Globally, commercial organisations and government are recognising the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workforce. Diverse thinking improves innovation, makes organisations stronger through better team working and more representative of the customers they serve.
From the written perspective of neurodivergent people that Untapped and our customers employ, here are five benefits of hiring neurodivergent employees:
1. We think and solve problems differently
A major advantage to hiring neurodiverse people is that we think differently. We receive, process and interpret information differently and will often problem solve in unconventional ways or consider approaches and possibilities that other people might not. José Velasco leads the Autism at Work program at SAP for North America and says, “If everybody thinks the same way, we’re likely to miss opportunities to bring creative solutions to the market.”
2. We bring a unique perspective
Neurodiverse people often experience the world differently. It might be that our senses are heightened and we’re more empathetic. Maybe we’ve had to learn skills differently to our peers or we might be more resilient because we’ve faced unique challenges. Our different life experiences shape and build a unique perspective that can be valuable when solving problems or designing the future — studies have found that diverse teams can be more creative. Teams with neurodiverse staff have a better chance at holding a wider and deeper perspective which can translate into better designed products and services.
3. We are loyal and change jobs less often
Neurodiverse people tend to be quite loyal to their employers and are more likely to stay in a job long term. Provided the working environment is supportive, accepting and inclusive, your neurodiverse hire will likely stick around. Recruitment is expensive and staff turnover can significantly impact productivity. Goldman Sachs recently announced their plans to run a neurodiversity hiring program and recognized our “often higher retention rates” as a benefit to hiring us.
4. We’ll fit into your company culture
Living a life of difference ourselves, neurodiverse people often find it easier to empathize with and accept other human differences. Through my volunteer work leading and participating in workplace diversity and inclusion committees, neurodiverse people are often the first to join and support efforts across all forms of diversity — neurological or not. This enables us to fit in to different working environments while also adding to the rich diversity of your culture ourselves.
5. We can do any job
Neurodiverse people are everywhere! I have neurodiverse friends who are writers, artists, designers, scientists, engineers, consultants, managers, researchers, HR professionals and so many more! There are no limits to the types of career pathways that you might find a neurodiverse person thriving in.
What We Bring
Untapped are a network of autism professionals, recruiters, software developers, training providers, researchers and workplace consultants, all passionate about neurodiversity inclusion.
A decade of research backed development and operation of neurodiversity employment programs has enabled us to build unique understanding, processes, tools and methods to deliver win/win outcomes for neurodivergent employees and the organisations for which they work. Our primary outcome aim is to build the skills needed for a person to build and sustain an independent career and life and for organisations to gain previously untapped talent.
What We Do
Untapped has unrivalled experience, developing, implementing and operating neurodiverse employment programs. The programs identify, support and train untapped neurodivergent talent to become highly effective and valued resources that challenge the current method of resourcing which relies on a diminishing and increasingly expensive resource pool.
In parallel, Untapped have been developing tools such as Genius Armoury and WayPoint. These online tools apply methods that have helped neurodivergent and neurotypical people better understand the opportunities and breadth of careers, develop their skills and feel safe and supported.
Untapped’s programs help people take the first step into employment through active ‘on the job training’ with forward thinking organisations looking for resource solution for their future workforce.
Untapped has developed the ‘Untapped Talent Program’, a series of processes, frameworks/curriculum and supporting materials that supports the accelerated implementation of a sustainable and scalable neurodiverse work programs. Programs can be implemented within a matter of months and then facilitates the integration of the program into an organisation’s ‘business-as-usual’ operations.
Why We Do This
Neurodiversity is a way of thinking about neurological variations (such as Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder and Dyslexia) as variations from the typical population, rather than a disability. Advocates for neurodiversity reject the idea that it is a problem to be 'fixed', but rather that we are all neurologically diverse in some way.