. They are frequently gifted at problem-solving and spatial reasoning.
  • Trustworthiness, an excellent memory, dependability, adherence to rules and attention to detail are common characteristics of people with autism.
  • People with a high degree of inclusivity were four times more likely to grow personally than those with a low level of inclusiveness, according to one study.
 How can your company engage neurodiverse employees?

We've compiled the following tips from recruitment and HR specialists for organizations who want to take advantage of hiring for neurodiversity.

  1. Obtain buy-in from employees at all levels of the company.
Discuss what it means to have a neurodiverse workforce with top management. These conversations must take place openly and transparently. It must be a comfortable environment for both neurotypical and neurodiverse employees to ask inquiries and come forward with information.

  1. Participate in community activities.
Employers may benefit from community organizations that can help them find and recruit neurodiverse talent. These organizations include government agencies, charities, vocational rehabilitation facilities, educational institutions, and disability offices. Such organizations can provide significant training assistance and resources in addition to aiding with recruiting.

  1. Make adjustments to your hiring practices.
Hiring managers must reconsider what a "good applicant" is. Many superficial conventions, such as a firm handshake or looking someone in the eyes, are challenging for neurodiverse persons to execute. Managers must ask the appropriate questions to get the most out of an employee's talents and abilities. It's also necessary to remember that resumes don't tell the entire story. Many neurodiverse persons are self-taught or have transferrable talents since they cannot find a job that fits their abilities.

  1. Be patient with yourself.
Creating a neurodiverse candidate pool takes time. The recruiting procedure may take two weeks. Video conversations, virtual activities, and mini-projects can all be used as evaluations throughout the first week. The second week will be held on-site, including team-based work simulations and interpersonal skill development.

  1. Arrange for two-way instruction with an expert.
You might want to look at soft skills training as part of establishing a neurodiverse workforce. It should be conducted by a qualified expert with the necessary experience, which you can most likely find in your neighborhood. This training isn't only for neurodiverse employees; it's for everyone, including managers, who need to know what it is like to be on the spectrum to cooperate appropriately.

  1. Be adaptable and flexible.
People with autism may be hypersensitive to temperature, sound, and illumination. To guarantee that employees are as productive as possible, you may need to provide accommodations such as noise-canceling headphones, private rooms, or flexible work hours. For example, if a person can't sit still for more than 45 minutes, they should be allowed to take a short walk.

  1. Strengthen your message.
Neurodiverse people have had a lot of bad luck in a lot of places. As a result, people may feel understood at work but not so much outside of it. A successful neurodiversity program should spread its message both internally and publicly, making it a more frequent workplace feature.

Addressing neurodiversity in people management can be transformative

Executives should be urged to adopt a management style that prioritizes putting each person in a position to make the most of their abilities. This acknowledges that humans are like jigsaw pieces that have been thrown together at random.

However, because it's easier to fit people together if they're all perfect rectangles, companies have historically pushed employees to perform as such. The issue is that the rectangular method requires individuals to leave their individuality at home, yet those distinctions allow organizations to develop.

Key takeaways: To hire neurodiverse employees, organizations will have to perform the arduous task of piecing together odd jigsaw puzzle pieces, which means viewing individuals as unique assets rather than fungible human resources. Managers will have to put in more effort. Managers will have to put in more effort. However, the advantages include having access to a more extensive range of talents and views, which may help them compete more successfully.

We handle your essential business offerings so you can focus on growth.