November 27, 2022
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Career Website Helps Businesses Connect with Neurodiverse Job Seekers

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One organization has set out to try to pair an underrepresented talent pool — workers with neurodiversity — with employers seeking out their skill sets and the benefits they can bring. According to the Neurodiversity Career Connector, at least one in 15 people are classified as neurodivergent — with differences stemming from autism, ADHD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, Tourette Syndrome, and other diagnoses. 

A person exhibiting neurodivergence might think or process information differently than others, but the Neurodiversity Career Connector program has sought to reinforce the benefits of these differences and attempt to pair neurodiverse job seekers with employers.

The career connector was born of the 2017 Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable, a group of 50-some 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 in the end, it’s not just about filling gaps for businesses, it’s about modifying the typical hiring processes to make them more suitable for a variety of candidates in order to facilitate a connection. For example, Microsoft says, “some neurodivergent people struggle with social dynamics and new environments like traditional job interviews” which creates a massive barrier 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 screening processes and remove those barriers.

Job seekers can create a profile, upload a resume, and connect with employers directly, and employers can post jobs on the site after they have established a neurodiversity hiring program for at least a year and been public about it. Says Microsoft, “That usually means having trained recruiters, coaching, and supported interviews 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 previously may have been missing out on.”

 

Image Credit: TIR

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