The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound economic impact on numerous sectors in the last year, compelling businesses to re-strategize. As such, areas like Research and Development (R&D), Marketing, Operations, Customer Service, and Human Resources provide opportunities for creative solutions. Forward-thinking corporations are laying more emphasis on HR department diversification.
There are numerous advantages to having a more diverse workforce, and here at Works we can affirm this; our expansion and achievements are credited to our dedication to diversity. This is not solely a symbolic action, but a strategy that can lead to tangible benefits.
It is crucial to recognize that diversity encompasses more than just ethnicity and sexual orientation. “Neurodiversity” refers to individuals who have conditions like autism, dyslexia or ADHD and recruiting individuals who have brain differences from the norm is a good illustration of this concept.
Those with neurological differences have frequently been disregarded for certain positions due to differing working styles. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that they can be remarkably intelligent, skilled and dedicated employees. Enterprises that are open to modifying their requirements and processes may receive significant contributions to their creativity and knowledge from neurodiverse employees.
The Meaning of Neurodiversity
Individuals with neurodiverse conditions may encounter challenges when it comes to communication, social interaction, and processing sensory inputs such as light and sound. Here’s a brief overview of some neurodiverse conditions and the difficulties they may bring:
Autism:Causes modifications in the way one perceives the environment and interprets social cues.
Add and ADHD (terms for Inattention) / ADHD:Results in reduced attention span and impulse control.
Dyslexia:Results in impaired ability to comprehend both written and spoken language.
Dyspraxia:Affects one’s ability to maintain both mental and physical balance.
Tourette’s Syndrome:Causes involuntary physical or verbal actions in a person.
Recruiters have been known to dismiss applicants who don’t quite match the desired profile as a “bad fit”. However, if employers look beyond surface traits, they may recognize that neurodiverse individuals can demonstrate exceptional aptitudes such as attention to detail, organizational abilities and problem-solving. Businesses may need to revise their recruitment methods to offer these candidates an equal opportunity.
In the past, the neurodiverse community has been significantly underrepresented in the labour market, but hiring from this group can result in noteworthy benefits. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is famous for having a team mostly composed of individuals on the autism spectrum because they are adept at identifying patterns in data that others may miss. In addition to this, non-profit organization Great Place to Work has identified several other advantages.
Greater Access to a wider pool of applicants.If you’re willing to employ individuals with neurodiverse conditions, you’ll have a broader range of candidates to select from.
Increased Efficiency.Research has shown that groups composed of individuals with diverse neurological backgrounds are more efficient than those solely composed of neurotypical persons. Additionally, those with neurodiverse traits are more likely to maintain a consistent attendance record in the workplace.
In other words, More Creativity.In industries where products and services have been standardized, there is a growing appreciation for the original outlooks and perspectives of individuals with neurodiversity.
Reduced Anxiety.Persons with neurological variances may have an inherent ability to block out diversions and concentrate on major tasks, even in high-pressure settings.
Improved Management.Managers who take the effort to comprehend and assist with their employees’ neurodiverse traits usually prove to be more successful leaders overall.
Tips for Success
Headstart, a provider of diverse hiring solutions, emphasizes that numerous enterprises and workplaces are designed to benefit the neurotypical majority, thus placing those with neurodiverse traits at a disadvantage. What enables the success of the majority could create an obstacle for those with neurodiversity.
It is crucial to understand that significant changes may be needed to bring about this change. This could entail restructuring the inner workings of your company. Here are a few potential routes to follow to reach your objectives.
Educate employees about Neurodiversity.Does your diversity course cover the subject of neurodiversity? If not, it would be helpful to include it. If you have not already provided diversity training, it is recommended that you do so.
Embrace Neurodiverse individuals.It’s important to keep in mind that some of your present employees may have a neurodivergent condition. They may hesitate to disclose this due to fear of being stigmatized or discriminated against. To build an inclusive workplace, be sure that your diversity strategy involves a statement urging individuals with neurodiverse traits to feel free to disclose this information.
Build Support Systems.It is crucial to offer programs adapted to the needs of neurodivergent individuals. For instance, some team members may need more frequent breaks but may be willing to contribute additional time elsewhere. It’s crucial not to make assumptions about the needs of these workers but to seek their input instead.
Eliminate Workplace Bias.You may unknowingly be hindering neurodiversity in the workplace even before recruiting employees. Suppose a job advertisement highlights qualities that are not typical, such as emotional intelligence. In that case, this could discourage neurodiverse applicants from applying.
Another area to consider examining is the traditional job interview, which necessitates behaviors such as frequent eye contact to be deemed successful. Consider alternative assessment techniques like skills testing or a probationary employment period. Analyze your current hiring procedures to identify and eliminate any further discriminatory practices.
Engage with experts in the field.Businesses planning to hire neurodivergent applicants may benefit from the plethora of resources available to them. Disability services are readily accessible from organizations, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and vocational rehabilitation facilities. According to Great Place to Work, these organizations may provide valuable advice, resources, and training to assist with the recruitment process.
Utilize Data.It is advisable for companies to keep a record of metrics such as productivity, safety protocols, and employee attendance to evaluate the impact of neurodiversity efforts. From the beginning of such a plan, it is important to routinely measure Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) relevant to the industry.
Hiring a more diverse team can offer significant benefits, but it requires concentration, risk-taking, and particularly patience. If a strategy proves unsuccessful, it is critical to view it as a learning opportunity and try a new approach. It may be beneficial to seek the guidance of a diversity consultant to help with this process.
Reconsider Your Perspective
If companies want to use the challenges of the past year to foster growth, they should take diversity into account. However, organizations should not restrict their understanding of diversity to gender and ethnicity. They should explore the possibilities of embracing neurodiversity. Neurodivergent individuals may not exhibit conventional behavior, but that does not imply they are incapable of performing their job to an outstanding degree.