Increasing Neurodiversity at Your Organization

December 23, 2019 Suzanne Courtney

Neurodiversity refers to candidates who may be on the autism spectrum, or who think or function in ways we may not expect. By increasing neurodiversity at your organization, you can gain a significant advantage over your competition while also employing individuals who are often passed over for jobs.

Neurodiverse individuals can bring a level of concentration, analysis and authenticity to your organization that is unmatched in the workforce at large. These traits are even more important as we transition to working more closely alongside technology.

But while 73% of unemployed neurodiverse individuals have expressed a desire to work, the likelihood of neurodivergent people achieving paid employment in their lifetime is only 6%. When neurodiversity brings such a wealth of traits to the workforce, why is their employment rate so low?

Standard hiring practices may be the answer. Candidates with dyslexia, for example, may turn in resumes with misspellings or other errors. All too often these relatively insignificant mistakes mark the end of a neurodivergent person’s career path.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Talent assessments are much better predictors of someone’s work aptitude and potential for success compared with a resume or cover letter — and talent assessments don’t discriminate. Traditional hiring practices such as application or CV screening tend to screen out neurodiversity. Many organizations make hiring decisions based on precedent, but neurodiversity represents unprecedented — and untapped — levels of talent.

You can employ — and empower — neurodiverse talent at your organization, and we can help. Talent assessments like the ADEPT-15 provide a more robust basis for talent acquisition and selection — and one that isn’t biased against neurodiversity. On the contrary, talent assessments can show you what traits and behaviors your organization needs, and these gaps can often be filled by the strengths neurodivergent individuals can bring to your workforce.

An extension of this concept is linked to driving diversity of thought within the organization. All too often, organisations are losing talent as they do not have ways of highlighting internal opportunities and guiding employees about their transferable skills. It is every organizations’ aim to have a diverse and inclusive workforce but they also need to retain talent by helping them to reskilling and grow by accessing internal opportunities. The emergence of ‘growth mindset’ helps enable this more fluid, agile career structure. Talent assessments also enable you to pinpoint neurodiversity in your existing workforce. In this way, reskilling and lateral movement can help you cultivate diversity of thought and openness to new ways of working in your organization.

Have you made changes to your hiring process to accommodate neurodiversity?

If you're interested in knowing more about how behaviors trump skills in the digital world, you can read the magazine "Future of HR" by Raconteur.

About the Author

Suzanne Courtney

Suzanne Courtney is the UK Managing Director for Aon's Assessment Solutions and is a recognized occupational psychology consultant with extensive expertise in assessment, leadership development, people strategies and employee engagement. She is responsible for the company’s performance and growth in the UK market. Aon's Assessment Solutions undertake 30 million assessments each year in 90 countries and 40 languages.

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