Want to improve neurodiversity in the workplace? Start with the recruitment process.
Inclusion is a hot topic at the moment – and for good reason!
But, despite a lot of organisations having good intentions when it comes to things like neurodiversity, we’ve noticed that a lot of employers aren’t sure how to go about it.
Our advice? Start with the recruitment process!
We are inclusive hiring experts. If you’re trying to figure out how to boost neurodiversity inclusion in your recruitment process, then this guide is for you. Find out:
- The benefits of neurodiversity in the workplace.
- The neurodiversity employment gap.
- 6 steps to boost neurodiversity in your hiring process.
- Inclusivity in your organisation.
The benefits of neurodiversity in the workplace
As well as helping to make your organisation more open and accepting, neurodiversity in the workplace and the hiring process can bring big benefits:
- Enhanced problem-solving: Neurodiverse individuals can bring unique perspectives to workplaces, which can help with problem-solving, productivity, and innovation.
- Diverse skillsets: Neurodivergent individuals often have specialised skillsets that will add value to your organisation. These may include data analysis, pattern recognition, or close attention to detail.
- Improved company culture: Creating an inclusive company culture that values neurodiversity boosts overall employee morale and satisfaction, which can, in turn, lead to higher retention rates, increased loyalty, and a more positive working environment.
In other words, by embracing diversity from the very beginning, you give your organisation the opportunity to benefit from diverse skillsets, different problem-solving approaches, and out-of-the-box thinking.
Ultimately, this has the potential to drive productivity, enhance employee morale, and boost overall organisational success.
The neurodiversity employment gap
Despite these many advantages, the reality is that companies across the UK do not adequately support neurodiversity. And, in many cases, neurodiverse people face obstacles to employment that non-neurodiverse (or ‘neurotypical’) people would not.
Studies have shown that unemployment amongst neurodiverse adults is at least as high as 30-40%. This is eight times the rate for neurotypical people.
So, what can we do about it?
6 steps to boost neurodiversity in your hiring process
Supporting neurodiversity in the workplace and your hiring process is all about creating a process that is more inclusive, accessible, and supportive of neurodivergent candidates. Here’s how:
1. Educate yourself and your hiring team
Organisations can’t be truly inclusive without education. So, it’s important to invest time into improving company-wide knowledge and understanding of neurodiversity.
This might include learning about the specific neurodivergent conditions you might encounter, for example:
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Tourette syndrome.
- Specific learning disabilities (SLD).
- Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).
Neurological differences like these can bring unique strengths, perspectives, and other advantages to your organisation.
But, for that to be the case, your hiring team will need to be educated on the strengths, challenges, and potential accommodations required for neurodiverse individuals. This will help foster a more inclusive, informed approach to hiring.
2. Review job descriptions
When it’s not used in a thoughtful way, language has the power to make talented individuals feel excluded from your roles.
So, when you write job descriptions, ask yourself how inclusive they are. Have you used inclusive language throughout? Or is there a chance the language you’ve used could discourage someone from applying, even if they have the required skillsets?
When it comes to neurodiversity inclusion, job descriptions should focus on things like skills and qualifications, rather than unnecessary criteria that could be exclusionary. But don’t worry if this is something you’re unsure about – we offer inclusive job ad writing as part of our service!
3. Diversify your recruitment channels
Often, organisations struggle to source diverse talent. But the good news is that there are ways to expand your recruitment efforts to reach neurodiverse talent pools.
This could include reaching out to organisations, job boards, or disability employment networks that specialise in supporting neurodiverse professionals in your sector. Or, it could involve engaging with 100% of the market from the get-go – which is what we do!
When we map relevant talent pools, we ensure no suitable candidate goes undiscovered. And, if the resulting shortlists are lacking in diversity, we work with you to widen the brief as much as possible.
4. Remove unconscious bias
Unfortunately, bias in the recruitment process is pretty common – even in organisations that care about inclusivity. This is because we all have ingrained biases that we’re probably not even aware of. These unconscious biases can lead to unintended outcomes if left unchecked.
That’s where anonymous shortlisting comes in! An effective method for eliminating unconscious bias from the recruitment process, a fully anonymous shortlist highlights only key qualifications and skills.
This gives you the opportunity to assess candidates based solely on their competencies, passions and potential. Plus, it gives candidates more control over how they’re represented, helping to make the overall recruitment process more inclusive.
For more information or advice on anonymous shortlisting, get in touch.
5. Offer clear feedback
Communication throughout the recruitment process is key. So, make sure that all communication with candidates is clear, concise, and accessible.
Then, after interviews or tasks, aim to offer constructive feedback to all candidates, focusing on their strengths and areas for improvement. This will help them understand how they can enhance their skills for future opportunities.
6. Create an inclusive workplace culture
Clearly, neurodiversity inclusion in the hiring process is critical. However, it won’t mean much for neurodiverse talent if the workplace culture they enter into isn’t inclusive. That’s why diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are so important.
But what does a commitment to DE&I mean?
Well, it can mean different things to different organisations, but things like education and communication are central to all successful initiatives.
When you commit yourself to neurodiversity inclusion (and inclusion more generally), it’s something you can highlight in your employer branding, policies, and practices. This will help you attract neurodiverse talent and create an environment where they feel valued and supported.
Embracing neurodiversity in your workplace
If you want to make your organisation a more welcoming place for neurodiverse talent, we can help.
We understand the importance and benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion for organisations like yours. This means we know exactly what it takes to develop and implement truly inclusive hiring practices.
Want to know more?
Get in touch today to find out how we can add value to your DEI initiatives:
Call us: 0151 209 2050
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org