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How To Make Your Hiring Process Neurodivergent Friendly.

Creating an inclusive workplace that values neurodiversity not only benefits individual employees, but also promotes a culture of acceptance and…

How To Make Your Hiring Process Neurodivergent Friendly

23rd April 2024

Businesswoman shaking hands with a job applicant
  • In the UK, approximately one in seven individuals identify as neurodivergent
  • However, only 15% of those diagnosed are currently employed
  • Hiring experts at Talos 360 explain how businesses can make their hiring process neurodivergent friendly

Creating an inclusive workplace that values neurodiversity not only benefits individual employees, but also promotes a culture of acceptance and diversity within the organisation.

There are many benefits to hiring neurodivergent candidates, for example, candidates with autistic traits can excel in specialist subjects, bring creativity to problem-solving, and have a keen eye for patterns. Their attention to detail ensures high-quality work, and their exceptional memory helps efficiency.

 It is with this in mind that Lyndsay Chapman, People Director at Talos360 encourages job application processes to be tailored with neurodivergence in mind.

Steps to follow to ensure your application process is neurodivergent friendly:

  1. Education for hiring managers

The first crucial step in creating a neurodivergent-friendly hiring process, is to ensure your hiring managers are knowledgeable in neurodiversity management.

It’s essential for them to have a comprehensive understanding of how neurodivergent individuals operate, the advantages of hiring them, and the potential challenges they may encounter in the workplace. This knowledge enables them to conduct fair assessments when considering neurodivergent applicants for roles within your company.

One effective approach to educating hiring managers is to encourage their attendance at talks or seminars focusing on neurodiversity in the workplace, or to provide funding for online or in-person training sessions specifically tailored to this subject.

  1. Adapting job descriptions for neurodivergent candidates

To ensure inclusivity in job ads for neurodivergent job applicants, it’s important to provide detailed descriptions.

Neurodivergent candidates often need comprehensive explanations of job responsibilities and required skills. Simply providing an overview can be challenging for them. Therefore, job ads should clearly outline day-to-day tasks and necessary proficiencies in programs or systems. This clarity enables candidates to assess their fit for the role accurately, without the stress of uncertainty.

Whilst including more detailed information about the job being advertised, you should also ensure your job description is concise and well-formatted for easy readability. Neurodivergent applicants may find it challenging to navigate lengthy paragraphs, so aim for clarity and simplicity in your wording.

  1. Crafting employee benefits with neurodivergence in mind

While outlining job specifications, it’s customary to include details about employee benefits. To ensure inclusivity for neurodivergent individuals, it’s important to consider benefits tailored to their specific needs.

Some examples include:

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Offer the flexibility for employees to choose their work hours within core operational times, accommodating different work styles.
  • Equipment Support: Provide equipment like noise-cancelling headphones, adjustable desks, and specialised software to enhance productivity and comfort.
  • Mental Health Support: Allocate resources for mental health assistance to ensure employees have access to support tailored to their needs.
  • Mental Health Leave: Allow employees to take time off for mental health reasons, recognising the importance of mental well-being.

Incorporating these benefits demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity and creates an environment where all employees can thrive.

  1. Adjusting the interview process

When conducting interviews with neurodivergent candidates, it’s crucial to approach the process with sensitivity and understanding. Simplifying the interview process can significantly benefit neurodivergent candidates.

One way to achieve this is to refrain from asking multiple questions in one go, as this can overwhelm them. Instead, opt for clear and concise language to ensure easy comprehension.

Providing candidates with an initial overview of the interview topics beforehand can also be immensely helpful. This allows them to prepare effectively and reduces stress during the actual interview.

Remember that choosing a quiet setting devoid of noise or visual distractions can create a more comfortable environment for neurodivergent applicants. It’s also important to keep in mind that neurodivergent individuals may not always pick up on or adhere to typical social cues during interviews. You should focus on their skills, experiences, and accomplishments rather than social behaviours. By doing so, you can ensure a more inclusive and respectful interview process that maximises the potential for both candidate and employer.

Categories: Advice, Articles

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