A new white paper from WM People explores best practice in recruiting for and managing neurodivergent teams.
How should managers recruit for and get the most from neurodivergent teams? A new white paper from WM People, workingwise.co.uk’s parent group, is based on a roundtable with employers and neurodiversity experts in March.
Sponsored by Roche, it brought employers and experts together to discuss best practice. Experts included Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge who spoke about his new book, The Pattern Seekers: A New Theory of Human Invention, which argues that people on the autistic spectrum have valuable skills on which have been an important factor in human innovation over the centuries.
Other experts included Matthew Boyd and Tim Lang from Exceptional Individuals who work with employers to advise them on getting the most out of neurodiversity. Eighty per cent of their team are neurodivergent. Boyd said a lot of traditional recruitment processes focus on neurodivergent people’s challenge areas rather than their strengths.
The recruitment process should set expectations from the start, they say, giving people choices and preferences about how they do things. Any sense of judgement, for instance, about lack of eye contact, should be removed as should complicated questions. The interview should focus on people’s strengths and line managers need support to understand the bigger diversity and inclusion picture and where something might be a barrier.
Neurodiversity encompasses everything from autism to dyslexia and dyspraxia. The roundtable discussion with employers and experts covered everything from the recruitment process and onboarding process to career progression for neurodivergent individuals.
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