Neurodiversity in the workplace
As part of our commitment to providing an excellent service to all our clients and candidates, I recently completed a short course on Neurodiversity for HR Professionals to improve my understanding on the subject and to ensure Hasson Associates were better equipped to manage, support and raise awareness on the matter. I was so inspired and excited to share what I heard learnt with my team. One of the first things I had to highlight was how (in my opinion) Neurodivergent people are superheroes in disguise. Their alternative thought processes, behaviours and attitudes are what makes the world an exciting place. Afterall… if we all thought, behaved, and acted the same… wouldn’t life be a bore?
The different categories of neurodiversity are vast, each of them with their own unique characteristics. ‘Exceptional Individuals’ offer short, understandable definitions on the various conditions, along with some interesting stats: https://exceptionalindividuals.com/neurodiversity/.
Sadly however, there still seems to be a lot of stigmas attached to Neurodiversity, and those with a diagnosed condition may face hardship when job seeking. The neurodiverse population remains a largely untapped talent pool, even competent neurodiverse people are often underemployed. Unemployment for neurodivergent adults runs at least as high as 30-40% which is three times the rate for people with disability, and eight times the rate for people without disabilities. But why is that?
Businesses need to recognise the advantages of those who are neurodivergent. There are many famous faces who have disclosed their neurodiverse challenges from Richard Branson and Keira Knightly to Cher and Lewis Hamilton, but have also highlighted how they have excelled in their careers as a result of their gift. Here are just a few exceptional qualities that a neurodivergent acquires:
- Being able to focus intensely on a specific topic.
- Thinking creatively.
- Being detail focused.
- Having above-average skills in math, music, and/or art.
- Having strong long-term memory abilities.
- Being very honest.
- Having high energy.
- Being observant.
- Being good at problem solving.
To attract individuals with some these qualities, businesses must ensure their internal hiring teams are educated and fully trained in the recruitment and interview process to avoid unconscious bias. Making reasonable adjustments, considering the right interview setting, breaking the interview up in to scheduled sessions, being clear and direct with questions, and patient with answers are just a few points to consider.
Companies with high levels of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion report better employee engagement and retention. So, if you are looking to grow your team this year and have ED&I at the forefront of your recruitment strategy, get in touch! At Hasson Associates, we welcome applicants from all communities and will be delighted to share our talent pool with you! E: email@example.com
Neurodiversity and the workplace – helpful resources:
- Exceptional Individuals: https://exceptionalindividuals.com/
- Neurodiversity Association: https://neurodiversityassociation.com/what-is-neurodiversity/
- NDSA: https://ndsa.uk/content/employment/
- Accas: https://www.acas.org.uk/neurodiversity-at-work
- People Per House: https://bit.ly/3HmpnXz