Why Recruit Candidates with Autism?

By: Taryn Oesch – 12/07/2017

Many large companies have recently started well-publicized autism hiring initiatives. But such initiatives are good for more than publicity, and for companies of any size. For example, employers have found improved productivity, innovation and employee engagement at companies with Autism@Work programs.

Many people with autism have specific skill sets that are in high demand, including pattern recognition, the ability to focus on one task and technical skills. Having employees who think in diverse ways can help companies make better decisions. It’s also just good citizenship; it’s important to make sure there are equal opportunities for everyone to have a meaningful way to contribute to the community, and the unemployment and underemployment rates for adults with autism are abysmal.

The first barrier adults with autism often face in obtaining employment is the hiring process, which is designed in most industries to rely a great deal on social skills like answering open-ended questions and using cues like handshakes and eye contact. These are also skills individuals with autism often have difficulty demonstrating.

Working with a partner like The Power of the Dream can help recruiters and HR professionals meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and adapt their hiring process for individuals with autism. Our Triangle Inclusive Careers job portal, which will be launched in early 2018, can also help companies get the word out about positions that would be good opportunities for people with autism, and our training for candidates can help make sure employers hire successful employees.

Want to know more? Contact Nichole Brownlee, executive director of The Power of the Dream.