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One organization set out to try to match an underrepresented talent pool – workers with neurodiversity – with employers looking for their skills and the benefits they can bring. According to Neurodiversity Career Connectorat least one in 15 people are classified as neurodivergent – with differences resulting from autism, ADHD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, Tourette syndrome and other diagnoses.
A person with neurodivergence may think or process information differently than others, but the Neurodiversity Career Connector program sought to reinforce the benefits of these differences and attempt to match neurodiverse job seekers with employers.
The Career Connector was born out of the 2017 Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable, a group of around 50 companies with neurodiversity hiring programs, led by Microsoft. Its goal is “to welcome neurodivergent employees into (the) workplace, recognize and promote their strengths, and be aware of their unique needs.”
And ultimately, it’s not just about filling gaps for companies, it’s about changing typical hiring processes to make them more suitable for a variety of candidates to facilitate a connection. For example, according to Microsoft, “some neurodivergent people struggle with social dynamics and new environments like traditional job interviews,” which creates a huge roadblock in someone’s attempt to find meaningful employment.
The career platform hopes to serve as a way for employers to rethink some of their traditional selection processes and remove these barriers.
Job seekers can create a profile, upload a resume, and connect directly with employers, and employers can post jobs on the site after running a neurodiversity hiring program for at least one year. year and made public about it. According to Microsoft, “this usually means having trained recruiters, coaching, and sustained interviewing with detailed guidance and extra breaks.”
According to Neil Barnett, Director of Accessibility and Inclusive Hiring at Microsoft, “By adjusting the front door of our interview process, we are finding incredible talent that we may have missed before.”
Image credit: TIR